Introduction: Grass Lunch Tray

I love eating my lunch in the park, but sometimes am too busy to leave my desk or to find a nearby green space. By combining a shallow serving tray with real grass I can take the park with me wherever I go, with the grass lunch tray!

Making your own is super easy, and having your own personal green space at your desk is bound to be an attention-getter at your office.
Let's make!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

Step 2: Cut Plastic Sheet

Picture of Cut Plastic Sheet

Unroll the plastic sheet to cover the entire bottom and sides of the serving tray. This plastic will act as a barrier between the sod and the surface of the tray and should be monolithic (no breaks or cuts in the plastic which water can seep through).

I cut a rough shape of plastic that was larger than I thought I would need, then draped it over the tray.

Step 3: Glue in Place

Picture of Glue in Place

Before trimming the plastic to the final dimensions I glued it in place.

Positioning the plastic where I wanted I used a dab of hot glue in each corner of the tray and then pressed the plastic into the glue, securing it in place. I glued the rest of the corners while gently pulling the plastic taut. Once the corners were glued down, I glued the edges of the plastic sheet to the inside of the serving tray.

Step 4: Trim Plastic

Picture of Trim Plastic
Once the glue had cooled I trimmed the excess plastic from the tray.

Since my serving tray had handles I also trimmed the plastic from around the handle openings so they would be usable.

Step 5: Rough Cut Sod

Picture of Rough Cut Sod

The smallest section of sod I could buy was 8sq.ft (4' x 2' section). Since this was too large for my serving tray I needed to cut it down to size.

Unrolling the sod outside, I cut a section a little larger than my serving tray with a putty knife.

Step 6: Trim Sod to Fit Tray

Picture of Trim Sod to Fit Tray

After the sod was cut to a rough shape it was placed into the lined serving tray. Then, the sod was trimmed to fit the serving tray perfectly.

Step 7: Add Drink Holder

Picture of Add Drink Holder

I wanted to include a sturdy place to hold my drink, so I cut out a section of sod using a 3" PVC coupler as a template.

I decided to trim down my 3" PVC coupler, as it was a little too tall. Next, I positioned the coupler on the sod near a corner and cut around it. After removing the section of sod I placed the PVC coupler in the opening to act as a retainer, keeping the sod clear of the opening.

Step 8: Lawn Haircut

Picture of Lawn Haircut

Like all lawns, this grass will also need to be trimmed. I used scissors to trim my grass down to a neat and tidy height.

Step 9: Dine at the Park

Picture of Dine at the Park

You're all set to enjoy your own personal slice of greenery in the concrete jungle. Place your plate and beverage on the tray, and step into your own personal tranquil park.

Have you made your own grass lunch tray? I want to see it!
Share a picture of your version of this project in the comments below and be awarded a 3-month Pro Membership on and a digital patch.

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live4ktm (author)2016-03-14

I'm afraid you have taken this "drought" scare too far, my friend !

Alexaluvu (author)2016-03-01

This looks really cool... I think that I will try to make it! Awesome idea!

SteveMann (author)2016-02-06

This is a great idea. I might try it for a portable hydraulophone (water-based musical instrument) maybe built into a grass tray, as a complete ecosystem.

More generally, a portable hydraulophone with biofiltration would be nice in a tray like this so we could play it anywhere, not just in pools and fountains.

mikeasaurus (author)SteveMann2016-02-08

That's a great idea, and that video is amazing! I'd love to see your results, please share.

Good luck!

SteveMann (author)2016-02-06

This is a great idea. I might try it for a portable hydraulophone (water-based musical instrument) maybe built into a grass tray, as a complete ecosystem.

More generally, a portable hydraulophone with biofiltration would be nice in a tray like this so we could play it anywhere, not just in pools and fountains.

collinsarthur (author)2015-11-21

Great idea

MikeM171 (author)2015-11-09

Order the mahi mahi for lunch and you got an automatic surf & turf.

MikeM171 (author)2015-11-09

Cool. How bout a little checkered picnic blanket, and put Ken and Barbie on there? Then they get drunk on cheap wine, fall asleep, and the ants come out and feast on them.

Bard (author)2014-09-28

thats is so cool now all you need is a matching lawn chair

seleniebeanie67 (author)2014-08-12

this is cool...I'm waiting for you to "invent" a little lawn mower to trim it :D

Or, you know, a remote controlled mini tractor or something. LOL

Jchoochie (author)2014-08-13

A little lawn mower is needed.

gravityisweak (author)Jchoochie2014-08-18

Hahah! Yes! Next instructable: Teeny Working Lawnmower.

MAAgius (author)Jchoochie2014-08-14

Or some very small sheep.

Lady Microfleegie II (author)2014-08-17

This is absolutely great! Do you have to water the grass? How would it work for long term use? C:

jessyratfink (author)2014-08-12

I'm famoussssssss!!

