Save over $100 with this DIY Wooden Bathtub Caddy Tutorial

DIY Wooden Bathtub Caddy Tutorial

Do you enjoy soaking in a hot, relaxing bath? Know someone who does? Well, good news, because not only am I about to drastically enhance your bathing experience, I'm also going to save you a wad of cash! Did you answer, "Meh" to the first question, but perk up at the latter? If so, I have the perfect DIY gift for you to make and give this Christmas. I'll make this even easier for you and make a few suggestions on great items to pair with this wooden bathtub caddy:

A Candle and Journal 

My favorite candles of all time are by Tyler Candle Company And while you can't buy directly from their site, you can find them on here on Amazon (if you don't have a retailer close by). I'm not kidding you when I say that they are like a very addictive drug for the senses! My nose follows the scent like that annoying toucan from the old Fruit Loops commercials. Give these candles as a gift and be sure to get some for yourself while you are at it. Pure deliciousness I tell ya.

Does the recipient of this gift value humor and possibly need a little encouragement? If so, you can't go wrong with this journal I found on etsy.

A Fluffy Towel Set 

Because I like to support local, and because I absolutely adore all things Pendleton Woolen Mills. I want to introduce you to these high quality towels. The Chief Joseph Jacquard Collection is my current favorite. Specifically the grey/white.

Fancy Bath Bombs 

Last week amidst all of my amazon deliveries (I'm really getting the hang of this online Christmas shopping thing), I found a package that was made out to me...for me! My sweet cousin had sent me a box with the nicest note and a collection of her favorite bath essentials from LUSH! Thank you Nikki! It was almost like she knew that I was in the process of bettering my bathing experience with the creation of my new wooden tray to sit atop my tub. So far, I've tried and will definitely recommend the Sex Bomb. After dropping it into a tub of warm water, it began to fizz and swirl, and turned my water shades of pink and purple. It was like a party in my bathtub, taking the whole experience from bleh, to Wowzers!

DIY Wooden Bathtub Caddy Tutorial 

DIY Wooden Bathtub Caddy Tutorial

Materials List (to make the size i made):

  • 2 ea. 1x4x8 Common Board $2.38 each at Home Depot 
  • 12 each 1 1/4" Construction Screws
  • Tape Measure
  • Saw (or have your cuts made for you when/if you purchase your lumber at Home Depot)
  • Sand paper.
  • Stain of choice (I used my favorite, Minwax in Dark Walnut)                                                                            
  • Rags for applying stain and prepping wood
  • Drill (with screwdriver bit to match screw heads) or screwdriver to match screw heads ( x or -)
  • Drill bit (smaller in diameter than your screws) for drilling pilot holes

A quick word about the materials listed above. When you go to pick out your wood for this project, be sure and take a good look at what you are getting. Don't just go grabbing the first two boards you get your hands on. If you want a more polished look, then you should try and find boards that are free of knots and blemishes. If however, you like a more rustic, vintage vibe, then find some that are a little more banged up. Either way though, I want you to pay attention to one very important thing. Please ensure that the boards you choose are as straight as possible. One good way to check for this is to pick out one board that looks pretty straight to the eye. Set one end down, lift the other end up to your eye and look down the length of the board. If it looks pretty straight, then you have something to compare to. When you grab your next board, set in next to the first and compare. Here is a pic I snapped to help show you what you are looking for:

DiY Wooden Bathtub Caddy Tutorial-Wow in wood

If you take a look at these two boards, you can see that the one on the right is much straighter than the one on the left. By setting them side by side and looking down the length of the boards you can see how the one on the left is pretty bent. This is what you call a "wow" in the board. You want to steer clear of wood with wows, as it can throw off your project.


Step 1:

Measure the outside and inside width of your tub. Most likely it will be somewhere close to 29" on the outside and around 22 or 23" on the inside. My old clawfoot tub measured approximately 30" wide on the outside and has a 23" opening.

