Here's a great alternative to the massive centerpiece that blocks the view from across the table.
Materials and Tools
pine or barn siding
Note: If using pine, age the wood by combining several colors of paint for a washing technique. Protect the pine surface with two coats of polyurethane. If using barn siding, leave uncoated.
1. Using a miter saw, cut the lumber for the side pieces, end pieces and bottom. The tray measures 12 inches by 6-1/2 inches on the inside. The side and end pieces are two inches high.
2. Sand the pieces with sandpaper. If using barn siding, clean the wood using a wire brush to smooth the rough surface.
3. Attach all the pieces together using wood glue and finish nails.
4. Add decorative strips of lumber to the end of the tray, cut two 1/2-inch by 6-1/2-inch strips and attach using glue and nails. Add an additional strip to the bottom as feet to give the tray some height.
5. Using galvanized nails, hammer them in so they are still visible, which will give the trays an antique look.