DIY toilet paper roll holder

UPDATE — the “holder” is now a “dispenser”!

DIY 13-roll toilet paper holder from Kristofer Bergstrom on Vimeo.

Hiro and I just finished a fun woodworking project… a DIY toilet paper roll holder. One can obviously purchase a ready-made holder for just a few dollars, but our toilet paper roll holder has one key feature:

It holds all 12 rolls in a new pack, plus a 13th “buffer” roll!

The initial design had a kink in the middle to provide a shelf for bathroom reading materials, but initial testing proved toilet paper is reluctant to roll through bends. So we went with a long, straight design. It looks a bit like a skyscraper birdhouse. The holder hangs on a wall hook and can be easily removed for refilling. I made the holder from scrap bamboo plywood on hand and we left it unfinished. It works wonderfully and freed up a lot of space under the bathroom sink!

5 Responses to “DIY toilet paper roll holder”

  1. Joann says:

    I would love one Only with flip top o keep dust out. I hate stacking rolls in a big bag under open sink

  2. Rednek Martha Stewart says:

    You can use a PVC pipe and drill holes the same as yours if you want!

  3. Gwen says:

    Neat idea, but why not drill holes on the side on the bottom for toilet paper holder instead of removing paper & place on a different dispenser, That would be great for bathrooms that don’t have dispensers built in.

    • kris says:

      You’re exactly right! Ideally, the holder should also be the dispenser.

      Some of the better two-roll holder/dispensers have a lever and mechanical system to drop a new roll into position for use. There are a few stainless-steel designs I’ve seen in Japan that are particularly nice. It turns out the engineering challenge is a bit complicated by the 13-roll requirement. The two-roll mechanism needs to retract the dowel support holding the spent roll (dropping the cardboard tube), extend a temporary catch, drop the new roll into position, and re-insert the support dowel, and remove the temporary catch. Simply stacking more rolls on top of this type of design prooved unsuccessful. A multi-roll design needs a robust mechanism for holding the remaining rolls out of the way.

      When I’m particularly inspired to do some engineering, however, a retro-fit is in order!

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