I've been looking at tiered trays for quite a while. Now that we are adding more DIY crafts, I have decided it is a worthwhile investment, especially for showcasing our favorite DIY projects!
A lot of trays are gorgeous but the fastener rod seems very fragile. I know the tray will get heavy use and also be sniffed on the regular by Lzzy Lou so I definitely want something sturdy. A lot of the DIY tiered trays I have looked at use candle sticks instead of some type of fastener rod to set the layers. Again, they look great but I question their longevity with heavy use.
On a recent trip to Michaels I was lucky enough to find a wooden box with galvanized trim. It was in the clearance aisle and became mine for a little over five bucks! I knew right away it was going to be the base to my tiered tray. I also had my mind pretty set on using Dollar Tree bakeware for the second and third tier because metal will look great during any season. Additionally, if I ever want to paint the top two tiers, it will be easy and affordable to do so. Then, I can have a metal set, a painted set etc... and switch them out if desired.
With my tiers picked out, I knew it was time to get serious about creating a heavy duty fastener system. I went to our local Menards and looked at dowels, washers, metal rods, plastic plates etc... and finally hit the jackpot in plumbing. With floor flanges and two black steel pipes in hand, I went home with the perfect, heavy duty fastener system.
- Tiers. Your tiers really can be anything you like and you can also choose to do 2 or 3 tiers. Affordable options are bakeware from Dollar Tree. For example: a pizza tin, a pie tin and a round cake pan or a 9x13 cake pan topped with a square 8x8 cake pan.
- Floor flanges*. You will need 5 flanges if you are building a 3 tier tray and 3 floor flanges if you are building a 2 tier tray. While we bought our initial flanges at Menards, we will use these in the future as they are a better price and the exact number needed for a 3 tier tray.
- Steel pipes*. 1 for a 2 tier tray and 2 for a 3 tiered tray. I chose a 12 inch pipe for the first connection and a 8 inch steel pipe for the second connection.
- Machine screws with bolts included*. I chose machine screws because they are flat on the bottom and not sharp. We will be pre-drilling out holes so a sharp point is not necessary. Additionally, a flat bottom will have less of a chance of scratching the items you place on the tray. You will need 10-12 machine screws. The machine screws I used came in packs of 5. I used 4 on each tier and only two on the base because I didn't want to buy another 5 pack to only use 2 of the screws.
- Screw driver and drill bit or hand held screw driver and one sharp bottom screw.
- Jute cord if desired.
- Glue gun.
*A note on the floor flanges, steel pipes and machine screws. You can get any size you want but you do want to makes sure to get the same size across the board. For example, if you get 3/4 inch floor flanges then you need to get 3/4 inch steel pipes so the connections fit. The 1/4 inch machine screws had a big enough head that they didn't fall through the screw holes on the floor flanges. Again, you can get any size desired but do check to be sure the screw head is wider than the flange screw holes. I found the 1 inch length of the screw gave enough clearance to screw the hex bolt on after threading through 2 floor flanges and the tier layer. If you have a relatively thick tier layer for some reason, you will want to be sure to get a screw long enough to clear the layers and accept the hex bolt.
Before you begin the project, wash all of your floor flanges and steel pipes in hot water and Dawn dish soap. They just need a quick scrub to get all of the rust prevention oil off. Once they are completely dry you can leave as is or apply a thin coat of wax to prevent rust. If you will be using your tray outside or in a very humid environment, you will definitely want to give each flange and pipe a quick spray of sealer to prevent rust.
To start, lay your floor flange on top of each tier and mark the hole spaces with a sharpie. You can double check the hole distance with a ruler, too. Once your hole spaces are set, drill guide holes accordingly. You can use a power drill with corresponding drill bit or a hand held drill and sharp screw to start the hole. The bakeware is rather thin from Dollar Tree and is easy to screw through. If you have a thicker tier, and do not have a power drill, your local hardware store will more than likely drill the guide holes for you if you have them pre-marked and ready to drill.
Once your holes are pre-drilled, you are ready to begin placing the floor flanges on each tier. On the bottom tier, place one floor flange on the top of the tier and secure with your machine screws and hex bolts. My bottom tier had clearance underneath, however, if you are using a flat bottom tier you will want to place a few risers or stack a couple of furniture pads until you get the clearance you need. Next, place one floor flange on the bottom and one floor flange on the top of your 2nd tier like a sandwich. Thread 4 machine screws from the top down and tighten the hex bolts on the bottom to hold firmly in place. If you have a third tier, repeat the previous step. At this point, you can place some jute cord around the tiers to accent. We used a hot glue gun to attach our cord and it worked like a charm. After the cord has cooled, you are ready to attach the layers to each other using the steel pipes. Screw one pipe into the bottom layer. Then, attach the second layer by screwing it onto the fixed pipe. If you have a third layer, screw the pipe into the flange. Attach your third layer by screwing it on top of the fixed pipe. If any of the layers feel loose, remember that you have to screw the pipe into the bottom layer and screw the top layer onto the pipe. Otherwise, you will end up inadvertently loosening each layer.
With your tiered tray assembled, you are now ready to fill it with your favorite decorations! We started out with fall décor and love the look! It is the perfect mix of farmhouse and industrial and pairs well with everything we have put in it so far. We can't wait to switch it over to Christmas décor, soon!
I also think it would make a great gift for friends and family as it is definitely something they could use year round. If they are not into décor, it would still be a great way to display coffee supplies, their favorite daily mugs and a couple of potted succulents. There are really no limits with these versatile tiered trays.
If you make a DIY tiered tray, we'd love to see it! Please sprinkle (share) our post and follow us on all of our social media channels @rettandco. ~ Rett & Co.