Since spring has arrived, I’ve been focused on kitchen organization. In an effort to tidy up my kitchen sink area, I decided to make this DIY kitchen soap tray to hold my liquid soap and lotion dispensers. My dispenser bottles also received an upgrade with paint and labels.
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I made this DIY kitchen soap tray from a cedar fence picket. Cedar, in general, is an expensive wood to purchase. Buying it in the form of a fence picket makes it more affordable. It has a natural resistance to rot, so I figured it would be a good choice to use around my kitchen sink.
The drawback to using a fence picket is it will need to be sanded. Breathing in dust from cedar can be bad for your health, so be sure to work in a properly ventilated area and use a respirator rated for saw dust. Always use eye and hearing protection as well.
This project is perfect for a beginner. It involves a few simple cuts and most of the joinery is done with corner braces. I measured my soap bottles and then built the wood tray to accommodate those dimensions.
- 1 – 5/8 in. x 6 in. x 6 ft. Cedar Dog Ear Fence Picket (This is a seasonal item, it’s best to go in to the store to find it.)
- 4 – Black Corner Braces (The 3″ Corner Braces used on my caddy were left over from an Ikea project.)
- 3/8″ wood screws. The screws that come with the corner braces are too long. The cedar pickets are only 5/8″ thick.
- Brad Nails – I use Porter & Cable and like the packs with multiple length nails.
- Sandpaper & Sanding Discs
- Wood Filler
- Wood Markers
- Protective Top Coat
- Black Vinyl (For the words on the front of the tray.)
- Ryobi 18 gauge Brad Nailer
- Miter Saw
- Random Orbit Sander and Sanding Block
- Phillips Screw Driver
- Silhouette or Cricut (For cutting vinyl letters.)
DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLE DISPENSER LABELS AND FRESH & CLEAN CUT FILE
To download the (Fresh and Clean) words and dispenser labels, just subscribe at the top sidebar or at the bottom of this post. You will be sent a welcome email with the password to the library. Go to the library page and enter the password, then download any of the designs you would like. These files are available as a PDF, SVG, and Silhouette Cut File.
I recommend using printable vinyl sticker paper that is waterproof for these labels.
SAND THE CEDAR FENCE PICKET
It’s easier to sand your fence picket before you cut it in smaller pieces. Use a random orbital sander with a 80 grit sanding disc to take down the rough finish on the fence picket. Then follow up with a 180 grit paper and finish with 320 for a smooth finish. Again, always wear a mask to prevent breathing in saw dust.
CUT YOUR BOARDS TO SIZE
All soap dispenser bottles are different sizes. Measure your soap dispenser bottles and cut your boards accordingly. Add an extra 1/4 inch to the front and sides to accommodate for your corner braces. I used a miter saw to make all of my cuts.
It’s important that your cuts are precise. Be sure to measure twice and cut once.
Back Piece: 7 3/8 X 6 inches
Bottom Piece: 7 3/8 X 3 5/8 inches
Front Piece: 7 3/8 X 2 1/4 inches
Two Side Pieces: 3 5/8 X 1 inch
Dry fit your soap holder together to ensure all your cuts line up. Now is the time to make any adjustments to your cuts. Then, using a sanding block, smooth the ends of your boards and remove any rough edges.
ASSEMBLE THE BOTTOM AND SIDE BOARDS
Place your side pieces on a flat surface and run a bead of wood glue along the edge. Then lay your bottom piece on top. Line all of your edges up and make sure they are square. Then, using a brad nailer with 1 1/4″ brad nails, place two nails in each side. Insert the nails from the bottom, like the image below.
ATTACH YOUR FRONT BOARD TO THE SIDE BOARDS
Be sure to use wood screws that are shorter than the board thickness.
You will want to pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting the wood. This also makes the assembly easier. Choose a drill bit smaller than your scew and insert it into the drill to match the depth of the hole you want to drill.
Hold the front panel up to the bottom panel and line it up. Then place the corner braces on the inside corner of the side panel and front panel. While holding the project together, mark the location of your corner brace holes with a pencil.
Then remove the front panel and drill your holes.
Attach the corner braces to the front panel with a screw driver. I recommend doing this by hand, so you don’t over tighten the screws. Then slide the front panel into the side panels. Attach the corner braces to the side panels with screws.
This is how the inside front panel will look, when finished.
ATTACH THE BACK PANEL
I used 1 X 3 inch corner braces left over from an Ikea project and painted them with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. However, the 2 X 2 inch corner braces are available in black and also work well for this project.
Place your back panel against the bottom and side panels. Then mark your holes with a pencil. Pre-drill the holes and add wood screws.
For extra support, I added three brad nails to the bottom back panel into the edge of the bottom board.
Fill all the nail holes with wood filler, let dry and lightly sand. Use a light colored wood marker to color the wood filler. Wipe your project down to remove any dust. Then add a protective top coat to your project. I used three light coats of Krylon Acrylic coating. Let your project dry over night.
ADD THE VINYL WORDS TO THE FRONT OF THE TRAY
Open the files in the design software of your cutting machine. Load the vinyl into your machine. I used a scrap piece of vinyl, since the words are small in size. Check to make sure the cut settings are set to Vinyl and send your cut job.
Weed the extra vinyl from your words. Then place transfer paper over the image and rub it with an old credit card. Now peel away the backing from your vinyl. Center the image on your project and rub the back of the paper to transfer the image to the wood.
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I love the way this DIY kitchen soap tray turned out! It has that rustic farmhouse style and the natural wood warms up my sink area. It’s nice to have everything organized and tidy. I hope this project helps you get your kitchen sink area organized, too.