I don’t know about you, but I find I never have enough space on the edge of my bath for all the bathing essentials…lotions and potions, book, candle, massive glass of wine…and there’s nothing more annoying than having to haul yourself out of the lovely hot water to get something off the floor. I’ve realised I need a bath shelf.
I used to have one of those you can buy with a built-in book rest and holders for a candle and wine glass, but it was metal and it rusted and anything else you put on it fell through the bars into the water. Useless basically. I wanted a solid wooden one like you see all over Pinterest. Then I investigated the cost of said wooden ones, and realised I didn’t need one that badly.
In the course of turning an old mahogany chiffonier into a sink vanity for my new bathroom, we took out the top shelf in the cupboard, a lovely looking bit of wood, and straight away I knew I’d found my bath shelf. This might not be most people’s idea of upcycling (it’s not all about attacking something with a pot of chalk paint), but for me, taking something and giving it a new purpose is what it is all about.
The beauty of this project is that it is easily replicated with brand new wood, which you can get cheaply from a DIY store, or equally any old bit you have lying around – an old door panel, scaffolding board, etc.
You will need:
- Wooden board two inches wider than the top of your bath (you can ask for it to be cut to size in the DIY store)
- Two smaller pieces of wood at least ¾ inch thick and 1.5 inches wide (1″x2″ timber is ideal), the same length as the width of your wooden board
- Wood glue
- Sandpaper/mouse sander
- Clear wax, brush and cloth
- Sand your wooden board and supports thoroughly, including the edges so they are perfectly smooth. You really don’t want splinters anywhere near naked people. You can use a mouse sander (also called a palm sander, but mouse is cuter) or sandpaper and a bit of welly.
- Place your board over the top of your bath, in the centre. Take one of your supports and put it underneath the board, up against the side of the bath. Using your pencil, draw a line along the inner edge of the support to mark where it should go. Repeat for the other side.
- Remove your board and turn it upside down. Using the wood glue, stick your supports to either side of the board, ensuring you have them in the right place along your pencil line. Weight down the supports with books (or anything heavy you have to hand) and wait a few hours.
- When the glue is dry, sand any excess which might have seeped out from the edges.
- Check the fit on your bath. It should drop snugly into place, and not move too much from side to side.
- Using your wax brush, apply a coat of clear wax to the shelf, and leave it to cure for half an hour. Then using a cloth, buff it firmly to remove the ‘tacky’ feel of the wax.
- Put your bath shelf in place on your bath, turn on the taps, open the wine and enjoy!