Tutorial: Measuring for a DIY Wooden Tub caddy

Step 2:

Step 2 for you, will be to cut three boards to the length of your Outside Tub Measurement (from step 1). Step 2 for me, was deciding how deep I wanted the table top to be. It was a decision between using 3 or 4 boards. And it went something like this:

Step 3:

Measure your width by laying your three cut boards on a flat surface and squishing them up long sides together. It should be approximately 10 1/2"-10 3/4". Now subtract 1 inch. This is your measurement for your two support pieces.

DIY wooden bathtub caddy tutorial

Step 4:

Cut two support pieces as per your measurement in step 3. This doesn't have to be exact. You just want both support pieces to span all three of your long (top) pieces of wood, without hanging over.

DIY wooden bathtub caddy tutorial

Step 5:

Prep all five pieces of wood by sanding with a high grit sandpaper, and then wiping clean with a rag or cheesecloth. 

DIY wooden bathtub caddy tutorial

Step 6:

Stain all five boards separately, making sure to entirely cover the wood. The reason we are staining before assembly is because we want to be sure and have full coverage. Since this is going to be in contact with water, it is important that we protect the wood with the stain. If we were to assemble first, we would risk water getting into the cracks where there wasn't any stain for protection.

Step 7:

Once all pieces have been stained and dried, lay them out (pretty/good side down), and again, squish them up lengthwise to measure and mark you center line (total width divided by two).

DIY Wooden Tub Caddy Tutorial

Step 8:

This next step is very important. You are going to measure and mark where your support pieces will go. The reason this is so important is because if you put them too close together, your tub caddy will be able to twist and turn. But if you put them too far apart, the tray will not set level on the tub. This is why we measured the inside/opening of the tub in step 1. The idea is that you get the outside edges of your support pieces as close to the inside edge of the tub as possible without going to far. Here's how:

Take your inside tub measurement from step one and divide by two. Now measure out from the center line in both directions and make your marks. 

Step 9:

I used a speed square to extend my line across all three boards on both sides, giving me a nice straight line to set the outside of my support piece on. If you don't have a speed square, you could measure and mark on each board and use a ruler or level to draw your line. 

DIY Tub Tray Tutorial

Step 10:

Drill pilot holes do prevent wood from splintering. I used 6 screws per side, drilling two into the underside of each top piece.

DIY wood bathtub tray tutorial
DIY wood bathtub tray tutorial

Step 11:

Screw support pieces in place, and you are almost finished!

DIY wood bathtub tray tutorial
DIY Wood Bathtub Tray Tutorial

Step 12:

Last step...set your new caddy on the tub, draw a bath, add some bubbles, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor! 

DIY Wooden Bathtub Caddy Tutorial

You can truly relax knowing that you saved over $100 by making this on your own!

Let's do a little cost breakdown and comparison shall we?


  • Wood 2 sticks of common board at @ $2.38 ea = $4.76
  • Screws $1.94 (unless you already have some 1 1/4")
  • Stain $7.77 (if you need to purchase this)




Save over $100 with this DIY Wooden Bathtub Caddy Tutorial

Yes, you can believe your eyes! Anthropologie has a similar, Vestige Bathtub Caddy for $168. So, by making our own, we saved $153.53!!!

Dot & Bo also sells a Wooden Tub Caddy. It will set you back $119, or you can make your own, and save $104.53!!!

Are you starting to see why I get so jazzed up about this DIY stuff? With just a little bit of time and effort, I was able to improve the looks and function of my Master Bathroom at a fraction of the cost and YOU can too!

Not sure where to start or even which tools you need to invest in? I've got you covered. Just plop your email address in the box below and you can get a FREE copy of my eBook. The TFD Style Toolbox is a comprehensive list of the tools I used most (broken down into power, hand, and domestic tools), and gives you an idea of how/what I use them for. 

Once you get your FREE eBook, you'll see that my Ryobi Drill and Driver are my two most loved and used tools in my toolbox (I used them both in this project). Want to know what is awesome about that? Home Depot has a deal going on right now that will save you $50 on the set! Here is the link to get both drill and driver for only $99!

Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Kit (2-Tool)

DIY Wooden Bathtub Caddy Tutorial

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means certain retailers may pay me a small percentage for every sale that I refer to them. This does not affect the price you pay & you can rest assured that I only recommend and endorse items that I truly love.

Lindsey FrankusComment