Introduction: Upcycled Coffee Stained Tray With CD Mosaic

I am going to build a serving tray from upcycled materials. I am building the tray itself from scrap plywood, staining the wood with coffee, then creating a mosaic with old CDs on the base of the tray. This process takes a bit of time, and I built the tray in a wood shop.

Step 1: Step 1: Find Wood


Scrap Plywood

Band Saw

Nail Gun

Right Angle Ruler


First, I found the biggest pieces of wood I could find which was about 18x12 inch pieces of plywood. Next, using a right angle ruler I traced lines on my wood so I could cut a perfect rectangle using a band saw in the wood shop.

Step 2: Step 2: Cut Out Length Pieces

After cutting out a perfect rectangle I measured each side of the base. On your second piece of scrap wood mark with a pencil the lengths and make each piece 2 inches high.

After cutting out the lengths, use a nail gun connect the sides. I placed my side pieces on the perpendicular to the base piece. Nail from the outside of tray into the base.

Begin nailing from the edges first and making your way to the center (about 4 nails).

Step 3: Step 3: Cut Out Width Pieces

Now for the width pieces we are going to insert them on top of the base between the sides we have already attached. So the height of the shorter pieces should be under 2 inches and the length is equal to that side of the board. This took me some time to make the pieces perfectly fit. You should be able to slide in these pieces on to the edges and nail them from the bottom, then from the sides.

Then you have made your tray!

Step 4: Step 4: Coffee Stain

Coffee Stain


cup of coffee grounds (Pete’s brand)

1 ¼ cup of boiling water

Coffee filter

Mesh strainer


Boil water and pour over grounds and let sit for 30 minutes.

Set up the mesh strainer over a bowl. Inside the mesh strainer place a coffee filter as seen in the picture.

Next pour coffee and the grounds thorugh a mesh strainer and into a bowl.

Now set up your workspace by covering tables and/or the ground with newspaper (or whatever you choose). Prepare your tray by wiping it off with a rug. Now with your paintbrush begin painting the wood.

I painted with the grain of the wood, and coated it twice.

Step 5: Step 5: CD Mosaic


Scissors (normal scissors okay)

CDs (6-10)

Gorilla Glue

While your tray is drying you can begin to break up your CDs. I used any old CDs and DVDs I could find in my house.

I first began bending them, and I found that some broke better than others. Also, some CDs could be cut well with scissors without shattering.

I then planned out my mosaic organization by completely filling the tray with pieces of the CDs.

Once I felt comfortable with the layout I used my gorilla glue to secure the pieces.

Step 6: Project Complete!

Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome of this project. The coffee stain is a subtle touch and I love how the CD mosaic came out. I cannot wait to use this!