How to make serving trays

Making Trays

Making trays can be so fun and rewarding!  There are so many different things you can do to make the tray unique.  I am including a free file for you to practice making  a tray with or without handles to learn the steps.  Feel free to change the design and make it uniquely yours!
Here are some things to think about when making a tray!
Shape
First of all trays can be made in any shape!  You can make Oval, Circle, square, rectangle, flower or whatever shape you can dream up!  The only limit is your imagination and laser capabilities!
Holes 
I like to include holes or slots for dishes, treats, glasses and things like that in my trays. It’s fun doing trays this way because under the dishes or treats you can put funny sayings or a message for the person.
Handles
Handles can be built up like in the included file for the rectangle tray, built into the tray itself or added hardware after the tray is finished. You can also just make the tray with no handles.
Engrave/Score
Adding personal or finishing touches to the tray! Encouraging words, funny themes and statements, poems, etc.
Writer's Tray
Finishes
If you need it to be food safe, finish with Shellac or Butcher Block.
You can add a piece of clear acrylic over the top to keep the tray clean and make it food safe.
If you don’t need it to be food safe finish it like you would regularly.
Material
You can make a tray out of any material you want!
1/4” vs 1/8”. You can use either to make the tray.  If you use 1/4” you will need less sheets overall for building up the sides or handles on the rectangle tray.  Acrylic and COLORboards only come in 1/8” so if you want a particular pattern make sure you use that one on the top. The base and build ups can be MDF or a cheaper wood/acrylic. Melamine works great and comes already finished.  
Acrylic Style Tray
You can add trim, shell veneer, wood veneer or other things to take the tray to the next level.   
Chocolate Tray
Design your own to give the tray your personal touch.
Here are some files for you to try out! Download all three for the complete Writer's Tray!
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