How to Make a Tin Tile Serving Tray

Bring vintage style to the table with this vintage-meets-mod serving tray. 

Related To:

Trays are the answer to so many of life's problems. They corral your accessories; they make an instant table on a lap, an ottoman or a bed; and they make projects and meals instantly transportable. In a nutshell, we love them. Find out how to make this striking—and useful, natch—tray using the funky tin tiles you often see on older home ceilings. This tray makes a great gift, by the way.

Tin Tile Serving Tray

Tin Tile Serving Tray

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Materials Needed:

  • (2) 1”x3”x4’ boards
  • (1) 1 24”x24” project panel
  • saw
  • drill and bit
  • white paint
  • construction adhesive
  • heavy duty gloves
  • (1) tin tile, at least 18” squared
  • permanent marker
  • tin shears
  • clamps
  • wood glue
  • 1-1/4” finishing nails
  • hammer
  • wood filler
  • (2) drawer pulls
  • screwdriver
Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Cut the two 1”x3”x4’ boards to two 17” lengths and two 18-1/2” lengths. Cut the project panel to 17”x17”.

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

On the two 18-1/2” pieces, determine the center point and then use it to mark the spots for the drawer pull to be attached evenly on either side of the center point. Use a drill with a bit large enough for the screw to make holes at the marks. Paint all four pieces with one or two coats as necessary.

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Mark a 17” square in the center of the back of the tin tile with a permanent marker. Use tin shears to carefully cut out a 17” square. NOTE: Wear gloves while working with tin tiles as they can be very sharp around the edges. Apply construction adhesive to one side of the 17”x17” project panel. Press the tin tile to the adhesive, lining up all of the edges. Press firmly in all of the recesses to secure.

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Add a thin bead of wood glue to the edge of the 17”x17” project panel. Add the edge pieces with the 17” pieces sandwiched between the 18-1/2” pieces to create a frame. Clamp them in place.

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

With the edges clamped in place and neatly aligned add finishing nails around the edges and through the ends to secure the frame together. Sink the nails slightly. Fill the recess with filler and allow it to dry. Sand lightly and then touch up with paint.

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Attach the drawer pulls to the outside of the 18-1/2” boards with a screwdriver to finish. 

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Blue Hawaiian Recipe

Learn to make a tin tile serving tray

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Keep Reading

Next Up

Fruits of Your Labor: How to Make Strawberry Pompoms

Learn how to make these delighful strawberry pompoms from yarn and felt in a few easy steps.

Making Good: Random Acts of Crafts and Kindness

A mom's quirky craft kits for kids mix creativity with altruism.

Create a Vacation Keepsake Shadowbox

Turn trip brochures and maps into a memory-filled piece of wall art.

Fall in Love With Weaving

It doesn’t take much to get started creating works of art with this time-honored craft.

Make a DIY Bottle Rocket

This fun project uses recyclables and will be hours of fun for the kids.

Set a Kid-Approved Table this Thanksgiving

It doesn’t take much to set an engaging table kids of all ages will want to sit at this Thanksgiving.

Creative Genius: Morgan Spenla of the Crafter's Box

Discover your inner maker with this DIY-focused subscription box.

Attend a Maker Faire This Weekend

Embrace your inner maker during this weekend’s national Mini Maker Faire series at a Barnes & Noble store near you.

Make a Knotted Dip-Dyed Bottle Carrier

Practice your knot-making skills with this useful household accessory from blogger Stephanie Congdon Barnes.

Valentine's Day Lapel Pins

Make your sweetie a DIY lapel pin just in time for a Valentine's Day night out on the town.