diy wednesdays: birdie serving tray

for our wedding a few years back, we went with a national parks/woodland wonderland theme (surprise, surprise). at the entrance to the log cabin where we tied the knot, we put out a woodburned “thanks for coming!” sign, and since then we’ve been looking for a good excuse to use our woodburning tool again. we had some hot iron transfers leftover from a recent embroidery project, so we thought it would be fun to try and transfer a pattern onto a serving tray and trace over it with our good old woodburning tool. just click here for the full post with instructions (and more pictures) or click “read more” below.

happy, happy thanksgiving!
(gobble, gobble, gobble)
derek & lauren


Here’s what you’ll need

-Hot Iron Transfers (we used Aunt Martha’s “Birds for Varied Uses” but we also love all the iron on transfers available at Sublime Stitching:

-Iron Wooden Tray (we used the “Skala” tray from Ikea, $12.99)

Woodburning Tool ($13)

-Damp rag

1. Carefully cut out the pattern you want to transfer and place it on your tray in the desired position.

2. Using a hot, dry iron, transfer the pattern onto the tray (this should only take a few seconds) making sure not to move the pattern paper as you iron over it.

3. If your woodburning tool has interchangeable tips, switch to the thinnest point for more detail.

4. Plug in your woodburning tool and while it’s warming up, prepare a damp cloth to wipe off the tip while you’re burning in your design.

5. Remove the pattern paper and trace the design with the tool just like you would with a pen or pencil. And please be careful. That thing gets hot!!

  1. Erica says:

    Ooh I love this! I see Christmas presents! And hostess presents. And presents for me … so many possibilities!

  2. laura says:

    adorable, as always. i can’t wait to try this project.

  3. cheirie says:

    That woodburning tool looks like a soldering iron… is it? I have one laying around and it would be SO neat if I could use it for woodburning!

  4. Any recommendations on where to purchase the woodburner? Would Home Depot have them?

  5. Teresa says:

    Fun and very classy.. i love doing things myself and i’ll definetly try it (just have to find where to buy the burn tool round here)

  6. amber says:

    oh, this is beautiful! i’m debating purchasing a woodburning tool now. maybe i can find one on the cheap on craigslist or ebay.

  7. Alexandra says:

    That’s a really great way to turn a regular tray into something boasting with personality.
    The photo is just great. There’s something about food photos that I like, and I can’t put my finger on it…
    This particular one makes me think about a warm afternoon and the smell of hot coffee, while I curl up with a book in my cosy armchair…

  8. Micah says:

    This is fantastic! I love DIY Wednesdays!!!

  9. I love that sweet little tray, I think I have found the next craft project for Girl’s night (Crafting Queens Night) I am also inspired to run out to the store to buy satsumas and a tiny little bread loaf. But I will have to fight the Thanksgiving crowds…I think it’s worth it. Great photo!

  10. Lori says:

    great project idea! you could expand this to so many things .. kid’s toybox, headboard, etc. i love it.

  11. This is so beautiful! I think you just inspired a few Christmas presents!

  12. Derek says:

    You can get a woodburning tool at most craft stores. I’d check your local Michael’s and whatnot. We included a link above, so if you click on “woodburning tool” you can order one there. They’re pretty inexpensive. I’m not sure about the soldering iron. Could work, but it’s nice to have the option of using a smaller, finer head for woodburning. Be safe! Have fun!

  13. I like this wood burning tool I have some cool designs I would like to try this on.

    P.S I really like the design and layout of this blog.

  14. courtney says:

    Very cool! I will be trying this out ASAP!!! thanks for your DIY posts, they are so much fun!

  15. Catherine says:

    Great Christmas present!!

  16. Mary says:

    Beautiful! If I wasn’t such a klutz I’d give this a try. Something like that would be great at the family cabin.

  17. Amy in Somerville says:


    I have that tray. But I don’t have that tool……MUST get that tool and embellish my boring, plain tray………thanks!

  18. Sophie says:

    Lovely wedding pictures and a very original blog. Thanks for the wood burning tips!

  19. Sabine says:

    I have been dreaming of a woodburning tool since I was a kid (well, this tool was highly fashionable back then, in the roaring ’70s…) ! The bird design is so classy ! Great work like always !

  20. Kristen says:

    These D.I.Y. wednesdays are my favorite thing ever! I wish every day was D.I.Y. day. :)

  21. christi says:

    I think it’s a great idea – you could embellish it with stains or paints for more drama.

  22. thanks for the props! I love to see the cool ideas you guys come up with…

    to see a bunch of photo of all of their crafty-ass ideas from lauren and derek’s wedding, check this out:

  23. GLC Mall says:

    Wonderful handmade crafts


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