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DIY: Rustic Wooden Bath Caddy

July 3, 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a DIY on the blog but having fairly recently moved I’ve been getting my craft on. 🙂

Door Furniture Direct got in touch and kindly offered to gift me some of their handles to see how I could use them in an upcycling project. As I rent I didn’t want to replace the handles on my doors or kitchen cabinets so I had to think outside the box about how I could use the handles to make something I actually needed.

I settled on making a rustic wooden bath caddy. We’re big bath fans over here and I love nothing more than soaking away the stresses of the day with a glass of wine and some candles, however, our bath doesn’t have much storage space around the edges so I designed this DIY wooden bath caddy with handles and a wine glass holder to make sure all my treats and products would be conveniently within reach.

If you want to create something similar then here’s my method, it can easily be adapted to suit your style.

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You will need

  • A piece of wood that’s long enough to fit across your bath
  • 2 narrower strips that act as braces to stop the caddy falling in the bath (I cut them from my main piece of wood)
  • 2 handles with screws – I got these ones gifted from Door Furniture Direct
  • 6 Screws long enough to attach your brace pieces of wood (I used 2 inch)
  • Saw/Jigsaw
  • Sander/sanding paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill with a bit large enough for your screws and a spade drill bit (I used 20mm)
  • Wood wax (I used Rust-Oleum clear wax) or paint or a wood stain/varnish if you prefer
  • Brush and cloths for wax

My caddy ended up being 26 inches across by 8.5 inches deep. The braces were 2.6 inches away from the ends and the handles were 1.3 inches from the edge.

For my caddy I used rustic reclaimed wood from the Bristol Wood Recycling Project, if anyone’s local it’s definitely worth checking out. They have a huge range of wood including shipping palettes and scaffolding boards as well as products they’ve made from scrap wood, all for really reasonable prices. I think the piece I ended up using was actually a piece of scaffolding board as it’s really thick and hard-wearing. I also got some off-cut pieces as I was considering creating a book stand on the caddy, ultimately I decided against this – I’ll explain why later.

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First I cut off the end piece of the wood so that the plank was 26 inches in length which fit perfectly across my bath. I used a jigsaw after first cutting some grooves for the blade to sit in with a hand saw. I cut the extra wood into two thinner strips (about 1.6 inches) these would go on the underside of the caddy and brace it from falling into the bath if it was twisted diagonally. You can of course get all your wood pre-cut to your desired length if you don’t fancy sawing or have a jigsaw just lying around. 😉 I was thinking though of getting something like these Scroll Saws as they are really good for making delicate cuts and are great if you want to decorate the wood that you are using. But then I decided that I just wanted to keep with a nice simple wood piece, so there was no point with me getting one.

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Next, plan where the wine holder would go by marking where your brace pieces of wood will sit. It needs to be far enough away from the braces that they’re not going to get in the way of the stem or foot of the glass.

Using a spade drill bit drill a 20mm hole into the wood which would hold the stem of my glass. If you don’t have a spade drill bit then you can achieve the same result by drilling a smaller hole and then gradually increasing the size of your drill bit.

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Use a jigsaw to cut a piece of wood out from the wine glass hole to the edge of the plank, this is how you slide your wine glass into the caddy.

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Don’t forget to test that it can hold your glass, and that it’s not a struggle to get it out again!

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Sand both your plank of wood and the thin strips you cut off earlier. It can be fiddly to get sanding paper in the wine glass nook so I wrapped sandpaper around a narrow off-cut of wood which did the trick for this area.

I was really happy to see that once the dirt and rough top layer of my plank was lifted the wood was a lovely rustic almost grey colour.

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Add your bracing pieces of wood to the underside. Use screws long enough to go all the way through your strip of wood and about half way through the plank (I used 2 inch screws). Drill a narrower hole first so that the screws go in easily but securely. You may only need two screws per piece but I used 3 because one of my brace pieces split. The best place to get screws and other DIY necessities is Tradefix Direct, pop over to this site to see for yourself!  ?

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Give the whole thing a final thorough sanding, notice the colour difference? I’m really pleased with the colour this plank turned out after sanding.

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Now we’re ready to attach the handles!

I chose the Black Iron Rustic Round Cabinet Handles from Door Furniture Direct in 140mm. I chose them because they looked rustic and classic but with a slightly modern industrial feel. The great thing about these handles is that they come with two different lengths of screws, ideal if you have different thickness cabinets or doors.

I encountered a problem though, because the handles were quite long, the only wood wide enough to accommodate them (my scaffolding board plank) was too thick for even the longest screws supplied to get through. Had I known more about standard widths of wood I’d have probably picked shorter handles but oh well! This meant I had to countersink them, which isn’t hard to do. But just be aware that you might have to too if you choose a particularly thick plank of wood.

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To countersink the screws I first drilled a hole all the way through the wood which was the right thickness for the screws.

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Then I drilled again but with a drill bit just wider than the screwhead. I only drilled down about a centimetre or so.

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Check you’ve drilled far enough by seeing how much screw comes through the other side.

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Then attach the handles securely.

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Here you can see the underside with the countersunk screws.

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Nearly done! Now give the whole caddy a final thorough sanding (you can remove the handles again for this part if it’s easier).

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Then wax it. I used Rust-Oleum finishing wax which I applied with a soft brush, I then buffed it off with a muslin cloth until it gave a soft sheen. For more of a shine you can add another layer of wax. If you would rather stain, paint or varnish your wooden bath caddy then you can do that too, but I personally preferred the simple rustic look of the wax which brought out the grain of the wood. I can also re-wax it in future if the humidity of my bathroom dries out the wood.

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I mentioned earlier that I was going to put a book prop on it, which is why in the first pic there are some extra planks of wood. I actually got as far as cutting wood to size, sanding and painting it white before I realised that it just didn’t look good. The rest of the wooden bath caddy looked, in my opinion anyway, really lovely as it was and the addition of extra non-matching wood seemed to spoil it. However, if I’d had off-cuts from the plank I used I probably would have gone ahead and used them as everything would have matched and probably looked really nice.

If you do decide to make a book/iPad prop on your caddy then you simply need to add (either by screwing or wood gluing) two strips of wood across the top of the caddy. One needs to be flush with the edge and tall enough that a book can lean on it without tipping backwards into the bath (eek!) and another, piece about an inch or so in front of that which holds the book in place but isn’t as tall.

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Here’s how it turned out. I’m really pleased with it, I think it’s got the ideal rustic industrial vibe that I like in my home décor. And it’s so nice to be able to have all my products (and most importantly my wine) within reach when having a bath – and it does look pretty Instagrammable doesn’t it. 😉

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Now that I’ve made it there are many ways I can think of to adapt it. You would add some kind of candle holder on there, as well as a grooved area to hold soap maybe – if you think of fun ways to add more features let me know in the comments.

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All in all this only took me a couple of evenings after work to put together – the most time consuming part was sanding it all down, so if you’re after something similar and haven’t been able to find the perfect fit then definitely give this DIY version a go, and let me know if you do!

Love, Sarah x

This post was sponsored by Door Furniture Direct who kindly gifted me the handles. However, all views are my own and I only accept sponsorship from brands I feel my readers would like. Please note there are affiliate links in this post which mean should you click and buy from them I get a small percentage of the sale value, at no extra cost to you.

DIY Rustic Wooden Bath Caddy

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