DIY food tray – upcycling wooden pallets

DIY wooden food tray

This DIY food tray by Nikkita Palmer Designs promotes a sense of hygge around the table, in front of a film or in the garden. From winter to summer, housing soups, biscuits and refreshments, you won’t believe how useful these boards are until you have one. Using simple techniques and basic tools and materials, these boards also make great Christmas gifts, especially when paired with a cheese or antipasti selection.

For more advanced, crafty designs, use pyrography to personalise your tray, burning initials, quotes or sayings into it. And, you could also adapt the measurements, making a board long enough to fit across the bath to hold candles and a book for those long relaxing soaks. Replace the handles with recycled metal cupboard handles or rope for a nautical feel.

You will need…

DIY food tray materials

  • Tape measure
  • Combination square
  • Pencil
  • Hand saw or electric mitre saw
  • Electric sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Ventilation mask
  • Hammer
  • Stanley knife
  • Cutting board
  • Wax cloth


  • Six pallet boards
  • Panel pins, 3cm (1″)
  • Wood glue
  • Leather from old belts, horse bridles or offcuts
  • Galvanised clout nails, 2.5cm (1″)
  • Food-safe wax

How to make your DIY food tray


DIY food tray step 1

Using the combination square and tape measure, measure and mark four pallet boards at 60cm (24″), then cut to size. Sand the cut edges smooth. When placed together, our boards came to a width of 22cm (8½”).


DIY food tray step 2

Measure and cut two pallet boards to 22cm (8½”) (or the width of your boards) and sand. Lay the two short boards on a flat surface vertically, then place the 60cm (24″) boards on top horizontally, aligning the ends with the outside edges of the short boards.


DIY food tray step 3

Glue the boards in position, then hammer panel pins along either short edge to secure them in place, as shown. This will form the underside of the tray.


DIY food tray step 4

Turn the board right side up, then sand until smooth.


DIY food tray step 5

Cut two 23cm (9″) leather strips using the Stanley knife and cutting board. Position one piece of leather down the centre of one short board, then hammer either end in place using the clout nails, aligning the end of the leather with the end of the board. This should create a handle in the centre large enough to enable carrying. Repeat at the opposite end to create the second handle, then apply  food-safe wax with a cloth to finish.


BiPallet Style DIYg thanks to Nikkita Palmer and Billy Barker for their amazing DIY food tray tutorial! If you’d like loads more upcycling wooden pallet ideas then buy their book Pallet Style here. Pallet Style is published by Kyle Books 2019.

If you upcycle your wooden pallets, share a picture with us on #molliemakers on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. And for more sustainable upcycling ideas, subscribe to Mollie Makes.