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Home » Outdoor Tub Ideas – at home with Ashley

Outdoor Tub Ideas – at home with Ashley

Outdoor Tub Ideas - at home with Ashley

I have an awkward spot in my backyard. It’s shady so things won’t grow well, there’s a lot of random concrete, and I haven’t known what to do with it. Since renovating my bathroom, we took out the old clawfoot tub. So I figured it could stay outside! And I could decorate it to make it cute. Here’s some outdoor tub ideas!


Here is the before- so scary right? This little corner is right out of our bathroom we’re renovating. Turns out, we tore a lot of wood out of that room. And it all got thrown in this pile. Fun!

So much better! This automatically made the project worth it.

Here’s the tub that we pulled out of the bathroom. It’s a little roughed up, but let’s fix it up for this project!

outdoor tub ideas

Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:


If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. It’d mean so much if you’d watch the video! I’m trying to get better at my video skills so I can grow my YouTube channel. If you have a few minutes to watch this and/or subscribe, I’d so appreciate it.


step 1- tub clean up and paint

The first thing I’m starting with, cleaning up the tub. I’m wiping down the tub and wherever there is flaking paint, I’m scraping it off. 

The fun thing about cast iron tubs, is the outside can easily be painted with any color paint! I’m going over the old green with a light pink latex paint called Beloved Pink.

Next, I thought it’d be fun to paint a pattern on the front of the tub- where it’ll be most seen. I sketched out an idea and then I used a sharpie on the tub to draw it directly on the tub.

Then, I painted inside the Sharpie lines with a few colors on the details (Winter White, Back to Nature, Tinted Ice, Corn Stalk). I also used the Sharpie again at the end to draw over all the areas I’d accidentally painted over the outline.

The little tub mural is so cute and sweet! I’m very happy with how it came together.

For the feet of the tub, they started out raw metal with some messy paint on them.

I’m painting them with Liquid Gold Leaf. It gives the look of real gold and is so beautiful and fast to do!

step 2- plumbing the tub

You might be wondering- how will you get water into the tub? Well, we’re placing it right outside the bathroom window, so the window can be opened and the hose can be used for warm water. Another option is the hose, but that water is freezing and ice baths are not my cup of tea (though someone might love that option).

For plumbing on the end, my husband is putting back on the overflow drain and the drain on the bottom. Usually the pipe goes down into the tub, but we repositioned it so it’ll come out of the front of the tub. 

Then he attached the Flex Coupling to the PVC bushing to the 3/4″ nipple so that a hose can be connected and used for watering the plants in our yard when draining the tub.

Note, we have a small leak when draining the tub between the hose and the 3/4″ nipple. There’s probably a better connector than the 3/4″ nipple, but we don’t know what it is. Since it’s outside, it’s not a big deal, but I did want to mention it.

step 3- putting the tub in place

And now, it’s time to level the area where the tub will go. In this corner, there’s gravel and cement and pavers. So we’re using pavers to make it so the back legs are even and the front legs are a little lower than the back legs. This will help with draining the tub. To do this, use a level and add gravel under the pavers until they are at the correct height.

Once that’s done, we’re moving the tub in place on top of the pavers.

step 4- curtain rods and tie backs

Something that’s important to have in this area, privacy. For that, we’re hanging curtain rods across the front and side of the outdoor tub area. We had old indoor curtain rods on hand that we’re using. 


If you don’t have curtain rods on hand, I’d suggest going the DIY route in an outdoor area. I think using Electrical Conduit rods would work great. You just need a way to cut metal to get them the correct size. Then I’d use Closet Pole Pockets to attach the rods to the wall.

For the tiebacks, I bought these black Curtain Tie backs. Then I spray painted them gold so they’ll match the curtain rods.

step 5- diy outdoor curtains

Next, I want to make outdoor curtains. I thought it’d be fun if they could match my pergola shades. So I’m using canvas drop cloths to make them. I’m using 4 of the 6’x9′ Drop Clothes. Each one will be a different curtain panel.

To start, I’m trimming 14″ off the top to make them shorter to fit my 7′ tall opening for my curtains. 

