Make Your Own Garden Planting Tray

Potting Plant Tray for Gardening

When gardening, “do you ever just find yourself with more plants than your hands can carry?”

The other day I was in the garden moving small plants one by one and thought wouldn’t it be great if I had a tray to help transport this mess.  Kind of like a serving tray but something for gardening?

Over the weekend this thought inspired workshop activity where I made a garden planting tray.  This project is similar to the tray I made earlier this year but a little bigger and less detailed, find that one here.

Supply List

This is a super easy project made with just a few materials, things you may already have.

The tray base included 6 ft. cedar fence boards, reclaimed or scrap wood could also work. I’m not focusing so much on measurements because you should build a tray according to your own needs.

A drill or screw driver and a saw is necessary to complete this project.

  • 2 six ft. cedar fence boards
  • 12 Screws – size 1 1/4
  • Garden Handles – Hobby Lobby
  • Garden Stencils from Old Sign Stencils – get here
  • Black Chalk Paint
  • Stencil Brush, Painters tape and small piece of wood for paint

Start by cutting the boards and sand if necessary. I used 3 pieces of wood for the tray base because I wanted something that could handle my mess.

Cut each one at 2.5 ft. and the cross-handle boards were around 17 inches.

Remember these measurements can be adjusted because you should design according to your needs.

Stencil Garden Tray

Stencil Before Connecting the Tray

Line up each board and stencil first, it’s much easier to transfer before you connect.  I used two stencils beginning with the garden one first. For complete details on stenciling click here. 

I’ve used this garden stencil a lot so its seen better days, in fact the “Welcome to my” part is pretty much toast.  I decided to mix and match my impressions which made me realize I needed to cover up those extra words with painter’s and attach the stencil directly to the wood.

This works great and it’s easy to remove afterwards.

Once the first application was dry I brought over the Potting Shed Stencil and used the small lettering, “Tours Until Dusk” this is something I really like about Old Sign Stencils you can mix and match which opens the door for additional ideas.

The transfer was really quick and after I was finished I let the boards dry for about 30 minutes.

Garden Tray Assembly

To assemble the garden tray connect using a drill or screw driver and if you have an additional board use that to help line everything up. This helps place the handles correctly and keeps the boards straight; I normally mess up here because the boards have a tendency to move.

The “Garden” word expands between two board so it’s important they get connected properly.

This tray style is a little different from the other one I made because the end boards are wider and they over hang.  This allows for additional room to set small things like scissors or label sticks.

  • Attach the handles from the front one at a time and then flip the tray face down; it won’t lay flat because of the handles and that’s okay.  The goal is to make sure those tops boards are connected so the stencil letters line up.
  • Next, we attach each board from the underneath to the side boards using screws.
  • Once the tray was assembled I stenciled additional leaves on the rest of the tray.

Garden Serving Tray for new Plants

In about less than an hour the project is completed ready to use for transporting plants from one area to another.

I absolutely love it and what a fantastic tool this will be for future use.

This project also works great with the Garden Caddy and you know what?  I think I may need to build a custom wagon to pull it all together. What do you think?

That was really fun and a great way to pass the time on a rainy afternoon, so grab some wood and make yourself a Gardening Plant Tray.

Every Gardener needs a plant tray. Make this fun and easy design tray for moving additional plants in one setting. #GardenTray, #Planting


  1. Patti says:

    Hi Carole,

    Your garden tray is soooo pretty. It would make a great gift and I would use it to serve things at a party too.
    I like the way you used different parts of different stencils too. Great idea!
    Have a great week!


    1. Carole says:

      Good Morning Patti – I’m loving this tray and it would make a great outdoor serving tray too, it’s nice and big. So I’m thinking this project would make a neat workshop at the new property. We shall see.. Hope your week is great too.

  2. Hi Carole
    I love this! Where did you find the handles? Did I miss that? thanks laura

    1. Carole says:

      You’re a gem thanks for pointing that out -you didn’t miss it I forgot to add it. Sometimes my brain sleeps when I need it to think. Anyways I got those handles at Hobby Lobby when they had a 50% off sale, which seems to be about every other week.

      1. laura says:

        I loved the tray Carole! Happy to know handles are from HobLob since we have those here in CO too!

      2. Kim Huculiak says:

        Hi, actually Yes Carole mentions in the Supply List that the ‘Garden Handles’ listed were from Hobby Lobby.

  3. Jane says:

    Hi Carole, you sparked an idea! These are perfect for my booth…you always have great ideas! Love the addition of a few extra leaves

    1. Carole says:

      Glad you like it, I just made it out of necessity because I’m tired of juggling plants.. Share an image with me later when you make some and I’ll include it at the end of this post.

  4. daisy says:

    Great idea! What a wonderful gift that would make for any gardener, or even to use out on a porch when hosting a party.

  5. Dee Bell says:

    Nice! Clever and decorative too. Thank you for a good idea.

  6. Virginia says:

    If you put side boards under you would have more space on top. I like what you did I need that when I work on my nutcrackers to put my paint or pieces on. Good thing to work with grandson to make.

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