Farmhouse Friday: Ballard Designs Tobacco Tray Knock-Off

June 1, 2018


DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles

Okay you guys I'm super excited to share this awesome Ballard Designs Tobacco Tray Knock-Off project with you all today! I haven't gotten my knock-off mojo on in a LONG time so it felt really good to DIY a piece of home decor I love for a fraction of the retail price.

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tobacco tray basket leather handles coffee table

It's no secret that I'm a big farmhouse decor fan. Some farmhouse home decor pieces I can pick up in thrift stores and some, not so much. So when I came across this tobacco "tray" in a recent Ballard Designs catalog I KNEW I could make it myself for pennies compared to the catalog price of $129.00. Yeah, $129.00. Okay, so I didn't make the basket per se, but I did turn it into a tray!

tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines coffee table

Isn't this fabulous? I'd never seen a tobacco basket used as a tray before and I loved how it looked with the leather handles and round feet. These pictures don't show it but the catalog photos clearly show the feet underneath it. So I got to thinking and came up with my very own version of a tobacco tray.

Square tobacco basket galvanized industrial accents

I originally went to Hobby Lobby planning to pick up a whitewashed tobacco basket, but when I saw this square one I loved the galvanized metal accents - it was the first time I'd seen anything like it and knew right away that this square tobacco basket was "the one". I paid $10.00 after the 50% off sale. If you don't have a Hobby Lobby near you you can always get similar galvanized tobacco baskets online. It's a great size, too -- 16 inches by 16 inches.

Realeather Crafts leather strips

I originally thought I'd use an old leather belt for the handles but I couldn't find one that matched my vision, so my search led me to Joann's for some craft leather. After the 40% off coupon the leather cost me all of $4.00 (and I have some left over for other projects). Never mind that I had no idea how I was going to cut the leather or how I was going to attach it to the basket!

mini wood slices for crafting

I also picked up a bag of mini wood slices to use for the feet. They looked to be about the right height and they were certainly in line with the rustic farmhouse look I was going for. Cost: $4.99 -- certainly a little steep in my opinion, but I felt that I really needed them to complete the look.

 Realeather Crafts leather strips tobacco tray handles mini wood slices

So there you have it:



DIY Tobacco Tray Supply List


1. Tobacco basket

2. Leather for handles (old belt if you have one)

3.  Wood slices for feet (optional)

4. Glue gun

5. Glue sticks

6. Craft scissors


one inch wide leather strips tobacco tray handles

These are the leather strips I cut down from the original sheet of leather. All it took was a pair of  regular craft scissors! It was really soft, supple leather. I figured out the right size of the handles by grabbing a few things from around the house that could stand in for the handles. The winner? Don't laugh but I ended up using what we call a Croakie -- or a sunglasses retainer. You know, the thing that you put the "arms" of your sunglasses into that lets you wear them around your neck? It just happened to be the width I thought I'd need -- one inch wide -- and approximately 11 inches long. So I placed the Croakie on the back side of the leather and just traced it out, then cut it, twice.

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles

Once I had that figured out it was smooth sailing from there. All I did was use my glue gun to attach the leather strips to the basket in just the right place for handles. Luckily there was already a natural separation between the wood strips so that I could just sneak the leather strips invisibly between them and add some hot glue. As I was about to add the wood slices for feet I decided that it didn't really need feet after all. So I was done!

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse

And voila! I was already a huge fan of tobacco baskets, so this just made me love them even more!

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse

The tray, magazines and my DIY farmhouse wood bead garland really makes for a lovely coffee table vignette that's absolutely perfect for my French farmhouse living room.

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse

 I really do think the handles look like they were original to the "tray".

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse

I was a little worried that they would be too floppy, but they both stand up independently.

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse


DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles wood bead garland farmhouse

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles wood bead garland farmhouse

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines farmhouse

Flea Market Style magazine, as well as The Cottage Journal: French Cottage magazine hiding underneath it, were given to me by my sweet husband this past Mother's Day. He knows me all too well! Throw in a few Country Living magazines and Martha Stewart Living magazines and you're all set.  

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse

DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse

I'll use the tray for magazines, battery-powered candles, potted plants and other natural elements like large moss and/or boxwood balls. And I can also use the tray as a wall hanging all by itself. I feel very lucky to have stumbled across the Ballard Designs catalog that featured their tobacco basket tray -- it was a great inspiration for me to create my own! Theirs: $129.00 Mine: $14.00.   

Well, that's it until next time, friends! 
I hope you enjoyed reading 
Farmhouse Friday: Ballard Designs
 Tobacco Tray Knock-Off.

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DIY tobacco tray basket leather handles magazines wood bead garland farmhouse


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Leave a Comment!

My thrift store addiction said...

Love how this turned out Kathleen! Great job ;)

The Charm of Home said...

Awesome Kathleen! I haven't been to this blog before, it is lovely. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

Carol TheAnswerIsChocolate said...

Love, love, love Kathleen! Featuring when my party opens up tonight. Thanks for sharing!

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