Easy tutorial and TIPS for making and styling a modern farmhouse 3 tiered tray.

And more farmhouse tray inspiration from 11 of my favorite blogging friends!

 

Make your own and get the Fixer Upper look in a charming modern farmhouse style tiered tray

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It was Tuesday… I dropped Tim off at work and then swung around to Walmart for a quick kombucha run, jumping back on the road for another busy day.  And then it happened! My car steered itself into a parking lot… and right into the first parking slot… smack dab in front of the Goodwill store.

I looked over and a lady was just unlocking the door.

There I was… the first customer of the day with the whole store to myself, for a few minutes anyway, and no plan.

 

EASY! Here's how you can make a modern farmhouse, fixer upper style 3 tiered tray. No power tools required!

 

Maybe that’s best.

Do you ever notice that when you don’t have a plan you see way more possibilities than when you’re hunting for something specific?

As I strolled the housewares area of the store, I noticed a set of old deep cake pans, permanently nested together with a generous helping of clear packaging tape.

They had that look.

You know the look.

I could easily imagine Joanna Gaines creatively using them as wall decor in one of her fabulously decorated Fixer Upper homes that she seems to so effortlessly create.

 

's Easy! How to Make a Modern Farmhouse Tiered Tray

 

But, instead, I imagined that they could become a terrific modern farmhouse tiered tray.

Frankly, I had no idea how I was going to pull off that great idea. BUT…. I would worry about that later.

There on Tuesday morning… in the middle of the Goodwill… I had a treasure.

The beginning of my own tiered tray that I could fill will all kinds of amazing decor.

And… I could have all that for a tiny fraction of the usual $70 price tag.

All it would take is a little bit of creativity and some old fashioned ingenuity.

I knew it was going to be great!

So great, that when I arrived home, I placed those cake pans smothered in packaging tape on the shelf in my studio closet and closed the door because impending greatness absolutely must be kept under wraps.

I saw them there whenever I needed some craft paint or a vase and I knew that someday… someday… they would take on a new life and become a fabulous Fixer Upper modern farmhouse style tiered tray.

And then I had this idea for my Fourth of July tablescape.

The smallest cake pan would be perfect.

So I turned upside down and used it as a pedestal for the centerpiece.

And after the holiday it went back into the dark closet.

Five months after they came home with me after that unexpected trip to the thrift store, those perfect Joanna Gaines-style cake pans were given new life and a bright future.

My friend Malia invited me to participate in a blog hop where all the participants present a farmhouse tray styled for fall with some DIY element.

Immediately I KNEW what I was going to do.  The only thing…

HOW was I going to pull it off?

I wanted an easy, no muss, no fuss project that didn’t require mathematical calculations and bunches of power tools because who has time for all that?

And then it came to me… E6000.  Every creatives’ secret or should I say silent tool.

 

Here are the key ingredients to a

3 Tiered Modern Farmhouse Tray…

 

Supplies for making your own 3 tiered farmhouse tray

 

After considering several options, I finally settled on having wood spacers between the trays for that perfect juxtaposition of industrial and farmhouse.

I had decided that I would look for three turned pieces of wood.  Maybe small candlesticks?  Usually, when I need wooden items for projects I go to Hobby Lobby.  I found what I was looking for… but just two… not three candlesticks.

 

Stained candlesticks and vintage style cake pans make a great fixer upper style 3-tiered tray

 

Fortunately, there’s a Joann Fabric and Crafts down the road from the HobLob.  They also had wood candlesticks, a thicker, slightly taller, more beefy feeling. They didn’t match. (Note: did you know that you can use your Hobby Lobby coupon at Joann’s in addition to the Joann’s coupon? Me either… but the cashier let me in on that big, little secret and now YOU are in the know. You’re welcome!)

I wasn’t quite so excited… my plan had a little hiccup.

Sometimes those disappointments are the best thing.

