A Quick and Easy DIY Bathtub Tray Tutorial

by Jane | Last Updated: September 5, 2017 When you buy something using the links on our posts, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Bath time is the perfect time to slip into warm water and soak your stress away. In order to totally maximize enjoyment in the bath, some people like to use wooden bath trays. The thing is, they can often be expensive--some products on Etsy can cost $100 or more! We’ve prepared this quick and easy DIY tutorial so that you can have your very own bath tray without burning a huge hole in your pocket.

How to Make Your Own Bathtub Tray


Measure your tub first! You want to measure from the outside edge of the tub to the other outside edge. Don’t forget this number—you could write it down on a sticky note and take it to the store.

This will stain your wood a richer color and protect it from moisture damage.

bath tub tray

Via pinterest


  1. Measure the space between the outside edges of your tub. Then add another 1.5 inches for each lip you want to add. For example: if it measures 24 inches and you want to add 2 lips, you’d want a board that measures 27 inches long.
  2. If you don’t have any power tools, make sure to ask your home improvement store to cut off those lips: remember that they’ll measure 1.5 inches wide. These lips protect your shelf from falling off the tub or, worse, falling into the tub. If you can’t place a lip on the part of the shelf outside of the tub, you can glue them so that they’ll rest inside the tub’s edge.
  3. Glue this lip onto the bottom of your shelf. Depending on the type of tub you have, you’ll either need 1 or 2 lips. You can use a hot glue gun if you prefer a quicker DIY job, but wood glue is considered sturdier and will last longer.
  4. Once the glue sets, check to make sure it fits with your tub.
  5. Sand off the shelf to make sure there are no hard edges or splinters that could potentially hurt you or someone else.
  6. Use the foam brush to add the wood finish to your shelf. Use long, horizontal strokes and give it just one coat, evenly applying the finish to every surface of the shelf. Then, wait for a few hours to let it dry.
  7. Add one more coat of finish for a richer color and to make sure that the finish has been evenly applied. After a few more hours your new bath shelf is ready to use!

Pro-tip: Add a book-stand so that the edges of your book won’t lay over the bath tray. You’ll also be able to use the book stand for a tablet if you’d prefer to do some e-reading.

diy bath tub tray with book stand

Via loveandrenovations

Other tip: For a “distressed”, vintage look in your wood, use a hammer to pat a metal chain gently against the wood. It’ll leave small dents that will make your wood appear more timeless and worn. Do this step before adding the wood finish!

Watch the video

DIY Bath Decor & Shelf | Personal Spa | ANN LE

Jane NeuAuthor: Jane Neu

Jane is the creator of Complete Home Spa – “It’s a good idea,” she said. But even she has been taken aback by its success. She lives with a cranky Englishman in a quiet countryside retreat. And in the past year, has become mom cat to a spunky rescue named Mina. Connect with her on Twitter @completehomespa.