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DIY Taco Tuesday Serving Tray (Festive and Colorful)

Learn to make this DIY Taco Tuesday Serving Tray and season up your taco night with a fiesta feel. As a bonus, it’s a Lazy Susan, so taco ingredients will be within easy reach of those gathered around your table.

Close up shot of the edge of a Taco Tuesday Serving Tray containing tacos and guacamole.

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Round wood Taco Tuesday serving tray painted with COLORSHOT Premium Paint Markers (6 pack package shown).

Get Your Color on Challenge!

I was excited when Stephanie from Gathered In The Kitchen invited a group of bloggers to participate in a Get Your Color on Challenge! Of course I wanted to participate. Any excuse to try out a new paint!

The Challenge

The objective of the challenge was to create a craft project using COLORSHOT Premium Paint Markers. We all received a 6-pack of markers in our swag bags at the recent Haven Conference.

COLORSHOT markers feature highly-pigmented paint that dries to the touch in 30 minutes and is fully cured in 24 hours. The paint is permanent on a variety of light and dark surfaces, including wood, metal, plastic, glass and other craft surfaces.

The paint markers come in a wide-variety of colors. You can see all the colors on the company’s website. The COLORSHOT paint colors also have the cutest names. For example, my 6-pack consisted of the following colors:

  • Marshmallow (white)
  • Stiletto (red)
  • Emoji (yellow)
  • Hello Handsome (blue)
  • Cash (green)
  • Little Black Dress (black)
6-Pack of COLORSHOT Premium Paint Markers

The Challenge Participants

My Challenge Project Vision

I’ve wanted to make a Lazy Susan Taco Tray for a while. In fact, the pair of round wood boards and the Lazy Susan hardware had been sitting in my craft room for months. This was the perfect opportunity to make the tray!

DIY Taco Tuesday Tray Project Overview

The project consisted of two parts:

  1. Making the Lazy Susan tray.
  2. Personalizing the tray with text, designs and, of course, the COLORSHOT paint markers.

I’ve outlined the project below and included detailed instructions later in the post.

Materials for making the DIY Taco Tray (including wood rounds, handles, Lazy Susan swivel plate, vinyl for creating stencils, wood stain, paint and sealer).

Making the Lazy Susan Tray

The Lazy Susan serving tray consists of two pre-cut wood rounds (a larger 18″ wood top and a smaller 12″ wood base). The two pieces of wood sandwich a swivel plate (the Lazy Susan hardware).

I purchased the wood rounds from the local home improvement store. Because they were already cut into circles, I just needed to sand and stain them in preparation for painting and add the swivel plate.

Installing Lazy Susan hardware is pretty straight forward. However, the directions on the packages are not very clear. Woodcraft has a helpful video on how to install Lazy Susan Hardware if you’re not familiar with how to do so.

The tray also features handles. The handles are attached at the end of the project, after the tray has been painted and a protective topcoat applied. To facilitate the installation, holes are pre-drilled through the top of the tray using a Kreg Tools Cabinet Hardware Jig. With this jig, you know exactly where to drill the holes for the handles.

Personalizing the Tray

My idea was to decorate the tray surface with text using a festive font and add a colorful design around the edge. My go-to sources for creative digital assets are Etsy and Creative Market. They offer so many choices and I like to support independent creators and artists.

I found the perfect font on Creative Market (La Fiesta” by Fontdation) and a fun digital clip art banner on Etsy (Fiesta Banners Digital Clipart by EmilyCromwellDesigns).

Round wood Taco Tuesday/Fiesta! Lazy Susan taco tray decorated with colorfully-painted pom poms around the edge.

I designed the stencil in Cricut Design Space and cut the vinyl stencil using my Cricut Maker. Using the stencil and the COLORSHOT Premium Paint Markers, I painted the tray.

If you don’t have a Cricut or a Silhouette cutting machine, you can find stencils at your craft store. You even find COLORSHOT alphabet stencils at The Home Depot.

After the paint was dry, I added a clear protective finish to the wood. Because I assume that the polyurethane finish is NOT food-safe, I do not intend to put food directly on the serving tray.

One more thing to note is that the polyurethane doesn’t make the wood waterproof. So the tray should not be submerged or drenched in water. Instead, it will need to be cleaned with a damp rag.

