Trays are one of those things that we can never quite get enough of. Remember that adorable turquoise DIY herringbone tray? I know. So good. From displaying yummy treats at a party to holding all your favorite mags on the ottoman, trays are a major necessity for the home. And trays that are all jazzed up? Even better. Now enter the Ruler Trays from today’s Apple Picking Party. Missed it? See the full spread here. These are pure genius and perfect for an outdoor picnic. Plus they’re ringing in crazy easy on the DIY difficulty scale. What’s not to love?

wooden boxes or trays
enough wooden rulers to cover 4 sides of each tray/box (Each ruler is 1″ x 12″ — we got ours online at Woodworks Ltd.)
utility knife
wood stain (in several colors — we used Minwax in “Golden Oak,” “Special Walnut” and “Dark Walnut”)
foam brush
cardboard or plastic to paint on
clamps or heavy objects

Step 1: Stain the fronts of all the rulers with the three stains and let dry (about 30 minutes).

Step 2: Stain the inside of your box or tray.

Step 3: Sand the edges of the rulers with sandpaper to age them a little.

Step 4: Cut some of the rulers in half, some at 8 inches, some at 7 inches (be sure to mix the colors!), and leave some whole. Lay out the rulers on the side of your tray to match them up- pair a different colors together for a more varied look. If the sides of your tray are longer or shorter than 12 inches, you’ll have to cut the rulers so that they fit the length of the tray.

Step 5: When you are happy with the layout, put some wood glue on the tray and some on the backs of the rulers and put into place. Use the clamps to keep the rulers pressed to the tray as they dry, or rest something heavy on top. When the side is dry, you can glue the rulers on the next side until the tray is complete.

Step 6: Stain the top edges of your ruler to match the inside of your tray, and any sides at the corner that are showing. Repeat for as many boxes or trays as you like!

Picnic Photography: Rebecca Hansen Weddings / Styling and DIY Photography: Jess Blazejewski of Style Me Pretty