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Pebble-Filled Tray

Martha Stewart Living, January 2006

Make a boot tray by the door even better: Fill it with stones (found at garden centers). Ice and snow will melt and drain through the rocks to the bottom of the tray so your boots won't stand in a puddle. Most of the moisture will evaporate, but you should clean out the tray regularly.

Comments (54)

  • maria h 14 Aug, 2013

    This is a wonderful idea. My son and I collected stones/pebbles at the beach and put them in a tray. Snowy or wet boots dry much faster and sand from shoes is contained in the tray. He and his friends always put their shoes in the tray, it keeps the hallway much cleaner. He's now 6, younger kids use this as well and it's never been a problem, I completely disagree with "Toddlers = crazy".

  • AmyL76 12 Aug, 2012

    I love this idea!! I also have cats, but I don't think that they would use rocks... now sand would be a different situation. :D I'm thinking of using newspaper in the bottom of a metal tray, then cover with rocks. The newspaper would absorb most of the water and should make it easier to clean. Bonus with this idea: I can just throw the wet newspaper into the compost bin each week when I change it!!

  • Keisha 86 20 May, 2012

    I just got an idea from seeing this- I was desperately trying to find a way to make a homemade tray for a fragrance set I purchased yesterday. It's to make a stand/ tray of some sort : fill any size box with pebbles, shells, starfish, etc cover with glass, place candles, etc on top and rest on top of a table or bathroom counter (I'll use mine to rest toothbrush holder, tumbler, soap pump and vase in my bathroom).

  • angie42 17 Feb, 2011

    Super Target stores carry very attractive boot trays in the Smith and Hawken garden supply aisle. They are $25. Mine is nice, without any pebbles.

  • cbonblackberry 19 Nov, 2010

    this looks pretty but i think unrealistic. just another thing to maintain. I like the large rubber trays which can be cleaned, and they do get dirty. This suggestion is better for houseplants than boots.

  • urbanFeline 15 Oct, 2010

    There is a boot tray at Williams-Sonoma that is quite nice, if a little pricey:
    (It looks like this item is available online only, so unfortunately you cannot walk into a W-S and pick one up).We bought one and it fits perfectly in our entryway!

  • btbt 21 Dec, 2008

    Use mesh-backed river rock tiles if you are worried about the rocks waling away.

  • btbt 21 Dec, 2008

    Use mesh-backed river rock tiles if you are worried about the rocks waling away.

  • btbt 21 Dec, 2008

    Worried about rocks walking away? Use mesh-backed river-rock tile. Only problem, is they usually only come in 12 x 12 squares.

  • Irishmama 5 Nov, 2008

    Though pretty, little boys I know would have the pebbles scattered everywhere very quickly. A possible alternative would be to try the plastic grate (I prefer white, but it also comes in silver) found in the florescent lighting area of home improvement stores. It can be easily cut to fit a tray with a saw or utility blade (or maybe even sharp scissors)

  • marthainspirit 5 Oct, 2008

    aquarium rocks are inexpensive and will work well for this project. You can find many colors or stay with the neutral rocks.

  • mangiarone 29 Sep, 2008

    To those of you with issues with rocks walking away :

    Don't use this until a later date if you think it will be a problem , or put it somewhere where it would be safer.

    Putting the rocks in cement or glue will most likely defeat the purpose of the rocks being in the tray in the first place, to elevate your boots so the can drip and dry.

    If you would still like to use the rock filled boot tray, top it off with a grate of sorts, like an old cooling rack from the kitchen.

  • ccoop22261 29 Sep, 2008

    I have 2 cats. I think they would try and use this as a litter box!!!

  • NanaJeani 29 Sep, 2008

    I got a black try at Walmart last year, that Iw illa dd the rocks to.

  • gardengirlusa 29 Sep, 2008

    EXCELLENT IDEA and I just bought everything I needed at Lowes for less than $10.

  • skinnybitch 29 Sep, 2008


  • sweetnlow 29 Sep, 2008

    Where can i find a boot tray to do this? I've been looking for one at the stores around me that i think would have them and i can't find one. Does anyone have any suggestions on the types of stores or specific stores i can buy one at? Thanks!

  • ladyhenry 29 Sep, 2008

    belovedofgd, Amen. you are right.
    This is a great idea. I am going to make a room by my door for this.

  • phycho 29 Sep, 2008

    I love this idea,perfect for me in Maine!! I agree about the negative comments. If you can't say something nice,we don't want to read it!! Thanks!

  • belovedofgd 29 Sep, 2008

    This is a terrific idea. I like reading folks positive comments that make using it even better. I DON'T see the point in making negative comments, ie 'what about toddlers?", " cats would use it!" , etc....just use your common sense, people!!! Not everything will work for everyone, use your delete button and keep your crabby comments to yourselves!!!

  • mrsmolendyk 29 Sep, 2008

    oooo!!!! This is the best idea I've EVER seen!!! thanks!!

  • diannam 29 Sep, 2008

    I found a pretty copper boot tray at

  • Baybuyer 29 Sep, 2008

    Not as pretty as Martha's, but this tray is inexpensive and large: Boot Trays/15676,default,pd.html

  • Cathylynn 29 Sep, 2008

    Great idea. I just started using a tray for shoes last year.
    Now you have helped me to make it even better!!
    Thanks again.

  • mcstiles 29 Sep, 2008

    Well a carpet scrap would be easier, but I don't think Martha's going for the lowest common demoninator. Where to find a "boot tray" I actually need something just like this for a different idea I had but cannot locate one.

