How To Make A Bathtub Tray


Materials Needed

Before you start creating your own bathtub tray, make sure you have the following materials on hand:

  • Wooden board or plank
  • Sandpaper (medium grit and fine grit)
  • Wood finish (varnish, lacquer, or polyurethane)
  • Non-slip surface (such as rubber mat or silicone grip liner)
  • Handles or knobs
  • Screws or nails
  • Screwdriver or hammer
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Pencil or marker
  • Saw (handsaw or power saw)
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Cloth or rag
  • Optional: Stain or paint for added color

Having these materials ready will ensure a smooth and seamless crafting process. Feel free to choose your preferred type of wood, finish, and non-slip surface, as well as any additional decorative elements you may want to incorporate.

Remember, the quality of the materials you choose will directly impact the durability and overall appearance of your bathtub tray, so it’s essential to select high-quality items. Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to move on to the next step: measuring and cutting the wood!

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Wood

The first step in creating your bathtub tray is to measure and cut the wood to your desired size. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Measure the width of your bathtub: Begin by measuring the width of your bathtub, where you intend to place the tray. Take accurate measurements to ensure a snug fit.
  2. Choose your wood: Select a sturdy and durable wood material for your tray. Popular choices include bamboo, teak, or pine. Ensure that the wood is thick enough to support the weight of your desired items.
  3. Mark the measurements: Use a measuring tape or ruler to mark the width and length of your tray on the wood. Make sure the marks are straight and aligned.
  4. Cut the wood: Use a saw, such as a handsaw or power saw, to cut along the marked lines. Take your time to make precise cuts, ensuring that the edges are smooth and even.

Remember to follow proper safety precautions when using a saw and always wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, during the cutting process. Double-check the measurements before making any cuts to avoid any unnecessary mistakes.

Once you’ve successfully cut the wood to the desired size, you’re ready to move on to the next step: sanding the wood to create a smooth finish.

Step 2: Sand the Wood

After cutting the wood for your bathtub tray, the next step is to sand it to create a smooth and polished finish. Follow these steps to achieve the desired result:

  1. Prepare your sandpaper: Start by choosing the appropriate grit sandpaper. Begin with a medium grit sandpaper (around 80-120) to remove any rough edges or imperfections. Then, switch to a fine grit sandpaper (around 220-320) for a smoother finish.
  2. Sand the edges: Use the sandpaper to carefully sand the edges of the wood. Hold the sandpaper firmly and move it back and forth in the direction of the wood grain. This will help to smooth out any roughness and provide a clean look.
  3. Sand the surfaces: Next, sand the surfaces of the wood. Start with the coarse sandpaper to remove any blemishes or uneven areas. Gradually switch to a finer grit sandpaper to achieve a smoother texture. Continue sanding until the wood feels smooth to the touch.
  4. Remove dust: After sanding, it’s important to remove any dust or debris. Use a cloth or rag to wipe away the dust particles from the wood surface. This will help in ensuring a clean and even application of the wood finish.

Remember to sand gently and evenly to avoid over-sanding or damaging the wood. Take your time during this step to achieve the desired smoothness. Once you have finished sanding the wood, you’re ready to proceed to the next step: applying the wood finish.

Step 3: Apply Wood Finish

Once you have sanded the wood to a smooth finish, the next step in creating your bathtub tray is to apply a wood finish. This will not only protect the wood from moisture but also enhance its natural beauty. Follow these steps to apply the wood finish:

  1. Choose the right finish: There are various types of wood finishes available, such as varnish, lacquer, or polyurethane. Consider the look you desire and the level of protection you need for your tray. Read the instructions on the finish product to ensure proper usage.
  2. Prepare the workspace: Find a well-ventilated area or work outside. Lay down a drop cloth or newspaper to protect your work surface from any drips or spills.
  3. Apply the first coat: Using a paintbrush or foam brush, apply an even and thin coat of the wood finish onto the entire surface of the tray. Follow the grain of the wood while applying the finish. Avoid over-application, as it can lead to drips or a sticky finish.
  4. Allow drying time: Refer to the instructions on the wood finish product for the recommended drying time. Give the tray ample time to dry before applying subsequent coats.
  5. Sand between coats (optional): If desired, lightly sand the tray between coats using a fine grit sandpaper. This will help to create a smoother finish and remove any imperfections.
  6. Apply additional coats: Repeat the process of applying thin and even coats of wood finish, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat. The number of coats will depend on the desired level of protection and the type of wood finish you are using.
  7. Finish with a final coat: Once you are satisfied with the number of coats applied, finish off with a final coat for added durability and a professional touch. Allow the tray to dry completely.

