One piece of scrap wood=a DIY bathtub caddy, 3 different ways!
Need a simple DIY project that cost NOTHING to make? Come learn how to make this functional and stylish DIY bathtub tray using scrap wood!
Last month I shared 9 Budget Friendly Ways to Update a Builder Grade Bathroom, and you guys were totally here for it! I gave y’all a little teaser of a the DIY bathtub tray (or caddy, if you will) I made, and I’m finally posting the full tutorial here!
As I was updating our bathtub area in our master bathroom, I felt like something was missing. Then it hit me: a bathtub tray! Not only is it functional, it just looks cute styled in the bathtub as well.
Y’all know I love a good scrap wood project, and that’s exactly what this little DIY was.
I’ve got lots of scrap wood in the garage that I save up for occasions just like this! However, the piece that I found was just a tad too long and hung over the edge of the tub. Since I don’t have a way to cut wood at my house, I get all my wood cut at Home Depot whenever I buy it there. Luckily our friends and neighbors have the right tools, and they were able cut a few inches off for me. Yippy!
Let me show you how easy this project is and how you can customize it to make it your own!
DIY Bathtub Tray
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The reason I love this project so much is because you can go as simple or as extra as you want!
I went in thinking I was going to do this the simplest way possible (literally stain and be done), but then I got extra and added a few things.
I’m going to show you 3 different ways to make this bathtub caddy your own:
- Style 1: Simple // Cost: $0
- Style 2: Functional // Cost: $5
- Style 3: Pretty // Cost: $5-$10
All three DIY bath caddy styles are super easy, and all three ways are super affordable! And let’s face it….all three styles are pretty too. ☺️
Bathtub Tray Materials and Supplies
- Scrap Wood: As I mentioned, I had some scrap wood that was juuuuust about the right size for this project. If you don’t have scrap wood, just go to your local home improvement store and pick a size that you like and have them cut the wood for you there!
- Stain: You probably know from my previous projects, Dark Walnut is my ole’ standby…my go-to stain around here!
- Sander/Sandpaper: Depending on if your wood needs sanding (mine did), you could use a sanding sponge for some light sanding or bust out the orbit sander to get it done quicker.
- Handles (Style 2): I got mine 50% off at Hobby Lobby
- Vinyl Decal (Style 3): Cut your own, or order one from Etsy.
Related: DIY Refinished Farmhouse Table
Bathtub Caddy Directions
Style 1: Simple
For this tray style, you just need wood and stain. If you’re using scrap wood and stain you already have on hand, this style will cost you $0!
1. Sand: Depending on the type of wood you use, you may need to sand it. My scrap wood was pretty rough, so it definitely needed to be sanded. I suggest using an orbit sander so you don’t kill your arm doing it by hand! Be sure to wipe it down with some tack cloth to remove all of the dust particles when you’re finished.
2. Stain (1): Using the stain of your choice, apply 1 coat…wiping it on and then off to get rid of any excess. Make sure you let it dry fully…it shouldn’t take too long, especially if you are doing it in the sun.
3. Stain (2): Apply a second coat of stain using the same method: wipe on and then off. Two coats was enough for me, but feel free to add as many coats as you like to get the color you prefer.
4. *Seal: Ok, I’m gonna be 100% honest here. I had every intention of sealing this bathtub tray with some polyurethane…and then I got lazy and just didn’t. Honestly, I can’t tell you whether you should or not. What I can tell you is that I have taken several baths with mine, and it has been totally fine. Then again, I’m also being careful not to get it wet. So really, this part is totally up to you.
Style 2: Functional
By adding some handles, you can make this DIY bathtub tray a little more functional, making it easy to grab and move around. Look for handles that are on sale (like at Hobby Lobby) to make this style around $5.
5. Add Handles: Once I had my handles, I simply glued them onto the bathtub tray with Tacky glue. Be careful to quickly wipe away any excess glue that bleeds out when gluing the handles on.
You can also screw the handles on. Just make sure you have screws that are small enough so they won’t go all the way through the wooden tray.
Style 3: Pretty
If you want to personalize your bathtub caddy, adding a vinyl decal is an easy way to do that. Cut your own with a die cutting machine, or find one that you love on Etsy. Either way, look to spend between $5-$10 for this style.
6. Apply Decal: I found a free wreath svg file on Pinterest, and cut it with my Cricut machine, adding the letter “S” to the middle. If you don’t have a way to cut vinyl, but you still like this look, there are tons of Etsy shops that sell decals for very reasonable prices.
My Final Thoughts on This DIY Bathtub Tray
What started as a super basic DIY project, turned into something that was more tailored to my decor style! That’s the beauty of this project: you can make it to fit your style, while staying frugal at the same time.
Which style is the most “you”? I’d love to see what you come up with! You can always find me on Instagram and tag me in your Her Happy Home DIYs! Or shoot me an email with a pic of your latest DIY from the blog!
Want more bathroom DIYs? Check out these related posts:
- 9 Budget-Friendly Builder Grade Bathroom Updates
- How to Frame a Bathroom Mirror (with Mirror Clips)
- DIY Farmhouse Towel Rack
- Upcycle Glass Jars: A DIY Bathroom Storage Solution