As a part of our recent kitchen remodel, we removed our existing white laminate cabinets and relocated them to our garage. Unfortunately, most of the cabinet doors were so damaged during the demolition that we had to toss them. Word to the wise: Don’t leave your husband alone with a sledgehammer on demo day! However, we managed to salvage this lone little gem and I thought: “Wouldn’t this cabinet door be perfect for a DIY serving tray?”
Of course, a thorough cleaning and some DIY rehabilitation will be in order before it’s usable, but the end result will be well worth it. After removing the door from the hinges and wiping down the entire front, back and all sides with some disinfecting cleaning wipes, I was ready to fill the existing hole left by the original knob.
For laminate cabinets like these, you can purchase “touch up kits” for repairing slight dings and dents. We received one such kit when we purchased our new replacement cabinets, also white laminate. The kit comes with a stick of white wax for filling the grooves and a paint pen for blending the white colors post-filling. So, after filling the majority of the hole with wood filler (and smoothing it out with a taping knife) and allowing it to dry overnight, I rubbed the wax stick over the surface to fill in the remaining gaps. After cleaning up the edges, I finished the patch job with the white paint stick. As you can see above, the hole in the upper right-hand corner of the door is barely visible. When you install the new hardware, you won’t notice it at all!
And speaking of the new hardware, check out these gorgeous chrome Martha Stewart cabinet pulls. At less than $10 for the pair of them, this DIY cabinet door serving tray couldn’t be more affordable. When you’re drilling for new hardware, it’s important to use the proper measurement. Although I explained this measurement in my last Krrb article on How to Add New Hardware on Vintage Furniture, here’s a more in-depth look. For handles like these, you will be using the “center to center” measurement. Basically, use your tape measure to calculate the distance between the centers of the screw holes on the underside of the handles. In my case, the center to center measurement is 3 inches.
I located the center of each of the short sides on the cabinet door and drilled holes accordingly using the 5/32 drill bit on my power drill. Here’s how I figured out the placement:
- The width of the door (on the short sides) measured 13 in.
- I needed to center the 3 in. holes in the middle of the door edge.
- By drilling the holes at the 5 in. and 8 in. points, I would have exactly 5 in. on either side of the handles.
After drilling the holes on either side of the door, it’s time to place your new handles. Although you can use a Phillips head screwdriver and secure your handles manually, I find that this is yet another place where my power drill is an enormous help. Simply screw in the pulls and you’re done.
For a serving tray like this, the beauty is just that: It’s beautiful on its own without anything on it. Of course, if you wanted to stage it, it would look fantastic on a side table with a single flower vase and a couple of books. Alternatively, you can use the recessed grooves for containing food items when entertaining. For me, I’ll probably fill the little “millwork moat” with grapes and place my favorite crackers and cheese in the center for my next dinner party. You could even make a few more companion trays using cabinet doors in different colors or of different materials and create a completely custom art installation for your wall. The possibilities are truly endless.
What other repurposed or secondhand items could you use as the base for your DIY serving tray?
Rheney Williams is a home-improvement DIYer who writes about her projects for Home Depot. Rheney uses a wide variety of hand and woodworking tools to move the projects along for the renovations she is doing at her Charleston, S.C., home. To view a variety of woodworking tools which are available at Home Depot, you can visit the company's website.