How to Make a Rustic Farmhouse Wooden Drawer Centerpiece Tray Out of Pallet Wood

Over my years of being a junker, yard saler, and flea market shopper, a lot of old wooden drawers have passed through my house.  Each one was different, but I loved them all.

There was the big wooden drawer that I turned into a farmhouse cabinet.

There were the drawers that I turned into storage shelves for craft supplies.

And the really messed up drawers that got repurposed into fabulous wall bins.

And the one I turned into a shelf for my son’s violin.

But my favorite wooden drawer?

It didn’t start out as a drawer at all.

It started out as a pile of pallet wood boards.

I hope you love it as much as I do, but let me explain why I made it first.

How to Make a Rustic Farmhouse Style Wooden Drawer Centerpiece |

A few weeks ago when my husband and I made a farmhouse handled tote for flowers, he made a practice crate first to figure out how to put it together.

It’s been sitting in my living room, and the crate reminded me of a wooden drawer – a very rustic one.

I didn’t need two handled totes, but I had a light-bulb moment and realized that with just a bit of work, it would make an amazing display piece for my coffee table.

I’m not sure whether to call it a tray, a crate, or a drawer.  I just know I truly love how it turned out.

Supplies I Used: (affiliate links included for your convenience)

pallet wood


palm sander

Early American wood stain

Low gloss tung oil

Hickory Hardware rustic iron drawer pulls

How to Make a Rustic Farmhouse Wooden Drawer Tray

1. Follow steps 1-4 of the Farmhouse Tote tutorial.

2. Once assembled, you end up with a very primitive looking crate.

3. Add a coat of wood stain to give it an aged look.

4. Use a palm sander to distress the sides and edges.  This will make it look more worn and weathered.

Here’s a close-up view of the front of the drawer.

5. Add  drawer pulls on each end.  The wood looks a bit cloudy from sanding, but that gets fixed in the final step.

6. Put tung oil on a rag and rub it into the wood.  This protects the wood and gives it a very pretty low-gloss sheen.

Distressing the wood really brings out the texture and grain, and the tung oil brightens up the finish.

I’m getting ready to give my coffee table a makeover, and this wooden drawer tray will be perfect on top of it.

How to Make a Rustic Farmhouse Antique Style Wooden Drawer Display Crate |

Vaya con Dios,


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  1. Fun project, Angie…I would have thought it came right out of a primitive piece! Happy Saturday!

  2. It looks great (as does your photography)! Perfect on the coffee table.
    Although, being me and being a graphics nut, I was fully expecting you to use one of your awesome stencils on the front to make it look like it came from an old bakery or something.

  3. Love. Love . Love it! Oh I had a light bulb moment too while I was reading this! I have pinned!
    Thanks for the tutorial.

    • Thanks Sherry – glad you like it! I’m actually thinking of a whole new use for the drawer that didn’t occur to me at first. I’ll share it later if it works out! 🙂

  4. I love it, Angie! It looks so simple to make, but I’m not so handy with tools! Mine would probably be scree-jawed!

    • I’m not always great with tools either, Naomi. Thankfully, my husband is, so he helps me figure out the best way to put things together. I come up with the ideas, then he has to figure out how to make it work, so we make a good team! 🙂

  5. Love it, I have it on my list to make one for my oils and salt and pepper that I keep out, just waiting for the weather to get nice so I can use the miter saw outside.

  6. Oh my goodness, I’ve never thought about using an old drawer! Fabulous Idea!

  7. This is a great project. I love everything about it and think it can be very versatile. This is now on my to do list.

  8. This looks so simple and pretty. I absolutely love the drawer pulls!

  9. It looks so lovely. I have three old office drawers that I rescued from a lady at the tip. Beloved thought I was mad, but I knew they’d come in handy some day! Thank you for the lovely inspiration. Sue via #CreateLinkInspire

  10. I love this little wooden drawer, thanks I am going to try it!

  11. Don’t think there’s a project you make I don’t love and sure do love this drawer project. Especially your real farmhouse kitchen, it’s so realistic and homey.
    Not putting anybody’s ideas down just so many times some people say their kitchen is farmhouse and I’m wondering how it’s farmhouse. Sorry anybody,don’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings.
    Had to print out this project to show Mr.Furry so he knows what I mean exactly about how to frame the drawer to make it look like a cabinet.
    Have wonderful rest of week

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