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How To Make A DIY Bathtub Tray

Learn how to make a DIY bathtub tray to hold your book, phone and candle. This easy wooden tub tray with cabinet pulls as handles makes a great handmade gift idea for her!

There’s not many more better things in life than a nice, long, relaxing bath. Bubbles filled to the brim, candles flickering, music playing in the background, magazine just waiting to flipped through. I feel more relaxed just thinking about it. Don’t you?

Not only are baths relaxing, but they are good for your health! In fact, a daily bath has been proven to improve your mood and optimism, help muscle pain and even help you sleep better. Sign me up please!

Today’s project is a super easy DIY bathtub tray. This is the perfect handmade gift for anyone on your holiday shopping list who loves baths. This bath tray goes perfectly in this relaxation gift basket (with free printable tags!) for a fun and unique Christmas gift.

This DIY bathtub tray post contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend anyway! Read my full disclosure here.

How to Make a DIY Bathtub Tray

Supplies for DIY bathtub tray:

Step 1: Measure your bathtub.

First, you want to measure the width of your bathtub. If your tub curves, you probably want to measure the widest part.

Unlike this DIY tray we made with leftover tile and wood that we had to cut and assemble ourselves, this bathtub shelf uses a premade wooden sign that you can find at the craft store!

This premade wooden sign works perfectly for a standard-size tub like mine (approx. 39 inches). I love that it’s already assembled and everything, so you can save a little time on this DIY bathtub tray.

If your bath is a different size, no worries. You can grab some wood, cut it to the right size, and attach some cross boards on the back to keep the boards together. The rest of the steps for this tub tray will be the same.

A woman uses a sanding block to sand down a wooden pallet.

Step 2: Lightly sand wood sign.

The front side of the sign comes mostly smooth, but I did a light sanding on it to smooth out any imperfections. I also sanded the edges so they were a little more rounded and not as sharp.

Dark wood stain spread on the center board of a three-board pallet sign. The deep wood stain is a dark brown color compared to the light natural wood.

Step 3: Stain wood sign.

Next, stain your sign with a dark wood stain. I love this dark walnut stain, which I used.

A Silhouette Cameo machine cuts out a stencil from contact paper on a cutting mat. The lid of the cutting machine is open, showing the process of the stencil being cut.

Step 4. Cut stencil.

Now it’s time to make your stencil with the Silhouette Cameo. I chose to paint the word “relax”, which I think is perfect for this wooden bath shelf.

A small stencil cut from contact paper says the word

Step 5. Apply stencil.

I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret. I’ve found a way to seal my stencils before painting so they don’t bleed, be sure to hop on over to that post to get the full details on this little hack. You’ll do this magic little step before painting over the stencil.

I also used this little sign-making hack on this DIY bottle opener, this fun shiplap sign, this believe Christmas decor, this DIY farm sign, this leather sign and farmhouse centerpiece!

A person uses a foam sponge brush to paint over a stencil that reads

Step 6. Paint stencil.

After you’ve sealed the stencil, you can paint! I always use acrylic craft paint for stenciling because it works great and it’s so inexpensive to buy.

Using a foam paint brush, gently “pounce” directly down onto the stencil with the brush (rather than using brush strokes). This is one additional way you can prevent stencil bleeding.

Let it dry to touch and then remove the stencil.

Step 7. Seal tray.

Since the DIY bathtub tray is going to be around moisture, you definitely want to seal it. I always seal my wood DIY projects anyway (even if they aren’t going to be in the bathroom).

One of my favorite ways to seal wood projects is this spray sealant. It’s really simple to use. You just spray it on like spray paint and wait for it to dry.

A person holds a brushed nickel handle up to the end of of the wooden bathtub tray, measuring how long the screws need to be to attach the handle to the tray.

Step 8. Attach handles.

Here’s the thing…when I was shopping for the handles to go on each side of the rustic bathtub tray, I didn’t have the wooden tray with me.

When I got home, I realized that the handles lined up almost directly above the slats in the wood. I was worried that the wood might split up open on the edge or something, so we decided to add a small piece of 1/4” plywood to the underside of the bath tray under the handles as shown in the photos above.

If you’re making this bath tray and using this same wooden sign as your base, try to grab some handles that are a little wider so you don’t run into this issue. If you do have this same issue, it was a pretty easy fix, so no worries.

A person uses an electric drill to drill holes into the ends of the wooden bathtub sign in order to attach a handle.
A person attaches a small piece of plywood to the underside of the wooden bathtub try. This small piece of wood will act as an anchor for the handles.

Measure where you want the handles, drill pilot holes and attach your handles to the tray.

A closeup shot of the brushed nickel handles on a wooden bathtub tray that rests on the sides of a white bathtub.

Step 9. Take a nice, relaxing bath.

And that’s it! Now you can fill that bathtub up, light a couple of candles and hop in for a nice bath! Now you have a snazzy table to hold your book, cell phone, glass…you name it. Relaxation is just around the corner.

If you’re looking to take the bath tray one step further, this bath table even has a holder for your wine glass stem!

A dark wood bathtub tray rests over an empty tub. The tray holds a book, candle, towel, and small vase with pine leaves.
A closeup image showing the silver handles and painted

This DIY bathtub tray was so easy to create, don’t you think? Anyone can do it! Not only it is functional and makes your bath time more convenient, but it’s so cute.

An overhead image looking down at a rustic DIY wooden bathtub tray resting over an empty tub. The tray holds a book, plant, lit candle, and small towel.

Who doesn’t love baths? This wooden tub tray makes a great handmade Christmas gift. Check out how to create a super cute relaxation gift basket to pair with this tray for a memorable gift!

A DIY bath tub wooden tray resting over a white bathtub. The tray holds a scrub brush, towel, candle, and lamb's ear plant.

We even took the rustic tub tray along with us to our new house and here it is in our boho farmhouse bathroom!

What word would you paint on your DIY bathtub tray?

Let me know in the comments below!!

How To Make A DIY Bathtub Tray

How To Make A DIY Bathtub Tray

Yield: 1
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $25

This wooden bathtub tray is the ultimate way to treat yourself to some self-care! Hold your favorite book, a candle, and a calming plant while you enjoy a nice, long bath with this DIY bathtub tray project.




  1. Measure your bath tub.
  2. Lightly stand wood sign.
  3. Stain wood sign.
  4. Cut stencil.
  5. Apply stencil.
  6. Paint stencil.
  7. Seal tray.
  8. Attach handles.

2 thoughts on “How To Make A DIY Bathtub Tray

  1. Oh my gosh, this is oh-so-cute, and it looks so easy to make! I could seriously spend every night relaxing in a bubble bath LOL. And what a cute idea to stencil on it. (Yet another reason I NEEEEEED a cutting machine!) Pinning this to my woodworking board to share with others!!

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