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July 4th Star Tray with a Homemade Stencil

Today I’m sharing an easy craft that you can reproduce with any type of wood tray or board. This July 4th Star Tray can be adapted and changed to your liking or even to your country.

July 4th Star Tray with flags.

If you’re American then you know how special the 4th of July is to every American. If you live in another part of the world then I expect your national independence holiday is just as special to you.

National Pride is something you have in common with your fellow citizens, and it’s something to cherish!

I love celebrating with family and friends each year!

Now, onto the project.

This open slat tray I bought at a thrift store for maybe $0.50. I think it might have been the base of a gift basket or something similar. I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d do with it so it sat in the garage for a long time.

July 4th Star Tray before the painting begins.

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July 4th Star Tray Supplies

Once I figured out what I was going to make I grabbed my craft paints and got busy.  I taped the sides because I wasn’t sure if I was going to paint the entire tray.

Painting red stripes on July 4th star tray.

You don’t have to be too particular when applying the paint.  I just wanted it to cover and I carefully painted the edges of the slats too.

July 4th Star Tray getting white stripes painted.

Figuring out where to incorporate the blue gave me some trouble. Digging around in the garage I found some 1/4″ thick plywood scraps and decided to make one giant raised star.

Cutting out a Wooden Star

After finding a shape I liked I just traced the star for my July 4th Star Tray onto the plywood and get out the Jigsaw.

Star template for the July 4th Star tray

More Jigsaw Projects
Outdoor Plant StandDIY Tiffany MirrorDIY Yarn Bowl

Make sure you’re using the right blade for the material you’re cutting. The more teeth per inch the finer and cleaner the cut.

Using the jigsaw to cut the star for the July 4th Star tray.

The edges and top of the star were sanded to smooth them. I gave it a coat of a deep blue and while that dried I got busy making my stencil.

More Patriotic Projects
July 4th WreathPatriotic Mason Jar CenterpiecesWreath Roundup

Deep blue paint on the star for the July 4th Star tray

Steps to make your own stencil

I don’t have a picture of cutting the actual stencil but here’s the process if you want to make your own star stencil:

  • Find a star you like and using a Word document paste enough stars evenly on one row to cover the width desired.
  • Print the stars onto white paper.
  • Cover with a clear piece of plastic (I used an old clear file folder sleeve) tape it in place and started cutting.
  • I used the Stencil Cutting Tip on the Wood Burning Kit and carefully cut out all the stars in just one row.

The process went really well.  Since I used the wood burning tool which has a knife attachment, I didn’t have to press too hard into the plastic.  You can see below where I cut into the paper below.  Some were a bit wonky but no one will really see it.

Finishing the stencil for the July 4th Star Tray.

After I tested it out with the stencil pouncer on a paint stick and found my new stencil worked well I was ready for action.

Testing the stencil for the July 4th Star Tray.

Take a few minutes to plan for the best spacing before you begin to stencil. Starting at the top I moved the stencil so the stars looked like those on our US Flag.  (good grief, nice paint under the fingernails 🙂 )

July 4th Star Tray with stars stenciled in white craft paint.

Originally I thought about placing the star right in the center but decided my July 4th Star Tray would look better with the giant it in the corner similar to our Flag.

After attaching it with a glue gun I only needed to find a good spot to display it.  We don’t have a mantel so when we’re not using the pellet stove to heat the house I like to put some cute decor stuff on there.

I think this little patriotic vignette looks great for the 4th of July to celebrate our Independence Day.

Bear holding american flag by the July 4th Star Tray.

This little bear I’ve had since my corporate work days.  The company mascot was the California Grizzley so we all had some sort of bears at our desks.  I love this patriotic little guy 🙂

July 4th Star Tray and flag bear.

You can never have too many little flags for the 4th. These look really great in my grandma’s antique sugar shaker jar.

July 4th star tray and bear with flag.
July 4th Star Tray with flags.
July 4th Star tray ready for the party.

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Closeup of July 4th Star Tray.
Bear holding american flag by the July 4th Star Tray.

I hope this project has inspired you to get your crafty on and create a beautiful and Patriotic project to celebrate our Independence Day!


Tuesday 4th of July 2017

I love your tray!! It will be one of features for Celebrate the USA party! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

Toni Harvey

Sunday 16th of July 2017

What a nice surprise Marci, Sorry I missed seeing this until just now but it made me very happy.

Kimm at Reinvented

Saturday 1st of July 2017 took a minute and made a plan and then you got perfect stars?? Huh, maybe I should try that... ;) I'm definitely not the planner around here...but your flag tray looks SO GOOD I might just try it. :) LOVE the bear too!

Toni Harvey

Saturday 1st of July 2017

You know, I want to just wing it sometimes but my ocd brain seriously won't let me get away with it. Now, if my ocd would only kick in when it comes to housework :D

Thanks so much for the kind words, I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out :)

Victoria at DazzleWhileFrazzled

Saturday 1st of July 2017

Great idea Toni! I don't have your wood-cutting skills as I'm too afraid of losing a finger!! Visiting from Inspired Makers Challenge.

Toni Harvey

Saturday 1st of July 2017

Victoria, you should give it a try, the jigsaw is very safe to operate.

Sam - Raggedy Bits

Friday 30th of June 2017

What a cute tray!! I am sure that you will be using it lots this coming weekend! Well done on cutting out all of those little stars! It looks like a bought stencil!! Fabulous job!

Toni Harvey

Saturday 1st of July 2017

You are so sweet! Some of them are a bit lopsided but overall they look pretty good. I kept it because you never know when you need some stars on something :)


Friday 30th of June 2017

I love your tray Toni! Your star is wonderful and the little stars on it make it perfect. Have a wonderful 4th of July!!

Toni Harvey

Saturday 1st of July 2017

Thank you Susanne, I hope your 4th of July holiday weekend is a beautiful one!