Distressed Wood Fruit

I’m guessing that in their former life, these fruit shaped wooden trays were probably meant to hold sliced cheese, fresh fruit, crackers and other finger foods. I found all three of these at the Salvation Army thrift store while perusing for plates for my plate wall. I grabbed them immediately and put them in the cart. They reminded me of the French fruit wall art I made for the kitchen a few months ago and I knew they’d be a perfect fit.

However, their current state wasn’t exactly what I was going for. We (my kids and I) determined that the two smaller ones were pears, pretty easy to figure out, and that the larger one was a butternut squash. My son’s first guess was a pumpkin, but after looking at it a bit more, I knew it had to be butternut based on its shape and the stem. I haven’t used butternut squash a whole lot, but I did make these amazing vanilla maple butternut muffins with a maple glaze. Oh my!

Vanilla Maple Butternut Muffins 

But I digress…

I had the perfect spot, above my stove, so I went to work using the natural colors of these fruits and a distressing technique that’s very easy to accomplish. Ready?

First I sanded them down to remove any glossy finish.

Then I painted each one with the appropriate color. The pears were a dark shade of red and green and the squash a mustard type yellow.

ANOTHER CRAFTY IDEA >>  Dictionary Magnets with Crafty Words

After letting the base color dry completely, I painted a vintage white over the top of each one.

While still wet, use a piece of masking tape to lift off some of the paint.

Let this dry completely before continuing.

Yay power tools! Grab your little power sander (yes you can use sandpaper, but you really need to get yourself one of these. Or borrow your husband’s enough where he’ll buy a replacement. hee hee.) and sand the edges. You want to reveal the color underneath the white layer.

I had to use some regular sandpaper for this too since the fruit is rounded like a shallow bowl. Since the sander can’t get into spots like that, having sheets of sandpaper on hand is imperative.

As you can see from the collage above, I sanded down to bare wood in some areas. When you’re all done, don’t forget to coat with a clear acrylic sealer. Because these are lightweight I was able to use wall putty to hang them. :)

See all my kitchen crafts here!

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  1. Leda says

    Wow, I've seen ugly wood fruit just like those in my thrift store and didn't buy them…now YOU make me feel sad that I didn't snatch them up! Great job!

  2. ~K @ VintageSkye says

    I have seen some of these platters at my local thrift store but couldn't figure out how to improve them, you hit it right on the nail!
    Lookin good!

  3. aaron says

    i like the technique… but i preferred the wood finish. why would wooden fruit be distressed? now, i'm sure this would look great on some cheap old furniture like a coffee table or a nightstand. just my opinion, though.

  4. Amanda says

    Thanks everyone!

    @aaron – not everyone will like them, and that's ok :) some do like the original look. I don't, but that's just my personal style. ;)

  5. Kristen Duke Photography says

    wow, very cute! I have a few projects waiting for my attention…I couldn't tell they were bowls at first, love them!

  6. Megan says

    Those are adorable Amanda! I have a place above my stove that needs some loven. Now I feel like a trip to the Salvation Army!

  7. Amanda says

    Thanks you guys! I know these aren't for everyone, and that some people liked them as they were beforehand, but I think they are a great fit for my kitchen :)

  8. [email protected] says

    You would be so much fun to go thrift store shopping with- you see so many possibilities in everything! Thanks for the great how-to, I'll be linking.

  9. Mod Podge Amy says

    Amanda! I agree with Rachel, you would be a blast to shop with! And you are really the most talented painter.

    PS – @aaron, I hope you don't go around the internet telling people what crafters of theirs you don't like. It's not very productive .. . . or nice. :(

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