Wash Up Buttercup DIY Bathroom Spa Tray

20 Materials
1 Week

Have you seen the cool spa trays for bathrooms? They come in a variety of sizes and materials but the ones I liked were costly. I have good taste I guess, lol. I wanted a large wooden one with handles and a side just high enough to paint on. Soooo it just happened my husband Tony was making a replacement tray for a vintage steam trunk...and he got the sizing off just a wee bit and it didn't fit. I said, "I'LL TAKE IT!" and just like that I had my perfect bathroom spa tray! Isn't it magic when things like that work out?!

Cut your wood

Of course you can cut whatever size works for your space but ours was 1/2" plywood cuts as follows:

2 sides long 28" x 4"

2 sides short 17" x 6.5"

1 bottom 28" x 17"

We love the Grr-Ripper pushblock when cutting wood- it saves fingers!

Cutting dovetails

Following instructions on your cut fixture you will route your dovetails. It's actually a really cool detail to add to something like this tray.

More cutting...

You'll need to draw a pattern for your handles on the two ends and using a drill press and forstner bit, drill two holes to start the inside of the handles. See the next photo which shows the scroll saw connecting the two holes to make a slot.

Fitting it all together

Before assembling brush a little glue into each dovetail pocket. Then using a rubber or wood mallet carefully tap the pieces together and clamp till dry. At this point you can use a brad nailer to attach the bottom to the frame of the tray.

Wood filler, conditioner, & stain

If you have any gaps or dings that need filled you can use stainable wood filler. Once it's dry it's a good time to sand it smooth and wipe it down. Then give it a coat of wood conditioner and once that is dry move on to the wood stain. I'm a huge fan of gel stains!

Staining the tray

With the gel stain it's easy to wipe on with a soft rag and then wipe off again. I love the woodgrain and the dovetails look great stained too!

Glam it up!

Using my handy Cricut machine I made a stencil with my wording. You can buy a premade stencil or hand paint if you want. There are so many choices! I chose to use a black paint pen to fill in my design.

Wash Up Buttercup!

I've considered painting in the flowers with a paint pen but so far I'm enjoying the simplicity of the look!

Don't forget to fill your tray!

This one is a nice big size and I was able to fit all kinds of bathroom related things in it- towels, wash cloths, face wipes, back scrubber, mirror, bath poufs, and lotion.

It fits so nicely in the space I need it for yet can be taken out to put on the counter top.

It really adds to the bathroom vanity we made in our new farmhouse themed bathroom! If you want to check out the DIY on the vanity you can find it HERE!

Oh, and since everyone always wants to know where I got the cute swinging bird clock I'll add that to the materials and tools list below.

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3 of 10 comments
  • Michele
    on Jul 10, 2020

    This looks really nice! Has to be a easier way to get the same effect or something similar! I'm a single lady and I'm not really tool savvy 🙃😂

    • Kelly-n-Tony
      on Jul 10, 2020

      If you don't want one quite as fancy you can simply staple pieces of wood together. It just depends on what tools you have.

  • Barbara Edwards
    7 days ago

    It looks fab, but not a cheap hack, we don’t all have access to professional joiners tools etc!

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