Target Knock off

Target Knock off

I now have one day a week for three hours where all of my kids are in school. Nora in 1st grade and both boys in preschool. My first day I did what most Mom’s would do in my position. I went and walked around Target. All on my own. I perused way more then I needed to, I had gone to get some little organization options for my desk. And I just wanted to go. It was both wonderful and sad all at the same time. I was inundated with Mom’s with their own crew of little’s and I missed mine. But, while I was there I saw this great wood paper tray. It was glorious, but $29.98. Not too expensive, but my DIY brain kicked in and I immediately broke it apart in my head, it was 4 sides with wood, a flat center, and then some black trim detail. I could not pay that price knowing I had it all at home, for free.

So I got to work making my own paper tray for my desk. I should note I will be showing off my newly updated and more functional desk space later this week. Just added a few new additions.

I started with a piece of paper, yes a piece of paper. This was my size guidelines to go off of. I will use this to set mail or other papers in to “get” to at a later date. Then I went to our huge pile of wood. A few months ago we got a bunch of wood pallet’s from my father in law. Dale cut them all down and we have been pulling them out for various projects, like this one. I chose three similar sized and patterned pieces. These would be the bottom, flat part of the tray.

Then a long piece that Dale said we could cut in half to create the sides. Done and done.

We cut the larger ones down to size, just over the size of a standard piece of paper. Then used some wood glue. Pushing them together to get the glue all up in them.

Dale cut the other board into threes.

Then cut two  pieces longer, for the sides. And two pieces slightly shorter to make the top and bottom of the frame.

Once the nail glue was dried. We used a air nail gun. Held the pieces together on the sides and nailed them into their spots. I twas really simple, really quick. We started at 4 and it was all done before dinner time at 6 pm. My kind of DIY project. Quick! And no problems, quick call the DIY police this was too simple.


Now time to stain this up. I wanted to use a really light gray stain I have had for a while. I thought this would be the perfect project to use it on. Queue the hiccup! It was so light the stain could not even be seen.

Notice the non stain color? So I broke out another stain I had, a darker walnut stain and used it instead.


While that was drying I got 12 tacks. And spray painted them black. This was my plan to add some detailing to the sides of the paper tray. Having one row of three on both sides of the front and back. Giving the much needed detailing to this piece.

When all was dry, I pushed in the tacks as far as I could. Then used a hammer to bang them in the rest of the way. And I have my new paper tray that I spent nothing on. Well, if I am honest I did at one point purchase the stain, the tacks, and the stain. But with me being obsessed with anything home decor and DIY this stuff was literally laying around. It works nicely in my new and improved desk area.


I could have made the edges at an angle on the ends. Or gotten better hardware then the tacks. But like I said this was a quick and cheap project. I also wanted to challenge myself and spend the least amount of money. Getting new hardware would have broken my weirdly set goal of spending no money. I had to work with what I had, and I had tacks. It is rustic and rough. It roughs up my light blue and always clean and immaculate desk. Well, truth about the blue, but not so much the clean. But when it is clean it did have a tendency to look cold, this little papery tray in all its former wood palette turned walnut stained paper tray does just the job.


Have you ever seen something at a store and been able to dissect it instantly to go and create it at home for much cheaper?


I have even more ideas on decorating with wood and store hacks-  




  1. I love this! I've been wanting to make a tray for my coffee pot so I may just have to do this 🙂

  2. It came out great! I love being able to recreate something seen at stores. I've never done this through wood materials…just through paper crafts or paint. Great job 🙂

  3. Very pretty! I love woodworking!
    Greetings, Ronja Lotte

  4. This looks so good! I love it. Pinned. We had so much fun partying with you at our last party. We hope to see you tonight's party at 7 pm. We love to see what you have been working on!
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  5. Love the painted tacks. Didn't notice them until the picture of you painting them.

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