Need a coffee table but don’t have one? This DIY modern farmhouse tray is a cheap and easy solution with style.


In my home, I’m the beneficiary of a nightly ritual that will make most wives jealous…


Cup of Cocoa - the Nightly Ritual - Served on a Modern Farmhouse Christmas Coffee Table Tray

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My husband prepares a cup of cocoa or chai for me every evening before bedtime.

He’s been doing this for most of our married life and I love it.  It’s a very special way to end the evening.

Since we’ve been living in this postage stamp of an apartment my choice is to sit at the table or on my little loveseat.  Usually, I choose the loveseat.  But, it’s risky for balancing a luncheon plate with a mug of cocoa and a cookie and my stevia.


Serving Cocoa and Christmas Treats on a DIY Modern Farmhouse Tray turned Coffee Table


Remember that old axiom, “Necessity is the mother of invention”?

In this case, I didn’t invent a tray, but when I saw other bloggers sharing lovely trays they created, I filed that idea away for the “just in case” moment.

Fortunately, I haven’t had any accidents.

I really need a coffee table and I don’t have one.  But, being a charter member of the “fixer” club, I looked at what I did have and decided to use that for a coffee table.  Yup…. my footstool, or ottoman or hassock if you prefer.


How to make an ah-door-able modern farmhouse Christmas coffee table tray. Set up for a personal hot chocolate bar


Actually, the footstool isn’t a much better idea than setting my plate overflowing with a mug and all the accoutrements of my nightly ritual on the loveseat.

However, my footstool is generous in size and would make a handy coffee table IF it were topped off with a nice tray.


Easy, Cheap, and Functional... That's what I love about this Modern Farmhouse Tray turned Coffee Table and personal Cocoa Station


It just so happened that my car turned into the local ReStore shop and I popped in to see if they had a cabinet door that would serve as the tray.  Oh, happy day!  They did for the grand sum of $6.00.  My next step was to find handles.  Two seconds later I had a pair of antique brass handles with a lovely wheat design in my hand.  They are perfect for my DIY modern farmhouse tray.  A little more costly than I had hoped, I decided they were unique and later realized they were originally much more expensive, so it was a win for me and a win for the ReStore shop.


Need a coffee table but don't have one This DIY modern farmhouse tray is a cheap and easy way to solve that dilemma.


I was on my way to having a fabulous new coffee table err modern farmhouse tray and it was going to be ah-door-able.

This is such a simple project, provided you have a drill.

Using the handles as a guide, create a template for drilling your handle holes.


Fantastic Wheat Sheaf Design Handles for my Modern Farmhouse Tray Coffee Table


All you need to do is run a pencil lead over the handles’ holes and press down on a sheet of heavy paper and you have your template.

Next measure to find the center of the sides and middle of the edges where you’ll place your handles.  This is your guide for lining up the template you created.


Tutorial and Tips for making a modern farmhouse tray from a cabinet door


Using your template, drill your holes, being sure to hold your drill exactly perpendicular to your door.


A cabinet door becomes a modern farmhouse tray coffee table


Before you attach your handles, it’s time to paint the door and give it that old weathered farmhouse look.

But first, grab your handy painters’ tripods.  I only recently purchased these and have used them for various projects.  How did I ever manage before?


Handy Painters' Tripods make painting easier


Using an inexpensive 2″ paint brush, a paper plate for mixing paint, and various acrylic craft paints in shades black, white, cream, and gray begin painting your cabinet door.

My plan was to layer the paint to give the tray a distressed, old painted or weathered wood look.  I began with black paint.  Note I did not paint the door solid with paint… instead, I gave it a sort of dry brushed look for the first color of black and for each additional color I subsequently used the dry brush method as well, so that I didn’t apply a heavy amount of paint and the various tones could be seen.


Paint transformation of a cabinet door to a modern farmhouse tray coffee table


At first, I thought that I needed to give a little bit of an accent to the tray, so I taped off a small area on the inset portion and painted it black.  It looked great, but I felt it was too dark for the room, so I went back and dry brushed it again with some lighter shades of gray.  I think the tones look great with my new rug.


Finished modern farmhouse tray coffee table


To finish it off, I added some plastic bumpers to the bottom of the tray to raise it up just a wee bit for other uses.


