Years ago, I used to write for a design blog that was hosted by Caesarstone- the quartz countertop company. I actually used to blog and write for lots of companies, as a way of getting my foot in the door. Anyway- for Caesarstone, I would share a monthly project, tutorial, or chat about a design topic of my choosing. I’ve recently learned that their online publication I used to write for is no longer active, and therefore- I’ve received lots of messages from people interested in our tackling DIY projects I shared in the past that are no longer available. The one I’ve received the most requests for is our DIY bath caddy tray. I figured this was a project worth revisiting and giving a permanent place to live here on my blog. Maybe you were following along when I shared this project back in 2017? Perhaps it’s a “new to you” project, which is cool! I still have and use this bath tray that Emmett built for me… in fact- it sees quite a bit of use! It fits our guest bathtub perfectly, and I’m always pulling it out of the linen closet to hold my laptop, a drink, or bath products. If you’re curious how he made it, click through. There are also some stunning images from our previous bathroom– I still adore that tiny space!
I gave Emmett my criteria for my ideal bath tray and he customized it to fit my needs. This is what I asked for…
- It had to fit my laptop (I catch up on emails and Pinterest in the bathtub- sadly, I’m not joking).
- It had to have an edge around the tray so that my phone or items wouldn’t accidentally slip off into the water (I’m accident prone and could see my phone sliding off).
- It had to have handles for easy maneuvering.
- I wanted it to have a natural wood element.
- Stylistically, I wanted it to look timeless and simple.
Ok- now I’m actually going to turn the tutorial over to Emmett. I’m working on our shop stuff (which probably won’t be live for another day or so), and he’s the one who built it… so read this next part in his voice (not mine), ok? Haha! Here he is…
Hello friends! It has been quite some time since y’all have seen me writing a post here on the blog, but here we go!!
SUPPLIES + TOOLS:
- Deck Board- A wide board such as a 1″x10″ or 1″x12″, minimum 30″ long (width of bathtub).
- Railing Board- 1″x2″ or 1″x3″ and enough to wrap the perimeter of the Deck Board
- Wood Glue
- 18 Gauge Finishing Nailer
- Miter Saw
- Drill & Drill Bits
Step 1 // Plan and measure. Measure the width of your bathtub. Most tubs are 30″ or 32″. This will be your finished length of the bath tray. Your deck board will be cut this length minus 1.5″ (your railing boards will make up the difference).
Step 2 // Cut out your pieces. Start by cutting your deck board to length. Tip: most boards from big box stores do not have square ends- so cut both ends of the deck board to avoid using a factory edge.
Next, using the cut dimensions of the deck board- carefully cut the railing boards with 45-degree mitered ends to wrap around the deck board. Tip: while you have your saw out, using the scrap, leftover railing board, cut a short piece approx. 4 inches long- you will use this later for installing an anti-slip piece.
Step 3 // Sand the wood. Sand and prep all surfaces for finishing material (paint, stain, oil). It is always easiest to sand pieces before being installed to avoid the inside corners and hard to reach places.
Step 4 // Assemble three edge pieces. Before assembling, dry-fit all the materials to ensure everything is cut correctly. Install three of the railing boards by using wood glue and shooting a finishing nail or two directly into the miter. If you have been following along for a while, I highly recommend using miter clamps in this scenario, and if I built it today, I definitely would. Let this glue setup before moving to the next step.
Step 5 // Attach the bottom of the tray and the remaining edge. Run a small bead of wood glue on three sides of the deck board and carefully slide the deck board in between the assembled rails. Nail the rail boards into the deck board.
Put a dab of glue on each mitered end of the last rail board and along the remaining edge of the deck board. Assemble with nails.
Step 6 // Finish the bath caddy with paint or stain. We opted to paint the railings and stain the deck. Lastly, we used polyurethane to put a top coat over the entire thing to help with moisture damage. Sarah uses this tray a lot and I know it has gotten wet, but it’s holding up nicely.
Step 7 // Attach the anti-slip piece on the bottom of the tray. When the tray is in position- measure to the inside edge of the tub and install the small piece of wood you cut earlier by using some wood glue and a short finishing nail. This small board will prevent your tray from sliding out (towards the center of the room). If you are building this tray for a freestanding tub, you would want to install one on each side. Basically it’s to ensure your tray doesn’t end up IN the bathtub.
Step 8 // Install the handles. Lastly, install any hardware or handles. We picked out our handles after the tray was built, and had to make modifications to the tray for our handles to mount properly. I suggest picking out all of your materials before starting your project! Of course Sarah had to special order some and they didn’t get here in time. Ha!
And that is it! It is a pretty simple design and can be done inexpensively with minimal tools. I hope you all enjoy it! This is what our finished result looks like. Let me know if you have questions!
Ok- Sarah here again, with some closing notes. This project is easy to customize for your personal style or bathtub. The possibilities for design, shape, and overall aesthetic are endless. Get creative with this one! If you’re curious about our old bathroom, check out this post for a little tour.
A few years ago, I said (in reference to my new bath tray)… “It looks like it cost much more than it actually did, and I love that Emmett made it just for me. It’s really something special, that I’ll keep and use forever.” Well- here we are three years later and I’m still putting that beauty to good use. Those are the best projects! It looks just like it did the day he finished it. Let us know if you have questions about the tutorial in the comment section below! PS… thanks for hanging with me this week as I’m kind of MIA working on our shop. I’ve been putting in long hours, but can’t wait to show you all the fun things. Happy Tuesday!