DIY Water Table Tutorial

I put a photo of our new water table on Instagram and a few people contacted me to ask if I would be doing a blog post about how we made it. I did take some photos as we made it but my husband just made it up as he went along so I don’t have any measurements but this is how we made ours. 

I started by looking for a tub that would be big enough to play in. I found this mixing tray in Homebase for £13.50 which was deep enough to splash about in but not too deep that she wouldn’t be able to reach the bottom. I would have preferred a lighter colour or see through plastic but I liked how sturdy this one felt.


We used off cuts of wood we already had at home but the wood we bought for our outdoor easel would work well. Craig positioned the wood around the edge of the tray so that the lip rested on the wood and cut the lengths to fit the tray.


He used a drill to make the holes then screwed the wood together. I have seen some homemade sand/water trays online where people have put braces across the bottom to support the weight. The tray we used has a wide lip that sits really well on the frame so we didn’t add any braces.


We put the tray into position and got Sophie to stand by it to see how tall to make the table. I wanted it to be low enough for her to reach in but not low enough for her to climb in! It turns out that we made it low enough for her to dip a foot in to wash it!


We cut some wood for the legs and screwed them onto the frame.


Given that the frame will constantly be getting wet, I decided to paint it with some Ronseal garden paint in Peacock to protect it. This paint comes in so many lovely colours and waterproofs and protects the wood. The tin said that it would be rainproof in an hour and it did dry really quickly.


We placed the finished water table into the gazebo with a bucket of water toys and the magnetic water wall.


Sophie loves splashing in water and couldn’t even wait for it to fill up before she started to play.


To empty it, we have been scooping the water out with a bucket and using it to water the flowers then tipping out the last bit. I am considering making a hole and adding a rubber bung to make emptying it easier though.


I am really pleased with how it turned out especially as it cost us a fraction of the price of buying a ready made water table. I think we will also use it as a sensory table and for messy play.



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