In the end, I decided that I like the beefier candlesticks between the tiers of my modern farmhouse tray in the making.  And to give it even more visual interest, I 180’d one of the candlesticks.

 

Metal knob with a bit of glitz makes the perfect finial for this farmhouse tray

 

The small candlestick was perfect for the top, but I had an idea that it would look even better if I could trim a little bit off the top, drill a hole, and insert a cute knob.

Right now, I don’t have access to a saw, but I do have access to a friend who has every tool I could ever imagine.  And he very graciously topped my candlestick for me.  All I needed to do after that was sand it to round it off nicely and drill a hole for the knob (with the power drill he also lent me).

I could very easily have used the wooden candlesticks just the way they were.

At first, I thought maybe I’d paint them, or rub clear wax and finish with antiquing wax.  I tried both of those methods and decided they weren’t exactly what I was looking for… so I grabbed some stain.

The staining went fast.  I used a disposable brush to apply the stain and then immediately wiped it off with a rag and let it dry.

When I purchased the candlestick I also purchased a large disc for the bottom of the tray to raise it up and give it a more finished look. That was also stained to match the candlesticks.

Just a side note here… this was the first time I used the Rustoleum stain… I’ve always used Minwax… but I have to tell you that the odor was significantly less and I look forward to using it on other projects.

If you’re thinking, “What happened to easy, no fuss no muss?”

This really was a pretty easy project.  AND… you do not have to stain the wood.  For the top, you could use the entire candlestick and take out the screw from the knob and just glue the knob to the top of the candlestick, now finial.  No power tools are necessary.

 

Add a nice wood base to the tray to finish the look

 

Once all the wood pieces dried, I carefully assembled them with E-6000, beginning with the wood disc on the bottom which I glued in place.  Then, I placed a nice dab of the E-6000 on the candlestick bottom, eye-balling it for the center before carefully placing it and pressing down.  Originally I marked the center, but in the end, the good old-fashioned eyeball method was the best.

I did glue the whole project at one time, but while I ate supper, one of the tiers traveled a bit and had to be re-centered. (My middle cake pan had an uneven bottom.)  I kept an eye on the project for a while and then left it to dry for 24 hours before I began to do any styling.

 

Charming modern farmhouse tiered tray that Joanna Gaines would be sure to love and I made it myself and you can too.

 

Seriously, I could not be more pleased with the outcome.  Especially considering that it’s a little off kilter because of the slight bump in the middle cake pan. And try as I might, I didn’t drill the hole for my beautiful metal finial perfectly straight.

It’s perfectly imperfect. 

The cake pans are significantly smaller than some of the large tiered trays available for sale, but this smaller size is perfect for the console table in my breakfast area.

I really enjoy changing up my table with the seasons, or sometimes the week when an exceptional bouquet of flowers calls my name at the grocery store.

 

How to Make a Gorgeous Fixer Upper Style Modern Farmhouse Tiered Tray for Fall Decor or Seasonal Decorating without Power Tools - Make Chip and Joanna Gaines Proud

 

This has been the season of fresh flowers for me.  These rusty colored, perfect for fall Zinnias were waiting for me at the farmers’ market my last trip there. I’m sure they were left behind because they weren’t the vibrant oranges, yellows, or fuchsia that we so often see.  I love these soft muddy shades of color that gently usher in fall.

Styling TIPS for Getting that

Modern Farmhouse Look for FALL in a 3 Tiered Tray

 

This is a visual/pictorial guide to help you see how the various elements were added, step by step.

Let’s start with the bottom tray…

 

Fall Decor Tips for Styling a 3-tiered Modern Farmhouse Tray

 

Moving on to styling the middle tray…

 

Styling the middle tier of a modern farmhouse tiered tray for fall

 

And finally, the top tier of the tray….

