An Easy DIY Bathtub Tray

Winter in Chicago can be brutal

January was a cooooold month here in Chicago. I’m talking single digit temps, snow, and ice galore. Yep, not too fun.Our condo gets pretty darn chilly when the heat isn’t on full blast. You should see me tip-toe out of bed in the morning and dash to the hot shower. You’d think I’m being timed…I go that fast.

Our master bathroom is my favorite place to warm up in the winter

So clearly I’m not a fan of the cold. But the one good thing about the wintertime is the fact that I get to use our new bathtub. It’s such a deep tub, and it’s the perfect way to warm up after a long commute home!

After taking many baths over the course of January, I realized that I could use a little bath tray to hold my wine & book while I’m in the tub! I searched online and didn’t find any that I loved, so I figured I could make a simple tray myself.

This bathtub tray keeps everything I need where I can reach it easily

Here’s how I created this simple bath tray in an afternoon.

Make your Own DIY Bathtub Tray

Start with a basic wood board
The supplies you need to stain your tray

I measured the width of my tub, and headed to the hardware store to pick up a 1×10 poplar board. I then had it cut to size for FREE!

I decided to go with the same stain as the wood shelves we have in our bathroom….Jacobean. After lightly sanding the wood on all sides, I put on some gloves and grabbed a rag and dipped it into the stain. Then I just coated all sides of the wood and let it dry for a day. All you have to do is rub the stain into the wood and get all sides coated. Super easy.

These handles will be perfect for the tray
These countersink drill bits will help you affix the tray handles
The drill and countersink drill bit

Next step, adding the handles. I had these silver handles leftover from our marble tray DIY project, and knew they would work perfectly on the wood tray. Because I didn’t want the screws from the handle to stick out on the bottom of the wood, I decided to use a countersink bit on my drill. Essentially this bit drills a pilot hole while creating a little recess in the wood. That means that your screw head can sit comfortably in the wood and it won’t stick out. Countersink bits are available in sizes to match screw sizes, so you’ll want to match it based on the screws with your handles.

What the screw would look like if you just used the pilot hole

Here’s what the screw would look like if you only drilled a pilot hole….

And how the screw looks with an countersink drill bit

Versus using a countersink drill bit…Much better right?

Next steps- gripper pads to keep the tray from slipping
The gripper pads on the bottom of the tray
All finished- the DIY bathtub tray

Okay enough with the woodworking lesson! Onto the next step.Because the top of the tub is pretty slick, I purchased these grippers on Amazon to put on the underside of the wood. And that was it! My tray was officially done.

The tray in action
A candle, a book, and tray, all set for a relaxing bath
So happy with the finished product

I absolutely love it! Not only was it super easy, but it’s incredibly useful for this bathing beauty. I also love that I can keep this tray hanging out on the bathtub all the time. It adds a little interest to the big white tub, and it gives me another area to style.

Easy DIY Bath Tray

Any other bath lovers out there or am I the only one who loves a good bubble bath? I’m telling ya…give this super easy (& budget-friendly) project a try!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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