How to Build a Wooden Butler

Updated February 21, 2017

Wooden decorations add a whimsical touch to your home. A wooden butler can serve as a charming decoration and also hold a serving tray in the dining room. The project is a basic wooden silhouette cutout with arms to hold a serving tray and feet that allow the butler to stand upright. You can paint the wooden butler cutout in a traditional butler outfit and give him as much personality as you like in his facial features.

Position the 2-by-12-by-72-inch board flat on a work table. Draw a front-view silhouette of a butler with a pencil on the 12-by-72-inch side that is facing up. Draw a head with facial features, neck, shoulders, torso area and legs. Add details inside the silhouette such as clothing, eyes, nose, mouth and hair.

Cut along the pencil silhouette lines with a jigsaw to cut out the butler silhouette. Move the jigsaw across the surface of the wood in a steady motion. Watch the blade as it cuts through the wood and move the saw along as the blade cuts until the silhouette is completely cut out.

Sand the cut edges of the butler silhouette with a sander fitted with a fine-grit sanding pad.

Lay the 2-by-12-by-12-inch board flat on a work table. Draw the top view of the butler's feet on the 12-by-12-inch side that is facing up. Cut out the feet outline with a jigsaw following the same procedure as you did in step 2 to cut out the butler silhouette. Sand the edges following the same procedure as you did in step 3.

Align the bottom of the butler silhouette on top of the feet silhouette. Secure the feet to the butler by driving four screws through the bottom of the feet into the bottom end of the butler. Use a screw gun and evenly space the screws.

Draw a side outline of arms with opened hands lengthwise on one side of each 2-by-6-by-18-inch board. Cut out the outline of the arms with opened hands with a jigsaw. Sand the edges with the sander using a fine-grit pad.

Hold one arm cutout on either side of the butler in the location where the arms should be positioned. Drive two wood screws through each arm into the side of the butler with a screw gun. Evenly space the screws.

Stand the butler assembly upright. Paint the butler with craft paints using a craft paintbrush. Allow the first coat of paints to dry. Apply a second coat after four hours.


Make a serving tray to rest on the butler's arms. You could place appetizers on the tray in your dining area.


Wear safety glasses when woodworking to help protect your eyes from injury.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-12-inch board, 72 inches long
  • Jigsaw
  • Sander, fine-grit sanding pad
  • 2-by-12-inch board, 12 inches long
  • Package, 3-inch wood screws
  • Screw gun
  • 2 boards, 2-by-6 inch, 18 inches long
  • Craft paints
  • Craft paintbrush
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About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.