How to Make a DIY Beach & Pool Caddy for Summer Fun

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(Read below to learn how to make you own diy pool caddy and get a printable list that you can take to the store).

I consider myself creative but not necessarily crafty.

True story.

Look through the hundreds of posts on this site and you’ll be hard pressed to find DIY crafts and projects. But one thing is for sure, I do love summer and the beach. Since summer is just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to create a colorful beach/pool caddy for all of our beach and pool goodies.

Get printable list

The truth is, I was going to buy one but opted for the DIY route because I thought it could be a fun family project. Plus, it’s more affordable and no one would have anything like it. Things I wanted to store in the caddy:
googles, swim toys, swim suits, towels and sunscreen. I had everything else on hand but let’s just say that it was time to replace the sunscreen.

Good thing that there is a Target only about 10 minutes away from my house. Things I look for in a sunscreen:

UVA/UVB protection- I need sun protection that works yet is gentle enough on my sometimes picky skin.
Longevity- Especially with two little ones, I don’t always remember to pop out of the water to reapply sunscreen.
Affordability- Sun protection is serious business but, I don’t want to have to break the bank on it.

Fortunately, I found Neutrogena Sheer Zinc® sunscreen lotions. Not only does their sunscreen come in SPFs of 30 and 50 but from 5/21-5/27, anyone that purchases $15 in sun care will receive a $5 Target GiftCard.

My store was out of the Sheer Zinc face lotion but I scooped up two of the SPF 30 lotions and was quickly on my way. Good thing I can always stock up online.


Now for the beach/pool caddy you can go to any craft or diy store and you’ll find lots of options.

You’ll need: 

A medium wood frame box

wood alphabet

flat wood cut outs (the kids chose a crab and an anchor)

paint brushes (medium and small brush for edging)

various matte acrylic paints (for this project crimson, white, black and sky blue)

wood glue (yes, it exists)

natural sea sponges

After buying the materials, it’s pretty straight forward from there. It’s just a lot of painting so, a great excuse to get everyone involved in the family fun! Including G’ma that came through for a visit.

Use the small brushes for painting the wood alphabets in sky blue and any generalized unfinished corners and small areas. The small paint brushes are also great for painting the crab red and anchor that beautiful rich black. We used the large brush for painting the wooded box a matte white using long strokes. Two coats makes for nice coverage with about 1.5 hours drying time in between each coat.

Next dip the foam sponge in water, dabbing off the excess and then into some sky blue paint. Pouring some of the paint onto a paper plate or brown paper bag first makes this easier to do. Gently press the sponge onto the sides of the box to get even distribution.

It kind of looks like water splashes doesn’t it? At least that was the idea. Next, after securing the wanted placement for the letters, put a small amount of wood glue on the under side and neatly set in place. Glue the crab and anchor on last.

After gluing the letters on the box, I placed about 2-3 large heavy books on top and let them set for about an hour.

In a few easy steps, we went from this…

To this…

I really love how the DIY beach/pool caddy came together.

When I’m heading to the pool, the fact that Sheer Zinc has naturally sourced zinc oxide in the form of Purescreen® technology, won’t clog my pores and is water resistant for 80 minutes, means that I’ve found a suitable pick for bikini season.

Here’s what else is in my caddy:

If you’re going to be using this caddy outdoors, a wax coat or water sealant would do well in preserving the color. Maybe, I’ll come back and do that another day. Until then, keeping our swim and splash gear in this space will help keep things organized, is nice to look at and is definitely one of a kind.

As you’re getting ready for summer, pick up some Neutrogena Sheer Zinc sunscreen and be equipped for all the splishing and splashing summer will throw your way.

If you plan on making my easy diy beach caddy, make sure to get a printable list if you decide that you’ll be buying those items from the store.

How will you get summer ready? Here are some other summer posts that you may like to read:

Easy Beach Cake

Easy Beach Cake

  • Comments ( 13 )

  • avatar

    Love the idea of this creative DIY beach caddy! It holds all the great things of summer! {client}

    • avatar

      Yes. It really is an added convenience.

  • avatar
    Patty H

    Love this simple craft idea. My daughters think it’s brilliant!

    • avatar

      Thank you Patty.

  • avatar
    Laura @ Beltway Bargain Mom

    What a clever idea for a DIY pool or beach caddy. Great tutorial Lisa, and you included some great summer essentials inside as well. Now I’m definitely getting excited about going to the beach in the next few months!

    • avatar

      Me too Laura! Any plans to go to the beach soon? I just ordered the kids some swimsuits today. Of course, they’ve already outgrown the ones from last season.

  • avatar

    What a fantastic idea! It would have never occurred to me to make this. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • avatar

      It’s funny how walking around in a craft store can cause one’s creativity to “go wild”.

  • avatar

    I love this cute DIY caddy! It’s just the right size to fit all your must have beach items!

    • avatar

      It is. If it was any bigger, I would over-stuff it.

  • avatar
    Kirstin N. Fuller (@thetravelindiva)

    This is so cute! I love the crab and the anchor, they are adorable touches.

  • avatar

    Could easily add some rope handles with a drill, would make it easy to carry as an adult or if you have two kids…teamwork!

    • avatar

      That’s a fabulous idea Allie.

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