Build an Easy Bathtub Tray
Hey all! I’m popping in today with a quick tutorial post for how to build and easy bathtub tray. And when I say quick and easy, I really mean quick and easy; we’re still working on our master bath for the One Room Challenge (see the latest in the series of updates here), and I don’t really have time for projects that aren’t 100% necessities for the bathroom. Butttttttttt my excitement at having a standalone tub big enough to fit a 5′ 10″ person got the best of me, so I decided to whip up a bathtub tray so it’d be ready the second my butt can be in that tub 😉
I was pretty lucky that I actually already had a piece of beautiful wormy maple that had already been cut, sanded, and polished for another shelving project. Unfortunately it didn’t end up working for that project, but I kept the piece of wood around knowing I’d find something else to use it for. Would you believe that it was already cut to the perfect length to be a tray for my new bathtub? A gift from the DIY Gods this week: one less thing I had to do.
Here’s what I used to build an easy bathtub tray:
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And here are the steps!
(Remember to wear a mask and eye protection while sanding and working with wood, and wear an appropriate mask while working with stains and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand. Do not use any tools without proper training, precautions, and supervision. Read my full disclaimer here.)
Step 1: Measure and cut. This is going to depend on the bathtub’s measurements, so I’ve created the guide below to help you figure out what yours need to be.
Like I said, I already had a piece of wood that had been cut down to the exact length I needed, so I just had to cut the little “no-slip feet” from a smaller piece of scrap wood I had in my wood pile. The width of the piece I’m using is XX”.
If you are a normal person and don’t have a scrap wood pile, I’d suggest popping in to your local Lowe’s or Home Depot to see what options they have available. They can cut wood for you in the store for free. If you don’t want to buy a whole piece of unfinished lumber for your tray, check out the shelving aisle to see if they have pre-finished options that will work for your bathtub’s width. Also, I used stair treads for some open shelving in my laundry room; they are pretty cheap and might be a good option to check out, too.
Step 2: Polish and stain. I used an orbital sander to polish all three pieces: the top and the two no-slip feet. My wood was kind of rough looking, and since I did not want a rustic look, I did quite a bit of sanding. I then stained my pieces using the darkest wood stain I had in my supply: Minwax Espresso. Staining is optional, but I wanted to use a dark brown stain to coordinate with our dark brown vanity. (See my post on staining and finishing wood here.)
Step 3: Assemble and seal. Measure and mark where you’ll attach the no-slip feet. You want them adhere them to match up to the width of your bathtub’s opening, not your bathtub’s total width. That way, you can set the tray onto the top of your bathtub, and the no-slip feet will prevent the tray from getting knocked into the bathtub accidentally.
Attach the no-slip feet using wood glue. Once the glue dried, I gave the tray several coats of Minwax semigloss polyurethane from an aerosol can…mostly because I wanted to use up and chuck the can! I usually prefer brushing on the polyurethane, but the aerosol can is faster and easter for jobs like this.
And that’s that! I’m so ready to use this.
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