My guess is that you are a do-it-yourself kind of person? Me too! I tend not to purchase items that look like I can make them myself. I am not a professional builder, or carpenter, but I like to think I'm just clever enough to figure out how to get things done. If you happen to think the same then we are going to be good friends!
This DIY bath caddy project is one of those, “I can totally make this” items. Now I am not normally a bath person, but the house we purchased has a soak tub in the master bedroom that we were set on taking out to make our walk-in shower bigger. However, I tend to let ideas settle. Also several people have told me that a soak tub is something they enjoy, so I decided the best way to make my decision, is to test it out. I bought a nice bath bomb, grabbed a good book, and tried this soaking/relaxing ritual, and I have to say, I really enjoyed the alone time. Plus these bath bombs might be my new favorite thing! Now I treat myself to a good soak whenever I get a chance.
Since this became something that I enjoy naturally the next step was procuring a bathtub caddy, but I was turned off by the price (this was when I had my “ah ha!” moment). I saved a couple images of caddies that I liked. Then I did a quick sketch of what I wanted mine to have, and how I thought it would be built, and then went for it!
It turned out great, I'm very happy with it, so I thought I'd share my process with you...
Inspiration & Concept images:
Here’s a list of what I used!
one precut and finished piece of wood (I had a shelf that was used in our old home that worked perfectly).
Dimensions: 48” x 12” x 1”
Chipboard letter “H” for wine holder, purchased from Hobby Lobby
A bundle of basswood, from Hobby Lobby
(2) 36” x ½” basswood square dowel, from Hobby Lobby
Hardware: Two handles of choice
Hardware: One towel holder
Stain that matches your finished piece. (Mine ended up being pretty dark on the bass wood so keep that in mind if you want it to match exactly).
¼” woodboring drill bit/spade bit
Drill bit set
The next step is to get measurements and figure out the cuts for your wood.
Tub width (my measurement was 43”)
iPad measurement - widest orientation (my measurement was 9 ½”, but I added some wiggle room, so I cut at 11”).
Now, based on my concept drawing I needed a lip to hang off the end to mount my towel rack to, so I added 1 ½” to my overall tub width to allow room for that.
I wanted my centerpiece in the middle of the tub, so I subtracted the space I needed for my tablet from the tub measurement, and then split it in half, added my 1 ½” towel rack measurement to one side and then marked those two measurements on my wood. I used my circle saw to make my cuts with the help of my clamps.
Example: ( 43" (tub) - 11” (tablet) = 32"/2 = 16"+ 1 1/2” (for towel rack) = 17 1/2”. So one piece is 16” and one piece is 17” . This will center the tablet piece and save material.
Next, I used the 36” square dowel to make the centerpiece and cut out four 11” pieces for my tablet holder using my miter saw. I then double checked my measurements putting all pieces together to make sure I was still clearing my tub.
It was here that I noticed I hadn’t thought about a bottom piece for my tablet section! Like I said, I’m not a professional builder. I found a slim plywood panel that I cut 11” wide (tablet width) x 12” depth, to be my bottom support.
Thinking about how to affix my bottom piece, I decided to route out about a ¼” from the side of each bottom piece to set the plywood piece in and get a flush finish. I used a Dremel tool to do this (a router would have been ideal, but I don’t have one yet).
Make sure your pieces are on the right side - I put the larger piece toward the outside of the tub to accommodate towel rack. I also had a curved edge on my wood so that was my front. Just make sure you're paying attention if you have a preferred top/bottom or front/back.
I did have to trim a little off my 11” square dowels to fit. Which is okay because the 11” was about an 1 ½” wider than my tablet measurement.
I had three details: Wine holder, Centerpiece, Tablet support.
Cut the letter “H” in half. I used a razor blade but should have just put it on my miter saw.
Then I just trimmed down the outsides about 1” from the inside square to get the wine holder.
Next, I took two of my ½” square dowels from the basswood package, trimmed them to fit my wine holder and glued them to the wine holder ("H").
Tada, it’s a wine holder!
The basswood bundle I bought had 4” x 8” pieces in it. I took two, and glued them together.
Then I cut a 3 ½” x 12” strip out of my thin plywood panel and affixed it to the middle of the two glued panels, making sure it was flush with one end.
I laid out my four 11” square dowel pieces on my thin plywood centerpiece to figure out where I wanted my tablet, and the area for my phone to be placed. I marked them. Don't glue anything yet.
I grabbed two of the smaller ½” basswood pieces from the variety basswood bundle I bought and laid, marked, and cut them to make the sides of my phone area. Framing it in will add extra support to the main side pieces and centerpiece connection.
I also made a hole for my table support. To do this I traced the bottom of the support, and cut a hole about 1 ¾” behind the dowel mark I made for my phone area.
Now it's time to glue all the pieces down (paying attention to where my front was) I started with the back support piece and then glued all the center ½” square dowel pieces in, making sure to glue them to the inside of my two main side pieces as well.
Don't glue your ½” dowel piece that goes behind the tablet holder just yet! You’ll mark its position after you set it on the tub. Place your wine holder where you want it and glue that down. Let everything dry completely before moving on.
Once everything was dry I was able to pick the caddy up. I flipped it over so the bottom was up and using two scrap pieces of wood I added extra supports. ( It felt kind of flimsy when I picked it up so I’d recommend the same thing if yours feels like it needs it. Again, this is just what I ended up doing. A thicker centerpiece would fix this issue.
I used two 22” scrap pieces and screwed in the ends with 1” wood screws. It worked fine, you don't see them, and they can be stained to match, or jut use a thicker piece for your centerpiece.
Since it was sturdy now, I set it on the tub to see what angle I wanted my screen, and ensure my last ½” dowel was placed in the right spot. Mine ended up being 1 ⅞” from the phone area, and the angle is perfect for me. Glue your ½” dowel to the Centerpiece and let it dry. You can also trim the bottom of your tablet support to about ¾” from the bottom of the 4” x 8” screen support.
Notice my dowel mark is in front of my support. This was moved to behind the support and 1 ⅞” from front piece as previously mentioned.
And there you go. Your bath caddy is made. Now to stain it, add the handles and towel rack!
I used the 1/4" woodboring drill head to countersink my screws on the backside of my caddy so the screws from the handles didn't prevent it from setting flush on the tub edge. I made a template from a piece of scrap wood to make sure I placed my handles in the same spot on both sides of my caddy, marking the handle connections, and then drilling out the connection on the template, I applied it to the back of the caddy to make sure I was in the same location on both sides. You'll simply flip it over to get the other side done. My wood was thicker then the screw that came with my handles, so I drilled deep enough (about 1/2") to ensure the handle screw had a firm connection.
Now take your drill bit set and select one that is big enough to allow your screw to pass through the wood easily. Center it in the hole you just made and drill through to the top of your caddy. Put the screw through and with a screwdriver align screws with holes of your handle and tighten each evenly till it's tight. Repeat on the other side.
Screw your towel rack in to the end that hangs over the edge and YOU ARE DONE! Grab your favorite bottle of wine, a bath bomb, and enjoy your soak/alone time.
Don't have time right now? Save this pin for later!