Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Anthro Knock-Off: Stacking Wood Trays

I have been coveting these wood trays from Anthropologie for the last 6 months but their steep price tag put the brakes on any intent I might have had to buy them. I mean, $128 for 3 wooden desk trays?! No thank you. Thankfully the knock-off challenge at SYTYC came bright and early this season so I finally had the motivation to make a set for myself.

They are the perfect addition to my newly organized office console, dontcha think? I started with some plain wooden trays for $7.99 a piece and added some dividers. After painting on the wording, I added a brass card holder/pull to each tray and called it a day. I guess you want better instructions than that? Check out the step by step below!

1. Start with some awesome drawer inserts. I found mine at HomeGoods after searching high and low for a couple of weeks.

2. Print out the text that you want to transfer to your boxes. Be sure to size it appropriately. Print & cut.

3. Tape the piece of paper in the position you want it on the wood. Trace over the outline of the text with a pen and a TON of pressure. Well, maybe not a ton exactly, but as hard as you can.

When you remove the paper, you should have a pretty clear outline left:

4. Paint inside the lines with the thinnest brush you have.

5. Set each tray aside to dry as you do the next piece. Go back and do three of the four sides. (I did the right side on the front and the edge closest to the front on each of the sides)

Now you're ready to add the brass bookplates! I found this adhesive variety at Staples in the Martha Stewart aisle.

6. The bookplates on the front of the Anthro originals did not have a background so I had to fix that on the set that I picked up. Using an xacto knife, cut around the inside of the bookplate.

When you're done, they'll look like this:

7. Apply the bookplates to the front center of the tray

8. Repeat on the rest of the trays, being sure to have the bookplates line up.

9. Now that you're done making the trays, you are ready to toss all of your office supplies into the little slots and call it a day!

So, for a little over $25 I got this awesome set. How do you think it compares to the original?

I'm linking to:


  1. Fantastic! It must be 'hack a tray' week here in PA because I did a zGallerie knock off this week!

  2. Ha ha, I knew it! ;-) These are awesome, and I love how craftily you used a ballpoint pen to transfer the outlines onto the paper, that's totally something I can get on board with!


    PS That turquoise box is so gorgeous, too!

  3. Love these trays!! Might have to give these a try. I'm always looking for better ways to organize my overflowing amount of pens, papers, and office supplies. It's great that you used drawer inserts!


  4. These are seriously cute! I have such a soft spot for the whole library card catalog look. Also martha stewart aisle? I definitely need to check that out haha
    xo Kelsey @ Time Stand Still

  5. Love these! They look even better than the others! super super cute, I'm pinning for sure!

  6. So cool! What a great knock off. Pinning and adding to me to do list! :)
    - Lora

  7. What a great idea! I need to get organized on my dresser this way. Thank you for sharing! I’d love to have you visit me at Get Your Crap Together! We have a Pattern Party from the 1st of the month to the 10th and would love you to check it out. See you soon!

  8. this is so cute! i love the idea:) totally pinning it to use for my office update

    1. So glad you liked it! I'd love to see your office when it's complete :)

  9. I'm in the process of designing my craft room/office. I'll be incorporating these into the design. Pinned

    Hugs, Smiles & Blessings,
    Fluster Buster
    Creativity Inspired by Frustration

  10. Did I miss it? Where did you buy your trays? I just love this, and need it.

    1. I'm so sorry I didn't see this sooner. I bought this set from HomeGoods but I'm sure any place like that (Ross, TJ Maxx, Tuesday Mornings) will also have them at a reasonable price.


Feel free to share your thoughts or questions. You make my day!

xo Jess

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