I want to make my curtains into stripes of rainbow, so next, I’m cutting each drop cloth into 2′ strips. For each drop cloth, that’s 3 pieces.

Once cut, run the pieces of drop cloth through the serger to finish the top and sides of the curtain panels.

Now that they’re the correct size, I’m going to dye each panel. To prep for this I grabbed rubber gloves (so I didn’t dye my hands), a plastic bin, the 8 colors of dye, and something to stir with. I like to use stainless steel tongs.

For these next steps, I followed Rit Dye’s directions. I used 1/2 bottle of dye and 1 gallon of water.

The canvas drop cloths are make mostly of cotton, but do have some polyester in them. Because they have some synthetic materials in them, they won’t take dye as easily so I wanted to make sure to use really hot water to ensure the shades accepted the dye. To do this, I heated up water until boiling on the stove top.

While the water was heating up, I got two curtain pieces at a time wet. This helps it so the dye will be accepted evenly.

I’m adding 1 Tbst of salt to the dye bath.

When the water starts boiling, I put it into the plastic bin. Note, if I had a huge pot, I’d prefer to do this on the stovetop. The plastic bin held up great to the boiling water! Next, I added the 1/2 bottle of dye. Last, I put the wet curtain into the water.

The first 10 minutes of dyeing are the most important- stir well for the whole 10 minutes especially when dying a long piece of fabric like this. This will help prevent splotches and promote even dyeing.

I left the fabric in the dye bath for 30 minutes (which is recommended for a polyester blend). Note, fabric will look darker when wet.

Repeat the dyeing for each set of panels.

I dyed two panels at a time. So two will be pink, two will be orange, etc. This’ll work nicely for having two sets of curtain panels.

After 30 minutes, I rinse the curtain panel in cool water until the water runs clear. This helps set the color and stops the dying process. Before putting the dye in my sink, I rinse the sink with water to help prevent the dye from staining my sink (it is a white sink so I’m extra cautious). The pink dye did leave some color behind so I just cleaned that up with Bar Keeper’s Friend.

Last, I’m washing the shades in my washing machine with detergent on a quick wash. They don’t bleed on each other it works great.

step 6- sewing the outdoor curtains

Now that the outdoor curtain panels are dyed, it’s time to sew them together. To start, sew the corresponding pieces together. So I’m sewing pink with orange and then the yellow panel onto the orange piece. This is just a straight line, so it’s pretty simple.

One thing I realized is that the drop cloths are all a different size. So when I cut off 14″ off the top to get them to the right size, I should have measured 7′-6″ from the bottom. Because of this, when they’re sewn together, they’re all a different height.

Next, I’m drawing a line so that the tops will be the same height.

Then I’m taking them to my serger and finishing them at that line.

To make the pole pockets, I’m taking the curtain panels and folding them over 3″. Then I iron them on the crease.

Now I take them to the sewing machine and stitch 3″ down along the serged line to create the pole pocket. This is what makes them curtains!

Finally, we put the drapes on the curtain rods and add in the finishing touches.


And here is the finished outdoor tub! I’m so excited to take my first bath out here! It needs to warm up first- it’s been in the lower 50s and a little chilly.

I LOVE how the drapes turned out! They’re so fun and whimsical. They remind me of a circus.

I think it’s really great that they’re right next to the pergola shades. Those inspired this project. I think the sun will fade these too, but we’ll see.

Now there’s plenty of privacy over here with the curtains! We really only needed it on the side from neighbors, but it’s super private in there now!

I added a bunch of plants, a hook for holding a towel, and a stool for extra storage like a book, phone, or soap. On the window trim, I painted some scallops, and hung an iron decorative grate. It has definite vibes now!

I hope this project gave you lots of outdoor tub ideas for making something similar in your yard!

price breakdown

Here is a price breakdown for how much this project cost-

Items I had on hand

It total, I spent $93 on this project.

In conclusion, I’m so happy about this cute little outdoor tub area! If you’re a bath lover too, I’d totally suggest this project too because it is cute, fun to use, and gets you outside more. Do you have any questions? Do you like how it turned out? Let me know in the comments.

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