Custom Bathtub Caddy With Live Edge

Mitch Couch
by Mitch Couch
3 Materials
4 Hours

I've wanted to work on this project for a while and last weekend decided it was time to get it done. It was something I wanted to surprise my wife with while she relaxes and unwinds from a long day. She loved her surprise and I wanted to share the build with all of my Hometalk friends.

Below you will find a few pictures of the steps I took to build this unique Tub Caddy and hopefully inspire you to try your hand at it. At the bottom of the page you will see my YouTube video showing the build from start to finish. So, without any more delay, let's get started...

If you want to see me making the project from scratch you can watch the following video on my YouTube channel. I hope you all enjoy and thank you for reading along. If you like this project, you can follow me here on Hometalk as I will be posting many more of my future projects on this page.

On this first picture I wanted to show the final project first so you can get an idea of why I included the features that I did. The rose peddles were a last minute idea to add to the surprise when I showed my wife.

First thing I did was head over to a small farm and garden hardware store in a small town in the county I live in. There they sell slabs of all types of wood, mostly from the orchards in the area. I was able to grab the perfect piece from an old walnut tree that was cut down.

Here is the piece I got laid out on my work table. First thing I did was remove any bark on the sides and then sand the edges. This was a bit of work but I recommend you do that first. It will cut down on the small amount of debris that falls of the piece while working. In my video below you will see how I did this.

Using my jig saw and router, I cut out an area on the front of the slab for a wine glass. There would be nothing worse that using the glass and knocking it over in the tub. All I had to do was but a small hole, round the edges, and give it a bit of sanding. If you don't have a router, no worries, just cut the hole with a drill, one inch spade bit, and then sand the edges of the hole.

Here is the final groove and hole for the glass. You'll see the beveled edge on the hole which helps the glass stay in place.

Next I cut out a ten inch long groove, around two inches wide, to hold a small towel. My wife loves decorating the bathroom with her teal colored towels so I knew this would be a great feature to add. After cutting out the groove I used the router again to bevel the edges. This keeps the sides of the wood from grabbing onto the towel when sliding it in.

Next, I used the candle holder as a template for marking the circle where it would be placed. Then I used the router to cut out a small groove in the wood. This will be just enough to keep the candle from accidently sliding off if the wood gets wet or if it gets bumped.

Here I made a small template out of scrap plywood to route out a small circle to place a small potted plant on. This template helps me keep the router steady to get the perfect circle. The groove I route out is only about half an inch deep, just deep enough to keep any items from sliding off.

One item I missed to get a picture of was the small groove I cut in the middle. This is for a small tablet or cell phone to be placed on. What is better than relaxing in the tub watching your favorite movie or tv show? After all of the routing and cutting was done I sanded down both sides of the slab. I started with an 80 grit paper and finished with a 180 grit to smooth it all out.

After the sanding and removing of the dust I applied three coats of clear, water based semi gloss polyurethane coating. As you can see from the picture it looks milky white going on but in 30 minutes it dries to a beatify clear finish. I decided not to stain the project since I wanted the original color of the walnut to come through. It was a good decision.

Here I am brushing in the clear poly coating. After each coat of finish, I use a high grit wool to sand out any rough spots. I also want to state that I use a water based poly now instead of oil based. I really like the water based since it dries quicker and is so much easier to clean out my brushes afterwards.

Once the last coat of finish dried I laid the caddy across the tub. Oh my gosh, it turned out beautiful. In this picture you can see the cut I made for the towel, wine glass, and a spot to place the bottle. The towel hangs right over the edge for a perfect look. You can also see some imperfections around the edges. This is perfect since I wanted to definitely show off the live edge.

On the other side of the caddy was a spot for the candle and potted plant. Our bathroom has dimmable lights with just adds to the ambiance of the room while relaxing with the candle lit.

Finally, you can see the spot I grooved out to hold the tablet. My wife loves watching shows like Virgin River it is a nice addition. This is a perfect piece to add to our bathroom décor. I hope that I have inspired a few of you to try your hand in making this project or maybe something similar. If you want to leave a comment on your thoughts of the build don't hesitate to reply on the bottom of this page.

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