DIY Bath Tray

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I'm the type of gal who really enjoys spa-like luxuries. This year I'm also trying to focus on self care and devoting more time for things I enjoy. I'd say I'm off to a good start because I convinced Emmett to tackle a DIY I've had on my list for awhile now... a bath caddy! I resort to a bath for a number of reasons- if I'm feeling under the weather, if I need some alone time or want to do some deep thinking, if I'm stressed out it helps me relax, or if I need some pampering (moisturizing, face mask, hair treatment, etc). Click through for a fresh DIY that looks like it costs so much more than it actually does.

First things first... I had criteria for my perfect bath tray. Emmett and I chatted about my wishlist and he customized it to fit my needs:

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 (obviously I'm loving that trend).

Stylistically, I wanted it to work with our existing bathroom design.

I left Emmett with my criteria list and he did the rest. It turned out better than I could've imagined and it really super functional! I'm pretty impressed and feel like this might be his best DIY project yet.

Here's what you'll need to get started...



Step 1 // Plan your piece and measure. Emmett began by measuring our bathtub to make the tray fit perfectly. We then planned the exact size for the tray and measured the material, making the cuts.

Step 2 // Make the cuts. Next, Emmett cut the material for the main part of the tray, using the guidelines he previously marked.

Step 3 // Sand the material. You'll want to sand the wood until it's perfectly smooth. If you keep this portion of the tray natural wood (like we did), sanding it will make the stain application much easier.

Step 4 // Measure and cut the edge pieces. Next, you'll need to measure and cut the pieces for the edge detail. I wanted an edge not only for aesthetic purposes, but also because I wanted to ensure my phone or laptop couldn't slide off the tray into my bathwater.
Emmett cut four pieces using a miter saw, but if you're not set on having edges around the perimeter of your bath caddy- feel free to skip the next couple steps!

Step 5 // Nail together the frame. After the edge pieces are cut to size, piece together three edges of the frame, nailing it in place.

Step 6 // Add the base to the edges. Before securing the fourth and final edge piece, nail the base to the frame. In the image below, Emmett is measuring to double check the last piece will fit as planned (it did).

Once everything has been nailed together, your tray should look like this:

Step 7 // Finish the tray. Wipe the piece carefully, removing any dust particles prior to painting and staining. Next finish the bath caddy to your liking. I applied stain, paint, and polyurethane.

Step 8 // Install the "non-slip" stopper. This step is optional, but we installed a piece of trim on the bottom of the bath caddy to ensure it wouldn't slide off of the bathtub ledge. It fits snug against the inner wall of the bathtub. If you're not worried about the tray slipping or moving around, you could definitely omit this step or add some rubber grips with adhesive to the bottom.

Step 9 // Add the hardware. To finish the project, Emmett pre-drilled holes for the hardware and we finished some last minuted paint touch-ups.

Although there are multiple steps to this project, it's really an easy DIY! This project can also be customized for your style or bathtub. The possibilities for design, shape, and style are endless.

It looks like it cost much more than it actually did, and I love that he made it just for me. It's really something special I'll keep and use forever.

I'll wrap it up by getting YOUR opinion. Do you like the look of my new bath tray? I'm pretty obsessed with it and would probably pay a premium if it were in a store. Do you guys also enjoy baths or try to make time for self care? As I get older, I'm learning how important it is.

For more DIY from Sarah Gibson: DIY Lumbar Pillow | DIY Macrame Plant Hanger 

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Sarah Gibson is a full-time designer located in the Midwest. With an emphasis on both graphic and interior design, her projects are varied. Sarah's areas of expertise range from rebranding, website & blog design, print and social media marketing, to creative direction, such as styling and photoshoots. As an interior designer, Sarah also specializes in full-service interior design, custom projects, styling, and renovations. Aside from her day job, she spends evenings and weekends creating content for her lifestyle blog, Room for Tuesday, which features content in design, interiors, travel, fashion, and creative inspiration. She enjoys balancing both trendy and eclectic pieces with classic elements, for a curated aesthetic.