TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

Paper Towel Dispenser Woodworking Plan

This paper towel holder with storage box is designed to hold anything you can fit in them – foil, an extra paper towel roll, etc..

The approximate measurements are as follows, however you’ll need to adjust these according to the size of the paper towel roll and whatever you are putting inside the box:

rotated pic

Materials Needed:

Boards – all half an inch thick no more, no less. If you use more it will be too bulky, less, it will not be stable:

Keep in mind that you can use a hardwood material such as oak or pine, but you can also use a good grade of plywood. I had some good birch plywood from another project left over – so why not.

“Boards A” – 2 boards 13″ x 5” (front and back of storage box)
“Boards B” – 2 boards 7″ x 14″ (sides of box and holder)
“Board C” – 1 board 12″ x 7″ (bottom of box)
“Board D” – 1 board 12″ x 7 3/4″ diameter
3/4″ diameter rod or dowel (“B”)
Finish as you would like

You may want to measure the paper towel roll and make note of the diameter, calculating where the radius needs to be. It possibly could change the size of the boards you cut. Most paper towel rolls are the same length, but the height can vary depending on many factors. I left enough room as you see in the picture for a big roll. There is plenty of space. So these measurements should suffice with the majority of paper towel rolls out there.

Here are the first 4 boards, A and B when cut, sanded and ready to work with:


Place “Boards A”, “Boards B” and one of “Board C” in the formation of a box (with “Board C” on the bottom so that your holder is effectively upside down, as shown here, just to see if it all fits:


Next, you are going to want to cut the ends of boards “B” with your bandsaw, shaping them into a circle – I have a diagram of what I did, but you can make any shape that you want really:


Here are the boards that we have now so far, “A” and “B” and the cut ends on “B”:


I attached the pieces all together with screws, but if you are patient, you can always glue them all up. It probably would look better glued up because of the lack of the screws showing. I personally don’t mind the screws, but that is your call. So what I did was pre- drilled the boards as so, even using a counter sink bit in order to seat the screws, and here is the end result:


Now that you have the holes in the boards pre-drilled and ready, you will want to screw it all together:


Once it is screwed together it will look something like this:


Now on to the lid. What I did to make the lid was cut the lid (Board “D”) 3/4 inch larger than the bottom of the box of the paper towel holder. That way I could run it on the shaper, which would trim it down 1/2 an inch or so, and then the lid will still be 1/4 larger than the opening at the top – so it will sit on the box, not fall in. I used a roundover bit that was raised higher than it is supposed to be, but DO NOT DO THIS!! I did it at my own risk because I like the way it seats the lid down deeper into the box. You probably want to do so with a rabbiting bit to make the cut completely square. But here is my result:


I added a handle that I already had, but you can use any handle you desire. Make one if you want. Here is what the lid now looks like:


There are many different ways to make the actual roller the paper towel goes on. Most will probably use a dowel, but I just used something I already had. Believe it or not – it doesn’t have to be round for the paper towel to roll out. I found that out because I was unrolling it on a completely square stick. But I rounded the ends over so there weren’t and sharp edges and drilled holes in the sides of the holder for the rod to go through. I made the rod a good bit longer than the width of the paper towel holder so that there wouldn’t be any problems of it falling off the rod:



I haven’t hung it up yet, and I will leave that up to you. Again, here is the final product with the paper towel roll on it:

rotated pic




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Updated: November 10, 2014 — 1:23 pm
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