DIY Thanksgiving Decor from a Bamboo Serving Tray

DIY Thanksgiving Decor from a Bamboo Serving Tray

 A bamboo serving tray is not exactly a rarity at thrift stores these days. They vary in cleanliness and condition, and when I spotted a stack of them at Habitat Restore, I decided to give one a makeover as my latest project for the Charlotte Region ReStore blog.

Bamboo serving tray at Habitat ReStore on Wendover

My upcycling plan was simple and straightforward: Paint and stencil the tray.

But the best part is that it would be a double duty DIY, as both a serving tray and a Thanksgiving sign! And since I haven’t done too many Thanksgiving-specific projects in the past, this was a ripe opportunity to rectify that.

Vintage Thanksgiving postcards and turkeys

This project is sponsored by the Charlotte Region ReStore(s).

Double Duty DIY with a Bamboo Serving Tray

Here’s a better view of the bamboo serving tray. I selected the cleanest of the lot, but even after some careful scrubbing, a few stubborn stains wouldn’t go away.

Vintage bamboo tray to be DIY Thanksgiving decor

Those stains made it easy for me to decide to paint it, though!

When all was said and done, I was left with a fresh and elegant makeover. It has a bit of a farmhouse look (which I’ve been moving away from doing), but I love how it turned out nonetheless!

Using a Thanksgiving stencil on a vintage bamboo tray

If you are interested in the full tutorial for making this DIY Thanksgiving Sign and Tray, please pop on over to the Charlotte Region ReStore’s blog post! All the details and step-by-step photos can be found on their website- thanks for understanding!

Upcycling ideas with Habitat Restore Charlotte Region

I actually thought about finishing it up by wrapping the ends (where you’d consider the handles to be) with jute twine. But, in the end, I went without.

I think it’d be a fine embellishment, though, don’t you?

Bamboo serving tray as DIY Thanksgiving decor

And in case you were curious about that stencil, I purchased it from this online shop!

DIY Thanksgiving Decor from a Bamboo Serving Tray

Either way, it’s hard to beat such a simple project that has two potential uses. 

It could be a tray set out on a coffee table for drinks (in lieu of coasters) or snacks. OR you could prop it up against the wall as a Thanksgiving sign.

Which way do you think you’d use it as?

DIY Thanksgiving decor from a bamboo serving tray

I think I’m partial to it as a sign. But maybe that’s because I’m selfish and don’t want drinks or snacks covering up my stenciling work!

I hope you enjoyed this super simple, but very effective upcycling idea for a bamboo serving tray! And as always, I appreciate your understanding that the full tutorial is on the ReStore blog, and not mine.

DIY Thanksgiving decor with vintage and thrifted items

Either way, may your Thanksgiving this year be safe, peaceful, and full of food and love!


And if you enjoyed this simple upcycling idea for a tray, then you may enjoy this DIY tray that I made from another thrift store find!

Farmhouse tray or wood tray with handles from a cutting board

Also, don’t forget that my first book, “Crafting with Flannel”, is now available! It even contains its own tray project- with a touch of flannel, of course…

fabric lined tray from crafting with flannel

You can purchase it online from Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, and Walmart!

Craft on!


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Thanksgiving sign and Thanksgiving tray

Upcycling a bamboo serving tray as a Thanksgiving sign


  1. Great project, turned out nice!

  2. I really like it as a wall sign. If you use it as a tray, give it a couple of coats of clear protective spray to save your stencils. I think it would go well in all decors! I’d also be tempted to stencil another holiday word/picture on the back, hang it by the “rail” or add some jute and make it do “double duty.”

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