Taco Night Tablescape with lazy susan serving tray full of tacos.

How to Make a DIY Taco Tuesday Tray

Here’s What I Used

Materials for Making the Lazy Susan Tray

Materials for Decorating the Tray

Tools for Making the Lazy Susan Tray

Tools for Decorating the Tray

Project Steps

1. Sand Wood Rounds

Sanding the wood rounds with a random orbit sander

The Lazy Susan serving tray consists of two wood rounds, an 18″ top and a 12″ base. I found both of these pre-cut, factory-sanded wood circles at the local home improvement store.

Although the board are factory-sanded, additional sanding is needed to prepare the wood for staining and painting.

Safety first! Before sanding, put on protective gear because saw dust is dangerous. Wear a dust mask for your lungs, safety glasses for your eyes, and hearing protection for your ears.  

Person wearing safety classes, a dust mask and hearing protection. This personal protection equipment helps protect the user when sanding wood.
Protect your eyes, lungs and ears!

Sand the project using progressively finer grits of sandpaper and a random orbit sander. If the wood is in good shape, start with 150 grit sandpaper. Vacuum the dust off or wipe it away with a tack cloth. To use a tack cloth, unfold the cloth and create a bubble or poof. Use it to gently remove the dust from the wood surface  

Forming a bubble/poof with a tack cloth to be used to remove dust from a sanded wood surface.

Next use 180 grit sandpaper and remove the dust. Finally, sand with 220 grit paper and remove the dust. When sanding the edges, it’s easier to use a sanding sponge instead of the sander.

Sanding edges of wood round with a sanding sponge.

2. Prepare Wood with Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Jar of Behr Pre Stain Wood Conditioner

Apply Behr Water-Based Pre Stain wood conditioner. This prepares wood surfaces for water-based staining. Wood conditioner helps ensure even and consistent penetration of the water-based stain.

Note: use all-water based products for this project (water-based pre-stain, stain, and clear finish). Don’t mix water-based for some elements and oil-based for others.

Before use, stir the wood conditioner thoroughly before (don’t shake the container or thin the solution).

Mixing pre-stain wood conditioner with a painting stick.

The conditioner can be applied using a nylon or nylon/polyester brush or a saturated clean cloth. I used a lint-free cloth to condition and stain the wood.

Using a clean cloth saturated with pre-stain wood conditioner to treat the wood before staining it.
Applying wood conditioner to the wood serving tray

Apply the conditioner liberally to all areas of the wood surface including edges. Let the conditioner soak into the wood for 5-10 minutes. After that time, clean up any noticeable excess Pre-Stain with a clean, dry cloth.

Before staining the wood, allow the Pre-Stain to dry for up to 20 minutes and then lightly sand the board. The sanding is necessary because moisture from the Pre Stain raises the grain in the wood making it fuzzy. Lightly sand with a 220 grit sanding sponge to knock down the fuzzies (as shown in the image below). 

Raised grain on the edge of wood treated with pre stain wood conditioner.

After sanding, remove dust with the tack cloth.

3: Stain Wood Boards

Small container of Behr Wood Stain and supplies needed to stain the wood, including plastic gloves, painter's tape, a white cloth and a tin tray.

Stain wood with a water-based stain. I chose BEHR Fast Drying Water-Based Wood Stain in Early-American for my serving tray. Stir the stain thoroughly with a paint stick (don’t thin or shake). Pour stain into a smaller container.  

Pouring wood stain into a disposable tin.

Use a brush or clean cloth to apply the stain. Dip the brush or cloth into the container of stain and apply it to the wood in the direction of the grain. Aim for uniform coverage and avoid having any uneven pools of stain sitting on the wood.

Applying stain to wood using a clean cloth.

Allow the stain soak into the wood for 5-10 minutes and then remove unabsorbed stain with a clean cloth. Wipe in the direction of the grain. Use the cloth to blending light and dark areas to obtain a uniform color. Don’t let any unabsorbed stain dry on the wood surface.

Using a clean cloth to wipe excess stain from a wood board after the stain sat on the wood for about 10 minutes.

Wait at least an hour for the stain to dry before attaching the Lazy Susan hardware/swivel plate.

4. Attach Lazy Susan Hardware

Next attach the Lazy Susan hardware (that is, the swivel plate).  Make sure to use the screws with the appropriate length and type for your hardware and the thickness of your wood rounds.

