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Gather your bathing supplies and keep them handy on this caddy you can customize to suit the size of your tub.
Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.
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The measurements shown on the Bathtub Caddy Project Diagram are for a caddy 41 inches long and 12-1/4 inches wide to fit a freestanding tub. You’ll need to customize the tray supports and possibly the tray bottom slat lengths to suit the width and style of your tub.
Cut two tray supports (A) to lengths that equal the outside width of your tub. If your tub is mounted against a wall on one side, cut the support short enough to avoid bumping against the wall.
Measure the inside width of the tub and subtract 1 inch. Subtract that dimension from the length of the tray supports and divide the result in half to mark in from the ends of each tray support. Using a ruler and compass set to a 1/2-inch radius, mark the tray support notches on both ends of one tray support as shown on the Bathtub Caddy Project Diagram.
If you don’t have a compass handy, trace around a quarter for roughly the same diameter.
Tape the two tray supports together with the ends flush and begin by cutting the long line with a jigsaw. Stop when you reach the curve, turn off the saw and remove the blade.
To cut around tight corners, fit your jigsaw with a narrow, fine-tooth blade with 12 or more teeth per inch.
From the edges of the supports, jigsaw up to and around the curve. Remove the tape and sand the cut marks smooth. Sand the tray supports with 120-grit and then 180-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the edges and ends.
Slightly softening any crisp edges on the wood does more than make the project easier to hold. It helps a painted or clear finish cover the surface without becoming too thin at the edges.
From a 1/2 x 2 x 48 poplar board, cut two tray ends (B) 11-1/4 inches long. Sand both parts smooth and soften the edges but not the ends.
From 1/2 x 3 x 48 poplar boards, cut four tray bottom slats (C) 22 inches long. (If this is too long to fit your tray supports, you can instead cut them to a length equal to the bottom of the notches minus 8 inches.) Sand the slats and soften the edges and ends.
Cut seven spacers about 3 inches long from a 1/4-inch square dowel. On a flat work surface, lay the four bottom slats side by side with the ends flush and separated with 1/4-inch spacers and a spacer along the outside edge of one outside slat. Apply glue to the face of all four slats at one end and clamp the tray end to the slats with 1/4-inch overhangs on each end. After the glue dries, repeat to install the other tray end. After the glue dries, drill 1/16-inch pilot holes and drive 1-inch brads to reinforce the glue joints.
Center the tray along the length of the tray supports and mark its position. Glue and clamp the tray ends to the supports. After the glue dries, drill 1/16-inch pilot holes and reinforce the glue joints with 1-inch brads. Then fill the nail holes with putty and let dry.
Sand the completed caddy with 120-grit and then 180-grit sandpaper and wipe clean. Apply two coats of paint (Brushed Almond shown). Estimated cost: $26.