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How To Decorate Tiered Trays in 9 Easy Steps

Tiered trays are a great decor piece for many areas of your home. Learn how to decorate tiered trays in 9 easy steps.

Do you love an easy decor item that can be used in multiple places around your home?

An accent piece that can be changed for each season or holiday.

Then you need to go get yourself a tiered tray!

Seriously trays are probably one of the most versatile decorating items you can have in your home.

Tiered trays can be used in the kitchen on your counter or table…

or on a console table in a hallway or front entryway…

or even in a family room or office…

the options are endless as to where you can put a styled tiered tray in your home.

And once that tiered tray is decorated it serves as a beautiful decor element in your house.

Have a convinced you that you need a tiered tray in your life?


Oh good, now I can show you my 9 easy steps to decorate tiered trays! And you definitely do not want to miss #9!

1. Choose a Tiered Tray

empty three tiered tray with decor items to style tray laying on console table next to window

First, you’ll need to choose a tiered tray to fit your style.

There are many different kinds of tiered trays…2 tiers, 3 tiers, wood, metal, or painted.

Just find one that you love and matches your home decor.

Anne’s style is a bit french country so she loves this pretty metal wire 3 tiered tray above.

two tiered galvanized tray on table with decor styling items next to it on either side

Mine is a rustic galvanized two tiered tray since my house is more of a modern farmhouse style .

Check out all the amazing tiered tray options we found below.

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2. Pick a Theme for Styling the Tray

galvanized tiered tray decorated with American flags and other patriotic decor items

Holidays are an excellent time to style a tiered tray.

Christmas, Easter and Halloween are easy holidays to spread a little extra fun decor around your home.

But how many of us decorate for the “smaller” holidays like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July?

A patriotic tiered tray gives you a bit of summer holiday spirit!

It could also be fun to style a tiered tray for a birthday or mother’s day.

winter tier tray with pinecones ceramic bird bottle brush trees and greenery

Seasons are another way to choose a theme for styling a tiered tray.

Once Christmas is over and the holiday decorations are put away my house always looks a bit bare.

Why not style a tiered tray with winter decor to make your home feel a bit cozy?

3. Coordinate the Color Scheme

two tiered tray decorated for Halloween with fabric pumpkins and wood accents

Be sure to coordinate your colors when putting together your decor pieces on your tray.

With all the items so close to each other on your tiers you don’t want to have too many colors because it could start to look messy.

My Halloween tiered tray focuses on black, orange, and white. All the items using this color scheme coordinate well together to create a cohesive look.

three tiered tray on coffee table in family room with couch in background tray decorated with neutral element and colors

Anne’s fall tiered tray is styled with yellow, brown, cream and green colors that look so natural together.

When layering so many items together on each tier be sure all your colors blend together to reflect what you’d find in nature.

4. Use Anchor or Focal Points

galvanized two tiered tray with canister that has gather on it on bottom and thankful mug with hello fall sign on top tier

Some may say to use just one anchor piece on the bottom level of your tiered tray.

But I usually add a larger anchor piece on the bottom and another smaller focal point on the top tier.

The idea is that you want to have a bigger anchor piece as the starting off point for all the other decor items that you will fill in around that larger thing.

So for my fall tiered tray, I used a larger Rae Dunn canister on the bottom tier and a Thankful mug and Hello Fall sign on the top tier.

tiered tray decorated with Rae Dunn pottery sweater pumpkins and wood accents

I’d consider all three items anchor pieces for styling this tray.

Then I filled in around the focal items with decorative orbs and diy sweater pumpkins.

But you can see how each of those three original items stands out as the anchor pieces once the tiered fall tray is complete.

5. How to Add Filler when Styling a Tiered Tray

tiered tray decorated with easter filler with eggs bunnies and greenery

After you have your anchor pieces in place the fun can begin with adding filler.

Filler can be anything! Well maybe not anything but get creative and add things that go with the theme of your tiered tray. Have fun with it!

For this Easter tray, I added small moss-covered spheres and larger grapevine orbs mixed with twine eggs and a small bird’s nest.

You may also notice that I usually add a string of wood and twine beads to my tiered trays. Aren’t they so fun hanging from the side of this farmhouse-style galvanized two-tiered tray?

Later I’ll share even more ideas that you can include when decorating your tiered tray.

6. Add Greenery

three tiered tray styled for spring with greenery bunnies twine spheres faux eggs and more

If you are looking for ways to fill in your tiers then greenery is the perfect filler for all those little nooks and crannies.

Sometimes I’ll add a small faux plant or two in my trays.

But Anne really fills in all the little gaps between her decorating pieces in her tiered trays and the result is just so pretty.

hands filling mini terracot pot with faux plant

Breaking apart one larger floral stem into smaller pieces that can be used in tiny terracotta pots is an affordable option.

And tucking small greenery & floral stems in throughout each tier of this styled tray gives it all the spring vibes.

7. Vary Height & Sizes of Decor Pieces

two tiered galvanized tray with Valentine decor including wood word blocks faux plants decorative spheres wood beads and gnome

You don’t want all your decor items to be the same size in your tiered trays. Vary the sizes of your pieces for visual interest.

I included this tall gnome for my Valentine’s Day tiered tray. He’s actually the topper on a clear plastic jar but his beard hides the container.

Isn’t he just adorable?

Then sitting the little painted heart wood sign in the back on top of a ceramic riser gives the wood sign more height.

stack of wood blocks next to galvanized tiered tray on table with table runner covering

I also use wood blocks as risers when putting together my tiered trays. Lifting items up on a block allows smaller pieces to be more visible.

Since the sides of my galvanized tiered tray are solid you can’t really see the block.

But just in case, I add some of my filler items around the wood block risers and no one ever notices.

8. Repeat Items on Different Tiers

three tiered metal tray filled with easter decor of eggs bunnies and greenery

To keep a consistent look on your tiered tray repeat decorating pieces on different tiers of your tray.

Anne used several chalk painted Easter eggs and these awesome DIY jute wrapped eggs on each tier of her Easter tray.

pinecones mini bottle brush trees and ceramic houses fill this tiered tray

Another tip is to put the repeated items on opposite sides and different tiers.

On my Christmas tiered tray I added white ceramic houses which I set on the left side of the bottom tier and the right side of the top tier.

The small bottle brush trees are also repeated on opposite sides and tiers.

9. Ideas to Include in Tiered Trays

There are so many ideas for decor pieces you can add when styling a tiered tray. Just use your imagination.

You really can’t go wrong if you follow these tips!

Here’s a list of ideas for styling tiered trays to get you started:

  • small faux or real plants or flowers
  • wood bead garlands
  • candles
  • mugs
  • small bowls
  • faux fruit or vegetables
  • mini baskets or buckets
  • decorative orbs
  • pinecones
  • stackable items
  • small wood signs
  • seasonal items: bunnies, eggs, Christmas trees, diy sweater pumpkins, hearts, flags, stars, etc.

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If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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