Make An Alfresco Drinks Tray

  • Make An Alfresco Drinks Tray, Handyman Magazine
  • Make An Alfresco Drinks Tray, Before

Upcycle an old timber tabletop into a handy accessory for serving cocktails and canapes outdoors. 

A homemade gift is a budget-friendly labour of love that can be customised to suit Mum’s taste and gift wish-list. 

This drinks tray was made from the top of a small outdoor table but you could just as easily use any scrap timber like part of a discarded pallet.

To make a gift like this tray for just the cost of the decorative trim, use salvaged timber and paint left over from other projects.

Recycled timber can be rough in texture, so take time to sand it back thoroughly. After filling any cracks or nail holes, apply a primer then two coats of semi gloss acrylic.

To personalise the tray, paint it Mum’s favourite colour or stick to white with a contrasting outline. 

Buying the accessories

Avoid the stress of using breakable tableware for casual outdoor dining and instead invest in durable pieces that can be washed and re-used.

Wine glasses that are made from materials such as acrylic or polycarbonate look just like the real thing but won’t shatter if dropped, while sealable plastic jugs can keep cold drinks fresher for longer.

For a bright and festive feel, choose coloured options and create a rainbow array of glassware, or go for a colour scheme that complements the tray.

Step 1. Cut the trim

Measure the ends of the tray and cut the fascia trim to length using a saw. Measure the sides and cut the trim to length plus 24mm. TIP The trim side pieces are butt joined to the end pieces.

Step 2. Attach the trim

Apply PVA adhesive to the end pieces of trim, position on the tray and secure by hammering in 25 x 1.6mm panel pins. Position the side trim against the end pieces, securing with adhesive and nails.

Step 3. Paint the tray

Fill all nail holes with timber filler and sand with 180 grit abrasive paper. Apply primer and two coats of white acrylic with a roller and brush, sanding between coats with 220 grit paper. Use a small flat brush to outline in yellow.

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