Give mum something great – made by you.
Give mum something great – made by you. Photos Contributed

How to make mum a bath caddy

LOOK out, gents. Mother's Day is just around the corner and it usually sneaks up fast. So I'm throwing a big shout out to all the husbands, sons and daughters early so you, like me most years, don't forget about the most important person in the world - your mum.

Jess and I have just completed a bathroom challenge for Highgrove Bathrooms. A bathroom each, against each other, to find out who is the best bathroom designer. The reveal is in a couple of weeks but in the mix of things we had about three days to design and choose everything. Do you think I could find an off-the-shelf bath caddy? No, so I decided to make a bespoke red cedar one. While I was building it, I thought I would build two and surprise Jess for Mother's Day.

Step one: Select your timber

Going into the timber yard and selecting timber, for me, is one of the best jobs. I selected the straightest pieces I could find, so it could be cut and joined without any planing.

Step Two: Measure and cut

Measure the desired width and length you want with a tape measure. Then cut your lengths of timber to the correct length using a drop saw or hand saw. The width will depend on what look you are after - a chunky look or slim look. Different timbers look a lot different depending on the thickness you choose. I am joining together five lengths at 70mm wide each.


Step Three: Set out

Place all your lengths of timber together. I tried to match all the pieces so it looks like one piece, but it would also look good with a "chopping block" type approach - this means you will see the pieces are all different. Using a tape measure and pencil mark on each piece 1 through to 5, so you don't forget which order they all go. Also mark a small line at 100mm intervals along the length and across the whole width. This will be where the biscuits go.

Step four: Biscuits (not the tea dipping kind)

With your plate joiner, line the centre of the joiner up to your pencil lines and cut all of the biscuit joins.

Step five: Glue it all together

Run a line of PVA glue along all joining edges of the timber including inside the biscuit holes. Place biscuits into one edge of each joining side. Press all the timbers together and place into the clamps, using some off cuts protect the edges that touch the clamps, and slowly wind all the clamps to firm pressure. Make sure all pieces are flush at the ends and flat on the clamps. With a wet rag wipe all excess glue off the top and bottom. Let dry for 12 hours.

Step 6: Sand and finish

Release the caddy from the clamps and, using a belt sander or orbital sander, sand all the joins flush. The more time you take clamping the caddy the easier it will be to sand. Sand all the edges to take all sharp edges off. I wiped some vegetable oil over the whole thing and wiped the excess with a clean rag. And hey presto, you're finished.

Ayden and Jess Hogan were on The Block Triple Threat and won Reno Rumble in 2015. Follow them on Facebook as they build their dream home:


Western red cedar (2 x 2000mm x 70mm lengths)

PVA Glue

20mm biscuits


Plate joiner

bar clamps

hand saw or drop saw


tape measure.

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