I used #6 x ½” wood screws to attach a 6″ square swivel plate to the top side of the base piece of wood. To attach the plate to the underside of the the top board, I used #6 x ¾” screws and a #6 flat washer.

Find Center of Boards and Draw an X: Find the center of each circular board then draw 2 perpendicular lines through the center point forming an “X” on each.  The hardware will be attached along these lines.

Mark Screw Locations in Bottom Board: Start by aligning the swivel plate on the top side of the bottom board. Make sure you can see the lines of the X through the 4 small mounting holes in the plate. Use a pencil to mark the screw locations.

Marking the placement of the screws along the perpendicular lines on the top of the base plate.

Mark Location of Access Hole in Bottom Board: Without removing the swivel plate, turn the other portion of the swivel plate so that one of the larger holes is between two of the lines of the X. Use a pencil to note this location. You will use this location to drill a larger access hole through which screws are later used to attach the plate to the top board.  

Marking the location of the access hole using one of the large holes in the Lazy Susan swivel plate locate between two of the perpendicular lines.

Drill Pilot Holes in Base Plate: Remove the base plate from the bottom board. With a small drill bit, drill small pilot holes in the 4 marks placed on the “X” (do NOT drill all the way through the wood). 

Drill Access Hole in Base Board: Using a larger drill bit (I used 3/8” drill bit), drill the access hole all the way though the board in the 5th location between two of the lines on the X.).

Drilling an access hole with a larger drill bit into the bottom board

Mark the Screw Locations on the Top Board and Drill Pilot Holes: Align the top face of the plate with the top board. Make sure you can see the lines of the X through the 4 mounting holes. Mark the hole locations.

Marking the placement of the Lazy Susan swivel plate along two perpendicular lines on the underside of the top of the serving tray.

Drill pilot holes into the locations just marked on the top board (do not drill all the way through the wood).

Drilling pilot holes into the perpendicular lines on the underside of the top board of the serving tray. These will be used to attach the Lazy Susan swivel plate to the top board.

Attach Plate to Base Board: Align the access holes with the pilot holes on the X on the base board. Using ½” screws, attach the plate to the base piece of wood. 

Attaching the Lazy Susan swivel plate to the top of the smaller base board using small screws.

Align Plate with Holes on Top Board: Place the base board on the top board. Using the access hole in the base board, align each of the 4 holes in the plate with pilot holes on the X in the top board. Aligning the holes in the plate with the holes in the board one at a time through the access hole will take a bit of time; just be patient.

Attach Plate to Top Board: Once the holes are aligned, use the 4 longer screws and a washer for each screw to attach the plate to the top board through the access hole in the bottom board. 

Placing a small washer on the screw before using the combination to attach the Lazy Susan swivel plate to the top of the serving tray.
Attaching the Lazy Susan hardware to the underside of the top board by inserting a screw and washer through the access hole in the bottom of the base board.

5. Drill Pilot Holes for Handles

Drill holes into the top wood board; these will be used to attach the handles in a later step. Using a Kreg Tools Cabinet Hardware Jig makes it easier to determine where to place the holes. The jig also makes it easier to drill mounting straight holes.

Kreg Tools Cabinet Hardware Jig used to place and drill holes for the taco tray handles.

Align the jig’s Drill Guides so they match the dimensions of the handle. I used drawer pulls that measured 3 inches center-to-center between the screws. The enter-to-center is the distance between the center of one screw hole to the center of the other. Note: the picture above was taken before I moved the Drill Guides to the 3″ location.

Adjust the Edge Guide on the jig so it is the intended distance from the edge of the tray.

Mark a centerline between screws on the tray (this represents where you want to place the handle). Position the jig with the Edge Guide against the edges of the tray and the centerline that you marked on the tray visible in the Centerline Window of the jig. Clamp the jig to the tray and the table. 

Using a 3/16″ drill bit, insert the drill bit into the Drill Guides of the jig and drill the holes.

Drilling holes in the wood taco tray using the Kreg Tools Cabinet Hardware Jig.
Drilling holes in the wood taco tray using the Kreg Tools Cabinet Hardware Jig.