Applying a wood finish will bring out the natural color and grain of the wood, providing a stunning and long-lasting result. Once the wood finish is completely dry, you can move on to the next step: attaching the non-slip surface.

Step 4: Attach the Non-Slip Surface

Adding a non-slip surface to your bathtub tray is an important step to ensure stability and prevent items from sliding off. Follow these steps to attach the non-slip surface:

  1. Select the non-slip material: There are several options you can choose from, such as a rubber mat or a silicone grip liner. Measure the dimensions of your tray to ensure the non-slip surface will fit properly.
  2. Trim the non-slip material: Using a pair of scissors or a utility knife, carefully trim the non-slip material to match the dimensions of your bathtub tray. Make straight cuts to ensure a neat and precise fit.
  3. Apply adhesive (optional): Depending on the non-slip material you choose, you may need to apply adhesive to ensure a secure attachment. Follow the instructions on the adhesive product and apply it evenly on the backside of the non-slip material.
  4. Position the non-slip material: Carefully place the non-slip material onto the surface of your bathtub tray. Ensure that it is centered and aligned properly.
  5. Press and smooth out any air bubbles: Once the non-slip material is in place, press down firmly to ensure full contact with the tray. Smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles by applying even pressure with your hands.
  6. Trim excess material (if necessary): If there is any excess non-slip material hanging over the edges of the tray, use scissors or a utility knife to trim it off. This will create a clean and professional look.

By attaching a non-slip surface, you add an extra layer of safety and stability to your bathtub tray. This will provide peace of mind while enjoying your relaxing bath time. With the non-slip surface securely in place, you’re ready to move on to the next step: attaching handles.

Step 5: Attach Handles

Attaching handles to your bathtub tray not only adds functionality but also enhances its aesthetic appeal. Follow these steps to securely attach handles to your tray:

  1. Select the handles: Choose handles that complement the design of your bathtub tray. Handles can be made of various materials, such as metal, wood, or plastic. Consider the size and style of the handles to ensure they fit well with the overall look of your tray.
  2. Determine handle placement: Measure and mark the desired positions for the handles on each side of the tray. Ensure that the handles are symmetrical and aligned properly to maintain balance.
  3. Pre-drill holes: Use a drill with an appropriate size drill bit to pre-drill holes at the marked positions. Pre-drilling will prevent the wood from splitting when you attach the handles.
  4. Secure the handles: Align the holes on the handles with the pre-drilled holes on the tray. Insert screws or bolts through the holes and tighten them using a screwdriver or wrench, depending on the type of hardware you are using.
  5. Check stability: Give the handles a gentle tug to ensure they are securely attached. Make any necessary adjustments or tighten the screws further, if needed.

Handles not only make it easier to carry and move your bathtub tray, but they also add a decorative touch. The type of handles you choose can reflect your personal style and enhance the overall look of your tray.

Once the handles are securely attached, you’re ready to move on to the next step: adding personal touches and customization.

Step 6: Add Personal Touches and Customization

Adding personal touches and customization to your bathtub tray allows you to make it uniquely yours. Here are some ideas to make your tray stand out:

  1. Paint or stain: Consider adding a pop of color or a rich stain to the wood to match your bathroom decor or personal style. Apply the paint or stain evenly, following the instructions on the product, and allow it to dry completely before moving on.
  2. Engraving or carving: For a more personalized touch, you can engrave or carve designs, patterns, or even your initials onto the wood. Use wood carving tools or a laser engraver to create intricate designs that reflect your creativity.
  3. Decorative accents: Attach decorative elements such as beads, shells, or small trinkets to the handles or corners of the tray. This can add a whimsical or beachy feel to your tray, depending on the chosen accents.
  4. Custom compartments: If you want to keep your items organized, consider adding custom compartments to your tray. Create grooves or dividers that can hold things like a book, a phone, or small bath accessories.
  5. Waterproofing: To ensure the longevity of your tray, you may want to apply a waterproof sealant to protect it from water damage. This is especially important for areas that come into direct contact with water.
  6. Felt or fabric lining: Line the bottom surface of your tray with felt or fabric to prevent scratching on your bathtub surface and provide added cushioning for delicate items.

