For this wood shop project, I knew I wouldn't have much time to spend in the wood shop. Luckily, one of my friends had wood sculpture tools and I have taken several set building classes which involved using lots of power tools. Going into the project, I knew I wanted to create something that had a vintage look to it, especially since we were supposed to be creating something that one could use for Thanksgiving. I initially envisioned creating something like the photo below.
So I went to Home Depot, went to the scrap wood pile section and found a nice sized piece of wood. After that, I purchased some stain as well as some "old school" handles for the tray. I then went to a wood shop to cut the piece of wood so that I could test out my ideas on some scrap wood that was the same material. As I played with my tools, I discovered that creating these grooves in the tray were going to be a lot harder than planned. I couldn't make them even and when I stained them, the stain was splotchy in the areas where I had carved into. I then had to play with another idea.
These are the tools I used to carve!
The photo above shows my attempt at carving the wood.
I then decided that I should make a wood tray that could be used as an appetizer plate or just a placemat in general. So I used the wood tools to carve down the edges of the wood because just sanding it, didn't make it smooth enough. After I did this, I still wasn't satisfied. I didn't want it to be just a plain tray. I wanted a way to make it more personalized so I thought of buying chalk board paint and putting it on designated areas of the wood. Then you could write your name on it, what food you're serving, or fun little messages. It would also be easy to wash as well! I also decided this was a good idea because I could see families using these trays on Thanksgiving to write cute little messages for fun. (I was sort of inspired of this idea by my mother. She has this little chef pig figure in our kitchen holding a chalk board and always writes fun holiday themed messages on it.) The chalk board paint also still gave the tray a vintage vibe which I liked as well. I topped it off by painting little dots around the chalk board just to clean it up.
This is after I stained the tray in order to give it a more rich color
This is me working hard carving the wood. It's a lot harder than it looks.