Custom Wooden Bathtub Tray

3 Materials
2 Hours

I love a nice relaxing bath but even I'll admit that sometimes I find myself grabbing my phone to scroll social media or watch DIY videos! 😂😂😂 I also enjoy having a cocktail or even just a glass of water nearby so I decided to build myself a custom bath tray!

Starting plank

I started with a scrap wood plank that was wide enough to hang over my bathtub's edges and deep enough to hold a few items. For this project I used a scrap piece of plywood but I DO NOT recommend you do the same. I only did this because I wanted to test out my design and make sure it suited my needs before I went out and purchased more appropriate wood to use in a damp space. I would recommend solid wood or even a water friendly wood like teak. Once I use it a few times I will probably invest in some better wood and make another one.

Bottom Stoppers

Next I cut two pieces of pine to secure onto the bottom of my plank to keep it from sliding around. I made these pieces smaller than my plank so they would have about a 1 inch inset on each side. This way you won't see them much. You can see the inset on the next picture.

Attaching the Stoppers

Next i measured exactly where I would need the stoppers so that they would sit right between the sides of my tub. Then I gave it about 1/4 inch wiggle room so that the fit was not super snug. These stoppers will help keep the tray from sliding around a lot. After building this piece it was clear that I should have just marked where these would go and left that step for the end. After gluing and screwing them in they kind of got in the way of some other steps.

Cutting a Slot

I decided to make a removable phone or tablet stand and I started the slot i would need by drilling holes and then cutting it out with a jigsaw. This slot will make more sense once you see how I cut my phone rest piece.

Phone Rest

I found a thin piece of wood that was perfect for my phone rest and cut out the bottom to create a "tab" that would slide into the slot I cut in the main board.

How it Fits

By cutting the slot slightly larger than the tab it allows the piece to lean back and easily be removed to store away. I also decided to cut the angle off of the bottom so it sits nice and flat when it's leaning back. I wanted to make this piece easily removable but you could also just secure a piece cut at a slight angle with glue and screws. That way you could skip the steps of cutting a slot and a tab and simplify the project a bit.

Here you can see how the phone or tablet will lean against the board.

Next I cut a strip of 1/4 inch wood and secured it with glue and small brad nails at the edge of the board. This will add a little bumper to prevent the phone or tablet from sliding off.

Final Touches

I used a router to round the edge all the way around the plank. Then I sanded, stained and sealed the entire piece. Unless you use something like teak or a wood that is very water resistant, it's really important to seal the entire piece well. I used a water based polyurethane but there are many sealer options out there.

Finished Product!

Here is the bathtub tray all finished! I hope you enjoyed this project and thanks for following along! Check out my Instagram for more DIY projects!

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3 of 13 comments
  • John John on Jul 06, 2020

    Hi Kris. Thanks. I see that now. They should of shown it in step 5 with the phone. I just missed it. Thanks again

  • Arttice Arttice on Jul 20, 2020

    I suggest the cell 'phone holder be made deeper to accommodate a book as well as an tablet. Just thinking for us "old school" people. ;-)