How to Create a Christmas Tray

This 3-tiered Christmas tray is the perfect way to add holiday décor to any space in your home. This DIY project is beginner-friendly, and it only requires a few tools and materials to complete. You can use it as a centerpiece on your kitchen island or as a warm holiday welcome for your guests on an entryway table - the possibilities are endless.


How to Create a Christmas Tray


Tie a knot around the body of a pencil, tie the other end to a small nail. Determine the length of the string by dividing the final measurement in half (ie. 18” circle = 9” string).


Lay two pine boards side by side. Hammer the small nail attached to your pencil to one side of the middle seam. Pulling the string taught, draw a 18” circle onto the pine.


Repeat this process, making a 12” and two 8” circles on the additional pine boards.




Create a scallop jig from a piece of stiff paper (a cereal box works great). The scallop should measure 2” wide and high. Trace 30 scallops onto the blank areas of the pine board.

Using the proper protective equipment cut the tray pieces using a jig saw with a fine tooth blade. *Tip: Cut the smaller scallops from the board first, which will create less vibration and allow for smoother cuts, and more area to clamp down. You should have two small circles, one medium, and two halves to create the largest circle, plus 30 scallops.


Sand all the pieces smooth.


Dry fit the scallops around the 18” circle to be sure they fit, leaving no gaps.


Cut the spindle. This will be personal preference as to the look you desire. Choose which sections you prefer and cut a 8”, 6” and 5” long piece


Glue the two halves together to make the bottom level of the tray. Wipe any access glue from the surface. Flip tray so wrong side is facing up. Apply glue to one of the 8” circles and centre it over top the seam of the 18” circle. Firmly press the two circles together and use a brad nailer to nail in place.


Using a scrap of pine, brace the bottom edges of the tray. Apply wood glue to the flat edge of the scallops and pin each scallop twice around the parameter of the bottom tier.


Using a 1/8” drill bit, drill a pilot hole through both layers of the bottom tier, as well as the 8” piece of spindle. * Tip: use the nail hole made from drawing the circle for your pilot hole as it should be the exact centre. Apply glue to one end of the dowel, counter sink a 3” wood screw from the under side of the tray up into the first section of dowel.



Trace the head of a wood screw onto the exposed end of the dowel. To one side of the drawn circle drill a pilot hole into the dowel. On the middle tray, also trace the screw head on the centre and drill a pilot hole on either side of the drawn circle. Counter sink a 2 ½” wood screw into one of middle tray holes. With the screw end facing up, place a screw in the other hole lined up with the pilot hole in the bottom dowel. You will now have the middle tray attached to the lower tray (with a screw end facing you). Drill a pilot hole into the bottom of the 6” piece of spindle. Hand screw the dowel onto the exposed screw. Repeat these steps to attach the top tray and dowel.

On the top of the final spindle add a piece of desired hardware.


Fill all nail holes, and paint or stain a color of choice, allow to dry and decorate!

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