The handles themselves will not be added during this step. They are attached to the tray after the paint and final protective coating are applied

6. Create Stencil for Design in Cricut Design Space

Note: as an alternative to using a Cricut or other electronic cutting machine to design and cut a stencil, you can use a pre-made stencil or paint your own design directly on the tray.

I created my stencil in Cricut Design Space. To help create the right size stencil, start by inserting an 18” circle (the same size as the wood round used for the tray). Use this circle to plan the size, curvature, and placement of the text and designs.

I used the font “La Fiesta” to create the words “Taco Tuesday” and “Fiesta!”  Using a design from EmilyCromwellDesigns, I created a pom pom border around the end of the tray. I had to upload the font and design to Design Space since I purchased them from a 3rd party. If you do not know how to upload a new font, Jennifer Maker has a thorough tutorial on how to upload fonts to Cricut Design Space.

I adjusted the sizes, position, and degree of text curvature until I found the combination I liked.

The images below show the dimensions of the various design elements in my template:

Screen shot of Cricut Design space showing the 17.224" by 17.223" dimensions of the stencil for painting the Taco Serving Tray.
Screen shot of Cricut Design space showing the 5.509" by 1.917" dimensions of the Fiesta! text portion of the stencil.
Screen shot of Cricut Design space showing the 11.934" by 3.963" dimensions of the Taco Tuesday text portion of the stencil.
Screen shot of Cricut Design space showing the 1.7681" by 8.668" dimensions of one segment of the pom pom border of the tray.

7. Cut Stencil Out of Permanent Vinyl using Cricut Maker

Cut the stencil out of permanent vinyl. The vinyl color does not matter since it is only being used as a stencil.

The stencil will be cut in multiple segments because the design is wider than the 12” cutting mat for the Cricut Maker.

Do not cut the original circle shape used to design the template.

Preview of the cut file in Cricut Design Space

Place the vinyl (facing up) on the standard grip cutting mat. I used the 12” x 24” mat because the designs were too large for the square mat.  Do not mirror the design. Select the cut setting for your vinyl and use the Cricut fine-point blade in the machine.

Cricut Maker electronic cutting machine cutting a stencil out of vinyl.

After the machine finishes cutting the vinyl, remove the vinyl from the mat.

Removing the vinyl from the cutting mat by flipping the mat over and peeling the mat from the back of the vinyl instead of pulling the vinyl off the mat.

Cut around the design elements and then weed the vinyl stencil. Remove the vinyl from the areas you plan to paint (leave the vinyl in the negative space on the stencil).

Using a Cricut tool to remove vinyl pom poms from the stencil (weeding the positive space and leaving the negative space).
Using a Cricut pick to weed the vinyl stencil.

8. Affix Stencil to Tray Top

Due to its size, I cut the design in segments (not as a single template). As a result, I had to piece the pom pom border design around the edge of the wood round to find the right placement. You may need to trim your design to make everything fit. For example, I had to cut off a couple pom poms on the final segment.

Trimming an excess section from the vinyl stencil so that the pieces of the stencil will encircle the wood taco serving tray.

Once you decided on the stencil placement, temporarily tape the design down to the wood with Painter’s tape until you transfer the stencil to the tray using transfer tape.

Use transfer tape to transfer your vinyl stencil to the wood. Scrape the transfer tape to make sure the vinyl has a good seal against the wood. Remove the transfer tape.

Using a scraper to scrape transfer tape to ensure the vinyl stencil sticks to the wood with a good seal.

9. Apply Thin Coat of Matte Mod Podge to Prevent Paint Bleed

To prevent paint from bleeding under the stencil, apply matte Mod Podge to the stencil before painting.

Using a makeup sponge to apply a light layer of matte Mod Podge to prevent paint from bleeding under the stencil.

Using a makeup sponge, apply a thin, uniform coat of matte Mod Podge to the stencil and to the cut out areas to be painted. Be careful not to get any Mod Podge on areas of the wood surface that you do not intend to paint.

Close up of stencil that was covered with matte Mod Podge to prevent paint from bleeding under the stencil.

Let the Mod Podge dry for at least 60 minutes before painting the tray.

10. Paint the Stencil

Use COLORSHOT premium markers to paint the stencil.

Shake the pens with the cap on before use to mix the paint. Remove the cap and pump the marker tip up and down on a separate test surface until the paint flows (I used a notepad I had sitting on my desk).