  • GrandmaV 31 Aug, 2008

    I love this boot tray idea and have had it in place for the last couple of years and I get lots of great comments on it. I used polished rocks and rinse them off with the garden hose in the spring and fall and place them in the boot tray when dry.

  • SusanKramer66 31 Aug, 2008

    K-45...My thoughts exactly! So, not only would I have to clean out the tray, but rinse off a pile of rocks. I pick up a free carpet remnant from the local carpet store...and throw it away at the end of the season.....they will cut it for you to your size...and there are many colors to chose will absorb the snow and salt.

  • mainergirl 31 Aug, 2008

    Toddlers = crazy! I have a similar box for boots, but instead of rocks on the top layer, I set boots on strong cookie racks with couple of large but flat stones under the racks (to add support to the racks when boots are heavy). Those are then set on top of an old scrap of rug. Works like a charm. To clean: take out the racks, then the stones, and wash the rug in the sink with a sprayer and soap, using a sturdy brush for stains.

  • KITTEN-45 31 Aug, 2008


  • ginamia 31 Aug, 2008

    Call me crazy but where does one find a boot tray??

  • pelican66 30 Aug, 2008

    why not put an old scrap rug under the stones to absorb moisture? this is a great idea if there's no cats in the house; im afraid they'd think it was a satellite litter box least my four would.

  • Ldybugsrus 30 Aug, 2008

    If you are worried about the kids playing with or trying to eat the stones, you could get larger stones and use that E6000 glue and glue the rocks in place. all you would need is 2 layers of stones. it would make rinsing it out easier too.

  • tcw61 30 Aug, 2008

    I don't have toddlers. I have teenagers (trust me, worse). I problem would be getting them to actually put their boots there..LOL! But it is a very nice idea...The simplest ideas are the best...=)

  • Mommy2 30 Aug, 2008

    That is 2 cats and 3 cocker spaniels,grandchildren and a retired husband. Don't know why the dogs didn't print out

  • akiwi 30 Aug, 2008

    I agree it may not work for houses with young children, but for others I think it's a fabulous idea. Looks attractive as well, rather than just having a plastic tray at the entrance.

  • Mommy2 30 Aug, 2008

    You have to be kidding - 2 cats, 3 cockers, grandkids, and a retired husband and we live on 150 acres - I am just thankful when it doesn't rain or snow - No way would this work with all our activity. It is another idea that looks nice for city folks. Like the idea about putting it under plants but I use one of the 3 fireplaces for my plants in the winter - but trays would like nicer.
    Creek Rd on the Ohio in IN

  • JessePiester 30 Aug, 2008

    The dog thing: Can I use baby wipes or Cottonelle on paws without rinsing it off? Harmful to dog and/or carpet and/or hardwood?
    What are my other options?

  • mamarama 30 Aug, 2008

    To keep kids from taking the stones out of the tray, try glueing them down in a single layer, or double layer. Then they won't go anywere.

  • julesduncan 30 Aug, 2008

    This is a great idea other than having to take the pebbles out everytime you have to empty the water. I suppose that you could just fix it up to have some sort of cork or plug on the side to drain it though.

  • disoveringpeace 30 Aug, 2008

    One could set them in a thin layer of concrete and obtain the same effect without all the toddler dangers.

  • Abobrinha 27 Jun, 2008

    sewlady and 1Toffy: I keep an extra large bath towel just in front of the door so that the dog has to step on it before coming in and it helps a lot . Does not look very pretty though.

  • kasiacevedo 27 Jun, 2008

    Although I LOVE this idea, I have to agree with HappyTxMom. My toddler would have the pebbles redistrubuted all over the house in no time, including her baby sister's playpen. Oh well, I'll shelve this idea for a later date. A MUCH later date....

  • kasiacevedo 27 Jun, 2008

    Although I LOVE this idea, I have to agree with HappyTxMom. My toddler would have the pebbles redistrubuted all over the house in no time, including her baby sister's playpen. Oh well, I'll shelve this idea for a later date. A MUCH later date....

  • bakette 27 Jun, 2008

    I love this idea! I usually put an old rug down but this is so much better. I also love winter so can't wait to try it.

  • BrendaValeria 10 Apr, 2008

    Fantastic idea! Boots and shoes will actually dry overnight and you don't have to see all the dried up salt, snow and dirt in the bottom of the boot tray. Hopefully my kids will leave the stones alone. 8-)

  • Dksj 10 Apr, 2008

    Here is a site that has boot trays one can order

  • LeannaRuth 10 Apr, 2008

    If your entry has a floor to door top window it is also a great place for a plant. the moisture in the tray gives the plant extra humidity at a time of year when heaters are drying the air out,

  • JulieW 10 Apr, 2008

    I've looked everywhere for a tray like this (at a reasonable price) with no luck. Does anyone know where to find one?

  • SandraKing 10 Apr, 2008

    Looks good. It would look good to my cat too.

  • HappyTxMom 10 Apr, 2008

    Apparently y'all don't have kids. The rocks would be all over the house in minutes where I live.

  • Mgoodwin 20 Jan, 2008

    I think this is a great idea!! And you won't have to look at evaporated snow and dirt in the boot tray!

  • 1Toffy 18 Jan, 2008

    Yep Yep gonna do this one. Great idea for keeping the entryway clean of dirt tracks. I m trying to teach the dogs to wipe their feet, this is a slow go...I can still teach my Husband...

  • sewlady003 16 Jan, 2008

    Excellent idea, my hubby tracks in so much snow and wet with his big boots. Now, if we could figure out how to get the dogs to keep their boots 'on'.

  • drama_queen2788 15 Jan, 2008

    Great idea!!