I love this project. It's so cute. :D

PitStoP (author)jessyratfink2014-08-15

Where are the ants???? =)

sunshiine (author)jessyratfink2014-08-12

LOL this is super awesome. I thought the picture might have been a family member and I guess you are! I did not recognize you. Love your dress. Keep shining you guys.


mikeasaurus (author)jessyratfink2014-08-12

Thanks for being my model, Jessy. You're welcome to use my grassy potable park whenever you like!

mtairymd (author)2014-08-15

I like it. The video was cool also.

El_Gato (author)2014-08-15

Laughed my Docks oft at the idea. great project, thanks for sharing!

sonicase (author)2014-08-15


hmm might be cool to do something like this for desktop mini golf

psargaco (author)2014-08-15

Love it! Sort of loony, but cool. The video is very good too.

mrandle (author)2014-08-15

This will go great with my hammock! Though now i'm thinking how cool would it be to have a whole dinner table like this. No need to worry about placemats and coasters!

bricobart (author)2014-08-15

In an esthetic way, one of your best projects. Nice tray, too.

crispernakisan (author)2014-08-14

Oh, geez... now I need to make one of these.

AuralVirus (author)2014-08-14


depotdevoid (author)2014-08-14

Awesome concept Mike!

mnmama (author)2014-08-13

Very clever. I'd love to make one, but my co-workers would be stealing it to practice putting into the drink holder. Cool idea!

Zabzab (author)2014-08-13

I love it =D

Monsterhigh2003 (author)2014-08-13

that is so cool that is a great idea for a lunch tray

ShakeTheFuture (author)2014-08-13

Love it. I would use it as a pillow for power sleep :)

WL3FromDC (author)2014-08-12

I thought that Sod needs real grass in order for it to keep growing. I may be wrong but great inscrutable

KemikalzAreFun (author)WL3FromDC2014-08-13

sod is real grass.. it's just been pre-grown, cut, and rolled up.. just so you know..

lindarose92 (author)2014-08-13

This is way too cool! Great idea!! :D

Kiteman (author)2014-08-12


Shouldn't you grow the grass from seed?

Oh, you don't need to use grass! A camomile lawn would smell nice, or mix in herbs with your grass seed. Or grow cress instead of grass, add parts of your "lawn" to your lunch.

Or you could create an entire bonzai garden to eat on...

mikeasaurus (author)Kiteman2014-08-12

The original concept was to have chives, mint, and other herbs growing with the grass and "graze". I'm happy with this as a starting point and adding more sections for the next version.

ChrysN (author)mikeasaurus2014-08-12

Having herbs with the grass sounds wonderful or leaf lettuce that you can pick the mature leaves and it keeps growing.

Kiteman (author)ChrysN2014-08-13

Heck, go the whole hog and cultivate a crop of salad leaves around your cubicle, then browse as you browse...

Treasure Tabby (author)2014-08-12

Great for humans. But also great for cats. They love grass too. Might be great for my birds too. :)

hunter999 (author)2014-08-12

This is so clever! How did I never think of this?! Awesome idea Mike, bringing the natural feeling to your workstation! :D

I think though it's kind of the environment outside with the breeze and sun shining, which makes eating in the park fun! Amazing job done though, voted :-)

Cheiron (author)hunter9992014-08-12

great idea!

you could add a small numbered flag to the drink holder when it's not in use as a serving tray.

sunshiine (author)2014-08-12

You are a genius! I will make one of these sometime for someone. I love the dandy lions. Hope you have a splendorous lunch again.


johnstat000 (author)2014-08-12

For anytime you feel a little like a cow...

Raitis (author)2014-08-12

Came here to see if the grass was real. Was not disappointed!

mikeasaurus (author)Raitis2014-08-12


EmKay73 (author)2014-08-12

I visited this whilst looking for a DIY 'real grass' patch for our dog. I would ask how the upkeep was going, but this post looks relatively new. I'll let you know how ours works out.

mikeasaurus (author)EmKay732014-08-12

After a week on my desk my grass is still healthy and green. It even grew a whole bunch over the weekend. I water it about every other day.

AngryRedhead (author)2014-08-12

Cute idea!

But as Kiteman suggested, this should really be grown from seed because of issues with bugs, existing pesticides, and dirt rather than potting soil. Even if you grow it from seed, you'll likely still have bugs and issues with keeping it alive with such shallow soil as most turf grass needs full sun. An easy alternative would be to use fake grass which would still be super cute.

mikeasaurus (author)AngryRedhead2014-08-12


I wanted to grow my own from seed, but am impatient. Considering I'm not eating the grass and my food is on a plate I don't think there's much to worry about with pesticides. Bugs would be another issue, but it's been happily living on my desk for over a week now and it's still healthy, and there's no bugs!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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