 

Steps for styling a tiered farmhouse tray for fall home decor

 

Styling a modern farmhouse tiered tray is all about using different textures, elements from nature, common everyday items, and vintage items all in varying height and sizes.  The trays help to frame the various elements and bring a cohesiveness and repetition to the overall look. The goal is to repeat a few of the elements on each tray.  Here I used pine cones on every tier as well as vintage bottles filled with flowers. Though the flowers are in different fall shades of color they really make the tray come to life.

The owl adds a bit of whimsy and the napkins provide some graphic interest.

All of this is appropriate for a dining space and makes the area feel homey and welcoming to guests.

 

Who would guess that an unexpected trip to the thrift store would yield such a fabulous score?

I wonder if my car will take me on another unexpected and profitable adventure?

 

My friends have also created some extraordinary fall trays to inspire you.

Please be sure to visit them and leave a comment for them, too.

 

A Dozen Modern Farmhouse Fall Trays to Inspire You

 

Check out these other fabulous Farmhouse Trays!

Yesterday On Tuesday   Home with Cupcakes and Crinoline   An Extraordinary Day

Inspiration for Moms   Domestically Speaking   Celebrating Everyday Life

The Country Chic Cottage   Clean and Scentsible   Redhead Can Decorate

Mad in Crafts   Pet Scribbles   Uncommon Designs

 

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Comments

  1. Diane, you are my hero– your tray is gorgeous! I love how you styled it too. Thanks so much for participating in this hop!

  2. Such a great way to make a tray!

  3. Oh my goodness Diane — I adore the tray you made, and love the way you gave new life to those pans!

  4. Oh boy Diane!
    One of my favorite things is to take something that was “born” as one thing and turn it into another. You did fabulous!
    Blessings to you!
    Minnie

  5. What a beautiful tiered tray, Diane! And it’s a great upcycle/recycle creation! I love the stain you chose. It matches perfectly the furniture piece showing in the background!

  6. OMG, this is so adorable, I love it.

  7. This is so pretty!! 🙂

  8. This is so beautiful, Diane! I would use this all year!! I was thinking maybe wooden salt & pepper shakers might be able to work for the middle (if cut). I see those things at thrifts stores often. Thank you for such wonderful inspiration!!

  9. What a find! I love your tray! It’s beautifully styled too.

  10. Your tray turned out perfectly, Diane! I love the stain you chose to get the vintage farmhouse look and the disk on the bottom is genius!

    • Thank you, Mary Beth!! The stain was a risk… you never really know what color you’re getting judging just by the picture on the can. 😉
      The bottom disk was attached a little bit for looks, but mostly because I wanted to be able to pick it up from the bottom. Mission accomplished.
      Thanks so much for hosting this fun blog hop. xo

  11. You won the thrift store lottery! This tray is beautiful and I’m sure Joanna Gaines would be green with envy. I have several old cake pans that I no longer use and this is perfect. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you will join us again next week.

  12. It is just beautiful Diane! I love your tray and your story so much!! My car likes to drive itself to the Thrift store too!! 🙂 You did a wonderful job! Happy Fall!!

  13. I have a friend who has Dunkin Donuts and Goodwills programmed into her GPS! I used to tease her that her car pulled to the R when we went by a DD! Your tiered stand is awesome and can be styled for so many things–cocoa bar in the winter, fruit and nuts. Craft supplies….you name it! Nice job.

  14. Diane, this is just the cutest idea! I’ve wanted one of these tiered trays but knew making one would be a great option. With tutorial, I can do it!! Now to find the right components. Have a great day!

  15. I love it! I, too, have wanted a tiered tray, but have put it off because of the price. Now I will be looking for cake pans instead!

  16. I absolutely love this tiered stand and how you made it. I did NOT know about the coupon thing — score! I haven’t made one because I haven’t found the perfect pans, but you certainly did! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! Pinned!
    xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

  17. Oh Diane I love this. SO many possibilities. Featuring when my party opens!

  18. Love this tiered tray! Thanks for the idea with the wooden candlesticks. I’ll be keeping my eyes open when I visit thrift shops. Also like the fall decorations. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

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