Last year was the first year that I actually enjoyed summer time.   When my kids were really little, going to the pool was such a pain.  I’d hear friends saying how they loved summer and hanging out at the pool, and I never understood it.  As far as I was concerned, it was an hour of prep time (feed the kids, apply sunscreen, change diaper, put on swim diaper, put on swim clothes/shoes, pack toys, get towels, feed again) and after all of that, it might be the kids naptime again!  

I am finally understanding those parents who look forward to summer.  My kids are old enough now that they can get their own swim clothes on.  They can carry their own towels and toys.  When it is time to leave the pool they don’t have massive meltdowns.  I can grab some snacks to eat at the pool and most importantly, they are safe enough in the water now that I don’t have to stress as much that they’ll drown!  

finished tray

Our school let out a few weeks ago, and we have been enjoying the pool as much as possible.  But now we have the new problem of wet swim clothes.  I’ve already mentioned how much I’d love a mudroom, but since I don’t have one, I improvised.  The school bags have been put away until August, so now their school bag hooks are swimming hooks.  Only one problem, the wet clothes drip onto the carpet.

After searching Pinterest and not finding any tutorials easy enough, I made my own.  It was a really fast project, and it turned out just perfect for my needs.

My first suggestion is to use whatever scrap wood you have around.  If you don’t have a stash of scrap wood, my next suggestion is to buy whatever is cheapest at your local hardware store.  Don’t get stuck on the way that I did it, instead see what is the best deal and make it work!

I used some 1/4″ plywood and a strip of thin wood that I had enough of.


A part of the reason that I couldn’t find a premade drip tray that I liked is that I needed it to very specific dimensions – 37 1/2″ by 8″.  I wanted it to run the whole length of my hooks, but not stick out too far and get in the way.

I cut the long lengths first, then I set them on the plywood base and measured the inside dimensions.  You can get really fancy here if you want and do mitered corners and all that jazz.  But I’m like, why bother?  It’s a drip tray for heaven’s sake, not a piece of furniture!


Before you start nailing anything together, do a quick check to make sure that everything fits together correctly.

check size

Once you are sure that everything fits how you like, attach the bottom of the drip tray by nailing it to the frame pieces.  (the frame is not nailed together.  It is held together by being nailed to the tray bottom)

create frame

nail plywood bottom

After you have nailed the plywood piece all the way around, you can reinforce the corners by putting a nail through the side pieces.

reinforce corners

At this point you can sand it to your liking.  I didn’t bother with that.  Like I said before, I wasn’t looking for anything super fancy.

To make it waterproof, instead of regular paint, I used Plasti Dip.  It is just like spraying paint, except it is liquid rubber.  It smells horrible, so make sure you are in a well-ventilated space.


I used the entire can on this tray.

sprayed tray

Once it completely dries the smell goes away (thankfully!)

Because I used scrap wood, this project only cost me ~$7.00 (the cost of the plasti-dip).  Definitely a win!

side view




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