diy bath tray in farmhouse bathroom with white tub and subway tile

Who has two thumbs and loves an easy DIY project?! THIS GIRL! And I know a lot of y’all do too!

So after my last more extensive post, I thought I’d give you a super easy DIY that you can tackle in just a couple hours – this DIY wood bath tray!

My initial inspiration for this project came from my friend Dale over on Instagram – go check her out if you don’t know her, she is BEYOND talented!

Here is Dale’s bath tray, and I knew I needed to make one during the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge for our brand new bathtub!
PHOTO CREDIT: Dale, @bloomingdiyer Instagram

So, with this photo in mind, I went to Home Depot, and got to work!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1″x6″x8′ foot common pine board
  • cubed (1″x1″) hobby board (at least 12″ long)
  • handles/hardware of your choice and accompanying wood screws (be sure they are no more than .75″, or they will go through the wood!
  • wood stain of your choice
  • rag
  • miter saw
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • drill
  • nail gun (or hammer and 1.5″ nails
  • two 1.5″ wood screws
  • quick square
  • polycrylic
  • 4″ paintbrush
  • 180 grit sandpaper
materials needed for diy bath tray

How To:

Step 1:

Measure across the width of your tub. You will want your tray to be about 1.5″-2″ longer than that measurement. Keep in mind any edge or lack thereof that you have surrounding your tub – if it’s very small , you’ll need to be sure you aren’t making your tray too long, though better to start too long and cut some off than the opposite way around!

Step 2:

Use your tape measure and pencil to mark off the distance you just measured, plus the additional 1.5-2″ on your 1″x6″x8′ board. Use your mitre saw to cut along your marked line. Sand the edges of your cut board to remove any lingering splinters.

PRO TIP: Take your cut board to your tub and see if the size works – like I said above, it’s always better to start larger and cut as needed – you can always take some length off, but can’t add it back on! If your tray needs adjusting, take note of how much you need to shave off, and do that now with your miter saw.

Step 3:

Now use the measurement of the width of your tub, and center that distance on your board. Now add an ADDITIONAL half an inch in on each side (i.e. say your tub measures 15″ across, and you added 2″ extra as recommended above, for a total board length of 17″. You will now mark 1.5″ in from each end of your 17″ board, and the center section would be 14″ total). Use your quick square to draw a line perpendicular to the length of your board at these two ends, both 1.5″ in from each end of your board – you are marking where your BUMPERS will be – they will ensure your tray doesn’t slip into your tub.

Step 4:

Cut two 5″ pieces of your 1″x1″ hobby board using your miter saw. You will place each of these on either end of your board, INSIDE the lines you just marked. Use your nail gun and 1.5″ nails to tack these down – these will be your bumpers. Now secure them well with one 1.5″ wood screw on each bumper.

PRO TIP: Even before screwing them in, you may want to take that board back to your tub to make sure you got this right, and that the bumpers sit inside the lip of your tub, with the tray resting on top! It’s always easier to remove a nail or two, than 5 or 6 plus a screw!

You can see the bumpers here – they are SLIGHTLY less wide than the tray itself, and about 2-2.5 inches in from each side (and thus slightly less wide than the width of the tub).
diy bath tray how to
Secure each bumper with one screw and several nails.

Step 5:

Use a rag and the stain of your choice (follow instructions on the can) to stain your board and allow to dry about 1-2 hours.

minwax english chestnut stain
I used Minwax English Chestnut to stain my tray.

Step 6:

Use Minwax Polycrylic to seal your tray. I used 2 coats and a large 4″ paintbrush to make the process go super quick! Note – if your stain is oil based (as mine was), I suggest waiting at least 48 hours before stain application prior to coating with your poly. This ensures that the oil is fully eliminated from the stain and minimizes any risk of a poor reaction to the water based poly. If your stain is water based, you can coat with poly once your stain is dry to the touch. Then allow your poly to dry.

Step 7:

Once your tray is dry, attach your hardware using .75″ wood screws – you can add your hardware wherever you think they look best!

diy wood bath tray
My hardware is from Hobby Lobby, and I attached them about 1.25″ from each edge! If you so choose, you can paint the heads of the screws to match your hardware, but that’s totally optional! I just used a small paintbrush and black acrylic paint, which isn’t waterproof, but it’s unlikely you’ll be getting it so wet as to disturb the paint – if you are worried about that, use a bit of spray paint – spray the paint onto a paper plate and pick up with a paint brush, but BEWARE! You’ll likely be throwing that paint brush away, spray paint is crazy hard to remove!

And that’s it, you’re done!

Super easy right?! And it adds extra relaxation to the few times I actually make time for self care and take a bubble bath! Because a girl’s gotta have her wine and Magnolia in the bath, am I right?!

Hope you enjoyed and might try this one for yourself!