Adding your personal touch and customization will not only make the bathtub tray unique to you but also elevate its functionality and aesthetic appeal. Get creative and let your imagination run wild while customizing your tray!

Once you are satisfied with the personal touches and customization, you can proceed to the next step: applying a final coat of finish for added protection and a polished look.

Step 7: Apply a Final Coat of Finish

Applying a final coat of finish to your bathtub tray will provide added protection and a polished look. Follow these steps to complete the finishing touch:

  1. Choose the right finish: Select the same type of wood finish that you used in Step 3 to maintain consistency in the appearance of your tray.
  2. Prepare the workspace: Set up your work area with a drop cloth or newspaper to catch any drips or spills. Ensure good ventilation in the space to aid in the drying process.
  3. Apply the final coat: Use a clean paintbrush or foam brush to apply a thin and even layer of the wood finish over the entire surface of the tray. Follow the directions on the product for the best results.
  4. Avoid over-application: Be mindful not to apply too much finish, as it can create a sticky or uneven surface. Use long, smooth strokes to ensure a consistent finish.
  5. Smooth out any imperfections: As you apply the final coat, check for any air bubbles or drips. Smooth them out gently with your brush or a cloth to create a flawless finish.
  6. Allow drying time: Place the tray in a well-ventilated area and let it dry completely according to the instructions provided with the wood finish. Avoid placing items on the tray until it is fully dry to prevent any damage to the finish.

Applying a final coat of finish not only protects the wood but also enhances its natural beauty. It provides a glossy or satin appearance, depending on the type of finish chosen. Allow sufficient drying time for the finish to cure and harden properly.

Now that you have applied the final coat of finish, your bathtub tray is almost complete. All you need to do is let it dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next step: testing the bathtub tray!

Step 8: Let the Bathtub Tray Dry

After applying the final coat of finish, it is crucial to allow your bathtub tray to dry thoroughly. Proper drying ensures that the finish cures, hardens, and provides optimal protection for the wood. Follow these guidelines to let your tray dry effectively:

  1. Find a well-ventilated area: Place your tray in a well-ventilated space, such as a dry room or an area with good air circulation. This will help to facilitate the drying process.
  2. Avoid direct sunlight: Keep your tray away from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure can cause the wood and finish to warp or fade.
  3. Patience is key: Allow sufficient time for the tray to dry completely. The drying time may vary depending on the type of wood finish used, the temperature, and humidity levels. Refer to the instructions provided with the wood finish for specific drying guidelines.
  4. Be mindful of touch: During the drying period, avoid touching or placing objects on the tray to prevent unwanted marks or impressions on the finish. It is best to handle the tray with care until it is fully dried.
  5. Check for tackiness: Before proceeding to the final step, ensure that the finish is totally dry to the touch. Lightly press your finger on a small, inconspicuous area to check for any tackiness. If it feels sticky or leaves a mark, allow more drying time.

Properly drying your bathtub tray will ensure the longevity of the finish and maintain the overall quality of your crafted piece. Exercise patience and adhere to the recommended drying time to achieve the best results.

Once your tray is completely dry, it’s time to move on to the final step: testing the bathtub tray to enjoy its functionality and convenience!

Step 9: Test the Bathtub Tray

After completing all the previous steps, it’s time to test your bathtub tray and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Follow these steps to ensure its functionality and convenience:

  1. Place the tray on the bathtub: Carefully position the tray on the desired spot of your bathtub. Ensure that it sits securely and fits well without wobbling or slipping.
  2. Check for stability: Gently test the stability of the tray by applying slight pressure on different areas. It should remain steady and balanced, able to hold your desired items without any movement.
  3. Arrange your items: Arrange your bath essentials, such as a book, phone, candles, or a glass of wine, on the tray. Make sure everything is within reach and well-supported by the surface.
  4. Inspect for any issues: Take a moment to inspect the tray for any signs of damage or issues. Check for any loose handles, cracks in the wood, or areas where the finish may have worn off.
  5. Make any necessary adjustments: If you notice any problems during the testing phase, make the necessary adjustments. Tighten handles if needed or consider applying touch-ups to the finish to maintain its integrity.

Testing your bathtub tray ensures that it meets your expectations and serves its purpose effectively. It allows you to assess its stability, functionality, and overall usability in enhancing your bathing experience.

Once you have thoroughly tested and made any necessary adjustments, you can now fully utilize your custom-made and functional bathtub tray. Enjoy a relaxing bath while conveniently keeping your essentials within reach!