Thursday, December 8, 2011

simple gifts: yule log tray

log tray
I have a new wooden tray.  I just made it a few minutes ago and love it! The idea came to me as I gathered firewood to bring inside. I realized that a flat slab from a log would make a lovely rustic centerpiece for holding candles and such. The rounded underside needed a base to make it steady. Fallen branches from our kindling pile looked just right. I collected some supplies and whipped it up. The end result is so pretty that I might just enlist my kids to make some more for giving. That's right... this is an ideal carpentry project for children (or woodworking novices) because there are very few steps and only two simple hand tools are needed.
  • flat slab of firewood/log
  • 2 branches of similar diameter (around 1")
  • hand saw
  • hammer
  • nails
  • sandpaper
  • vegetable oil and rag (optional)

  1. Sand the rough hewn side of the the log just enough to smooth out edges and prevent splintering. I rubbed a little vegetable oil on the surface at this point. Optional, of course.
  2. Saw the branches to equal lengths. Make them both a little longer than the width of the log.
  3. Rest the log on branches and determine the steadiest spot for their placement.
  4. Turn over and nail in place. I found that a single nail in the center of each branch was the most stable spot for attachment.
Done! That was quick, wasn't it?
completed tray
A dusting of snow on our picnic table looked  like a romantic spot for a winter picnic... so I rounded up my candles and pretty greenery along with my camera.
tray close up
What a perfect centerpiece for any winter celebration!
log tray 2 Pin It


  1. I LOVE this! I had plans to make something similar, but add handles on the top so we could carry use it as a tray. I think I might just forget about the handles because the simplicity of yours is just what I am looking for.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. I love this idea very much!
    I'll want to put it on my table for Christmas!!!

  3. Maya, my 7 year old has recently shown an interest in woodworking. I think this would be an excellent project for him. Thanks!

  4. Great idea! Off to check for the perfect piece of wood from the woodpile!

  5. Maya this is exactly what I have been looking for since we have been eating by candlelight a lot more these days....Love it!

  6. So simple! I love it :) Actually I love all of your creativity. I just started a blog, please stop by if you get a chance!

  7. So pretty! The kiddies are still too young to leave a table centerpiece where it is, but I'm bookmarking this one for later. Thank you for sharing, Maya!

  8. This is just lovely. Good eye, seeing this tray hidden amongst your firewood.

  9. Love this!! This is exactly the type of project I was hoping my kids would come up with when I gave them a two day challenge to create some kind of Christmas decoration. First creative challenge we''ve done so maybe their creativity will expand with each. I did get a beautiful, handmade, glittered, paper snowflake garland!

  10. This is so lovely. It must smell so good in your home. What a nice center piece for a Christmas dinner.

  11. So happy you all liked it, too! It's a good one.

  12. Hello MAya.
    Its Lakshmi from India.From the blog Celebrations Decor,an Indian Decor Blog.
    MAya,you are a true inspirer .i cannot imagine how inspired I am .Your tutorials and explanations and the way.I will surely link back to you.i will also mail you.IF i need any pictures will surely write to you...but you have inspired me and i love you for inspiration

  13. This is so beautiful! I love it. Maya you have such a way of making even the simplest things so very pretty.

  14. It’s the utility gadget galore that Godrej has resulted for its clients. Just mere utility is actually not the enough to define its handiness. Studded with a rich variety of stuffs, it’s the link at that makes you kitchen solution.

  15. I asked my 12yo son to go out and make us one, it looks great!!! Such an easy little project, thanks.

  16. I decided to start celebrating Solstice with my family this year and this would make a perfect compromise for a yule log since we have no fire place. I just found your blog the other day by the way and I think it's fantastic!

  17. This a great tutorial! I am so excited to make a few of these for gifts!

    I also linked you on my blog - we all need as much inspiration as possible :)

  18. I love it ....It's a very good idea!


    Louloupi from France ;-)