Old Fence Pickets to Pretty Tray

Hello beautiful friends.

Would you like to see a fun upcycle today? Of course you would!  I’m almost a bit embarrassed to show you the part of this project that was collected from the side of the road. Although I was able to repurpose it in a cool way.

This is my new tray upcycled from old fence pickets and a thrift store frame:

picket fence tray

Swanky, eh? (Or is it just the graphics…they sure can make a photo look fancy!)

It really is pretty though, especially when you compare it to this unfabulousness:


This is what I dragged off the side of the road.  It’s been living in my garage for several weeks now and it is finally getting its chance to shine. He never knew he could be beautiful again. (You’re welcome, little broken down fence.)


picket fence tray


I found the frame at a thrift store for $1.



Here is what came out of the frame…circa 1985.


Nice. Anyone else remember struggling to get this perfect do?

I cut the pickets to fit inside the frame like so:


Once I made sure they fit my frame, I gave the pickets a coat of white latex paint and then wiped the paint off with a dry rag to give them a “weathered, but in  a pretty way” feel. Very coastal, huh?

Then I painted the frame in DIY chalk paint, sanded it just a bit, and followed with a coat of clear wax.



To attach the pickets to the frame, I used wooden rulers I had leftover from an old project. I attached them crosswise with small finishing nails.



Then I painted the bottom and added self-adhesive felt discs to prevent the finishing nails from scratching the furniture.



Lastly, I added handles to either side. These are screen door handles.


The tray cost me a dollar, but the handles were about $5 for the pair, so this was still a great little project for $6!

And I came in way under budget for our Get Your DIY on Fall Link Party Challenge Week #3. Our theme this coming week is Under $20 Thrifty Upcycles!  I hope you’ll drag out your thrifty upcycle projects and come link them up this Sunday, Sept 22nd, starting at 7:00 EST!  Check out the link above to see all sixteen weeks’ themes.

Our current week’s theme is fall wreaths…you still have until Friday to link up your fall wreaths here and have a chance to be featured!

Here’s what my clever co-hosts came up with:

Week #2 Collage

Thrifted Upcycled Homework Station with Vintage Desk & Chalkboard Chair  The Happy Housie

Three Tiered Wood Trays  House by Hoff

Grain Sack Step Stool  The Hankful House

Magnetic Growth Chart  Just a Girl and Her Blog

I can’t wait to see all the creativity flowing this weekend! This is one of my favorite themes!!

Here’s one more shot of my pretty, swanky, fancy, new tray:

Fence Picket Tray

Live on and be happy little broken-down-fence no more. 🙂



If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along! :)

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  1. I have been looking for that picture of me EVERYWHERE.

    I love your little tray. Wanna know what I love more? You said dragged! And you are fully aware how to use it’s and its! … the little things in life that make my heart go pitter-pat….


  2. What a clever idea – from fence to table tray!

  3. VERY coastal – soooo pretty!! I love the weathered texture of the wood – a gorgeous tray and fab upcycle Christy!! Pinned:)

  4. Maxine Dayhuff says

    Your talent and creative eye and innovative ideas are great and make me jealous! 🙂

  5. Christy, I love your upcycled tray – it is so pretty! Yes, the graphics add a nice element to the photo but the tray holds it’s own in these shots – nice job!

  6. Amazing….. It’s gorgeous….. I’m a new follower and LOVE all your projects!

  7. It does look fancy! I love how it turned out! You would never guess part of it came from the side of the road, lol! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Christy!

    ~Abby =)

  8. This is so gorgeous, and can be used throughout the whole year!

  9. I love it!! I’m always scouring the ditches for cast off wood 🙂 this is just the sort of thing I would have snatched up and dragged home also. I love how you painted it but wiped it off to get the grey, beachy look. Just a wonderful, thrifty, functional makeover!!
    Cindy @ Diy beautify

    • This was a huge pile of old fencing and the house next door had workers laying a brick pathway, so although I would have normally attempted to cram half the pile into the back of my SUV, I quickly just took a couple of panels. Now I wish I’d taken more lol! I’m glad you like it 🙂

  10. This is perfect! I love how inviting and warm it is!
    Love to follow!
    Kristy @ Cup Of Jo

  11. I wanted to invite you to the Friday Flash Blog Party, the best linky in town! I hope you’ll join us and link up. Who knows. You may just get highlighted!

    The party goes on ALL weekend.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

  12. I LOVE the tray you made!! So simple by gorgeous!!! (found you on I Should be Mopping the Floor link party) Nice to meet you!

  13. What an awesome idea!!!!! This is a pinner! Thanks for sharing on DIY Sunday Showcase!

    Shelly from MinettesMaze

  14. Love your rustic tray! That is a great idea using old pickets for your tray bottom. Very nice work! Pinning! Thank you for sharing!

  15. The tray looks fabulous and so very classy!! Great upcycling – love it 🙂

  16. Love the tray!! Come link up to centerpiece Wednesday and share this post with us.

  17. Oh I love this cute liitle rustic tray! thanks for linking to DY Sunday Showcase.

  18. Love this tray too!

  19. What a really cool project! I happen to have a ton of old fenceboards from two different people who were only too happy to see me haul them away! Featuring at Redoux tomorrow at 2:00 PST. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yay! Thanks so much, Karen! My stash probably looks very similar to yours…only mine is all crammed in the garage. I just don’t know when to say when! That’s again for the feature! XO

  20. Christy, this is a real beauty! Love things made out of previously-used and worn items. they look so…….nostalgic! Thanks for sharing at the Create It Thursdayd Link Party. Deb @ Kneaded Creations

  21. Christy- please email me back at kneaded creations@gmail.com I have a question- how do you get your “I follow these party” buttons all one size and small? Deb

    • Hi again 🙂 I just copy and paste the button images from the party site to my post. Then I can resize in my post. I add the link to the photo. I never bother with grabbing the provided codes for a post…only if I want to display the button in my sidebar. Hope this helps! 🙂

  22. Love your tray…great upcycling! Just wanted to let you know that you were featured on my blog! Thanks so much for sharing at The Scoop! …hugs…Debbie

  23. Absolutely gorgeous & something I’d like to make myself…looks doable (for me ahahaha) and thanks for the tutorial. I just pulled some old pickets off of my fence to replace & knew they would be reused one day 🙂

  24. You’ve been featured from Give Me The Goods! You’ll also be on my FB page today 😉
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

  25. I’m a tray fanatic and I just adore yours! I will definitely be on the lookout for an abandoned piece of fence. Thanks so much for sharing at Throwback Thursday.


  1. […] a new level!  This is a tray that is made from old fence boards and picture frame.  Christy from Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer has a fabulous tutorial on how to make one yourself!  Definitely adding this to my MAKE […]

  2. […] Confessions Of  A Serial DIYer – Old Picket Fences To Tray […]

  3. […] and now I can make my own! CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL DO-IT-YOURSELFER shares this great OLD PICKET FENCE TRAY DIY. Add this to my diy list! Kathy from LIFE ON LAKESHORE DRIVE came up with a way to pretty up […]

  4. […] Old fence pickets to pretty tray … Perfect coastal decor..on a budget! Christy @ Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer […]

  5. […] Christy at Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer transformed an old $1 thrift store frame after combining it with a picket fence to create this wonderful tray that can give anyone an itch to try this project themselves too. […]