Adding plastic bumpers to the bottom of the modern farmhouse tray coffee table


I couldn’t be happier with my new coffee table… um, modern farmhouse tray.  It’s perfect for my nightly cocoa or chai ritual.  And it also serves as a little desktop when I’m working away on the loveseat, which I do every day.

If you’re looking for more horizontal real estate in your family room or living room, then you’ll especially love how easy it is to make a tray and turn your footstool into a coffee table.

Here’s a supply list to get you started…


How to make a modern farmhouse tray. Quick and Easy DIY for turning your footstool into a coffee table for Christmas or anytime.


Wouldn’t you love to see and pin even more Modern Farmhouse Tray Ideas for Christmas?

I thought so.  That’s why I joined up with some of my favorite blogging friends for another extraordinary blog hop hosted by Maryann of Domestically Speaking, Mary Beth of Cupcakes and Crinoline, and Malia of Yesterday on Tuesday.


Modern Farmhouse Christmas Tray IDEAS for Decorating Your Home and Kitchen

Grab your favorite holiday beverage and take a little Christmas tour on the following blogs…

Domestically Speaking
Inspiration for Moms
Home with Cupcakes and Crinoline
Clean and Scentsible
An Extraordinary Day
Yesterday on Tuesday
The Country Chic Cottage
Redhead Can Decorate
Create & Babble
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

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It’s Easy! How to Make a Modern Farmhouse Tiered Tray

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



  1. Laura says

    I love your tray, Diane! It turned out fabulous! Now you have the perfect tray to serve hot cocoa all season long. 😉 Merry Christmas!

    • Thank you, Laura! I agree, it’s going to be perfect for cocoa and so much more. Why didn’t I think to do this sooner! LOL
      Wishing you a blessed Christmas season! xo

  2. This looks great! My coffee table has a padded top. I would love to have a tray to set things on!!

    • It’s amazing how handy it is! Thanks so much for popping by and for your kind thoughts.
      Merry Christmas!

  3. Diane I love your tray!!! I need to keep my eyes open for a cabinet door!

    • Awww… thank you, Maryann! If you have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you, it’s a treasure trove of doors of all kinds.
      Thanks so much for hosting this fabulous hop! xo

  4. Julie says

    Looks like we both are in the mood for some treats 😉 Your repurposing is fantastic, Diane!

    • Oh yes!! Always in the mood for treats!!! 🙂
      Thanks for your kind words, Julie. xo

  5. I love a good upcycle project!

  6. What a fabulous idea, I love how it turned out, now i want some treats 🙂

    • Heehee… those are gone… I need more treats!! 😉
      Thanks for your kind words, Kristin. I’m thoroughly enjoying my new tray.

  7. Minnie McCoy says

    Hello hello!
    Great! Oh so pretty!! You did a super duper job and it looks just perfect in your home.
    It is such fun when the car just happens to drive me somewhere. When my kids were still in school no matter where I was going I would end up at school.? But now it’s mostly Walmart.
    Oh, I wanted to pass this bit of info on to you. If you jump on your computer and type in, “Free stuff on Craigslist in my area” you just might be able to find everything your little heart desires.
    For Free!!!!
    Well happy creating.
    Blessings to you!

  8. Diane, your tray turned out lovely! I love the paint finish and those handles are perfect! I don’t have room for a coffee table either and we do the same thing – a tray on an ottoman. Pinning!

  9. Diane says

    Thank you so much, Minnie!!
    Haha!! Aren’t cars just the funniest sometimes? 😉
    Thanks for the Craig’s List tip. Gotta love FREE! 🙂
    Have a blessed day!!

  10. Kimberly says

    Diane: What an adorable tray! I love the texture you created with all the different shades and the farmhouse look is so in- style these days! Looks so cute with your coffee/tea mug and greens in the tiny pitcher! I love creating something beautiful out of old things as well. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy hot tea or cocoa almost every night as well. Now I just need to get my husband to serve it to me nightly. What a special treat!

  11. Your tray turned out beautifully, Diane, and I love those handles and the way you styled it. So pretty!

    p.s. I’ll have to check out those painter’s tripods….I’ve never heard of those before.

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