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How to Build a Dry Sink

A dry sink is a cabinet with a tray to hold a wash basin [source: Merriam-Webster]. Dry sinks are really a thing of the past. When plumbing and running water was not yet available, dry sinks were used for basic hygienic functions. It was a cabinet with drawers upon which a wash basin was placed. Today dry sinks are mainly used as pieces of furniture and conversation pieces. You generally find these cabinets in antique stores [source: Iyer]. Some people use dry sinks as plant holders. We will now show you how to build a basic dry sink for that purpose.


  • One ¾-inch-by-14-inch-by-72-inch piece of plywood -- floor of sink
  • Two ¾-inch-by-5-inch-by-74-inch piece of plywood -- front and back rails
  • Two ¾-inch-by-5-inch-by-14-inch piece of plywood -- side rails
  • Six 2-inch-by-2-inch-by-28-inch studs -- legs
  • 2 feet-by-8 feet (22 gauge) aluminum sheet
  • Screws


  1. Build the floor of the sink Screw the front and back rails to the sink floor, along the length of the floor piece. The rails will overlap by an inch (2.5 centimeters) on each end. Make sure the two side rails are flush with the front and back rails. Screw them into the short side of the floor piece and into the front and back rails.
  2. Attach the legs Attach four legs to the corners of the sink by driving two screws into each leg through the corners of the sink. Place the remaining two legs under the long sides of the sink floor, in between the two corner legs. Attach them the same way as you attached the other legs.
  3. Make a drain Cut out a 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) hole in the center of the sink floor. This will be a drain in case water spills while watering your plants.
  4. Attach the aluminum Place the sheet of aluminum on the sink frame. Press it into the frame along the sides. Press it down into all the corners. Fold the excess aluminum over the rails. Make sure there are no sharp edges of metal exposed. Cut out a drain hole over the drain hole in the floor [source: Satterthwaithe].

You now have a basic dry sink that you can use and enjoy. You can enhance your dry sink table by adding draws.