Side-by-side close-up images of the tip of a Colorshot market. The first has not been primed and the tip doesn't contain paint. The second has been pumped and the tip is now full of green paint.

Apply the paint to the stencil. Paint will be dry to the touch in about 30 minutes and will cure in 24 hours.

Using COLORSHOT Premium Paint Marker to a paint pom pom stencil on a wood serving tray.
Using a COLORSHOT premium paint marker to paint a thin line on a stencil.

After you have finished painting, clean excess paint from the marker tip. If needed, you can remove the tip from the marker and rinse the tip under running water. Be careful when replacing the cap to prevent damaging the tip of the marker.

11. Carefully Remove Stencil

Taco serving tray covered by painted stencil.

After about an hour or two, check to see if you can remove the stencil cleanly. I mistakenly left the vinyl stencil on my wood tray overnight. I should have removed the stencil much earlier, because I damaged the wood when peeling off the vinyl

Peeling the stencil from painted taco serving tray.
Using a Cricut pick to remove the stencil from the painted taco serving tray.
Image of wood damage caused by leaving the vinyl stencil on too long before removing it.

As a result, I had to carefully re-sand my tray (including tediously sanding around the painted areas). Then I re-applied a coat of stain. I also had to touch-up the paint on some of the letters.

Sanding the wood damaged from leaving the permanent vinyl stencil on too long.

I do NOT recommend this approach so don’t wait too long before removing the stencil.

12. Apply Clear Top Coat after Paint

After 24 hours, the paint should be dried and cured. Apply a clear protective finish to the wood. I used BEHR Fast Drying Water-Based Polyurethane Aerosol in a matte sheen.

Wear a paint respirator for this step to protect your lungs and spray in a well-ventilated area.

After shaking the can for a minute, hold the can about 12 inches from surface of the tray. Using an even, sweeping motion with slightly overlapping strokes, apply a thin coat to the surface.

Spraying Behr Matte Clear Water-Based Interior Fast Drying Polyurethane Sealer Aerosol to the top of the stained and painted Taco Tuesday tray to protect it.

Add a second coat of the poly within an hour of the first coat. If you can’t recoat in that hour widow, you will need to wait a minimum of 72 hours before lightly sanding and recoating the wood.

After the final coat, wait at least 24 hours before using the tray.

I assume that the Polyurethane coat is not food safe. Therefore, don’t place food directly on the tray. Instead, use serving dishes on top of the Lazy Susan

13. Attach Handles

Because of the thickness of the wood tray, the 1” machine screws that came with the handles were too short. I found longer machine screws at my local home improvement store that worked perfectly (#8-32 x 1 ½” machine screws).

Close up of the handle being attached to a machine screw that was inserted up from the bottom of the serving tray.

Insert screws up from the bottom of the tray through the mounting holes. Attach the handle (I screwed in one side almost completely and then lined up the other screw. Then I flipped the tray over and tightened both screws from the bottom of the tray.

Using a screwdriver to attach a machine screw to through the taco serving tray into the handle.

14. Attach Felt Pads to Bottom to Protect Your Table (Optional)

To help prevent the wood from scratching the table, you can add felt pads to the bottom of the Lazy Susan base.

Taco Tuesday Tablescape and Crafts

I was super happy with the way my tray turned out and decided to create a festive, Taco Tuesday tablescape around it. Find out how I used the COLORSHOT markers to make matching wood napkin rings in this blog post.

Get Your Color on Challenge Results!

Graphic showing the 7 bloggers participating in the Get Your Color On Challenge!

Click on the blog names below to check out what the others created using COLORSHOT Premium Paint Markers!

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Cindy Rust

Thursday 29th of July 2021

Great tray Anne! Taco Tuesday is the perfect reason to have a new tray! Pinned!

Anne

Friday 30th of July 2021

Thanks Cindy!!!

[email protected]

Thursday 29th of July 2021

I love what you created!

admin

Thursday 29th of July 2021

Thank you Paula!

Marie

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

Great job on your tray! I didn't realize it is handmade! The photos of your tacos made me hungry lol. Happy to do this challenge with you!

admin

Thursday 29th of July 2021

Thanks Marie! It was fun doing the challenge with you too!!

Diane

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

So cute! And I appreciate how thorough your tutorial is. Great job!!!

admin

Thursday 29th of July 2021

Thank you Diane!

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