Easy DIY Industrial Pipe Paper Towel Holder

Y’ALL.  It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted here.  I KNOW. And I’m so sorry! (And I’ve missed ya!)  But May be CRAY – am I right?!  I swear this month flew by.  The combination of finishing up the One Room Challenge, and then being EXHAUSTED from the aftermath of it all, plus my parents visiting last weekend really just made May fly.  But I am BACK, and while I haven’t quite had the time to get the backsplash tutorial up (coming soon, promise!), I do have a quick and easy DIY for ya today.

When we were designing our kitchen for the ORC, I knew I wanted to get our paper towels up off of the counter, especially since we don’t have that much counter space to begin with in our small kitchen.  But, I just couldn’t find what I was looking for – all of the under cabinet paper towel holders were either blah, or downright ugly.  Given that I was going for kind of a rustic look in our kitchen, I figured I would just DIY it instead – and using the CHEAP piping you can find at your local hardware/home improvement store!

DIY industrial pipe paper towel holder

Here she is! Super cute right? And not only super cute, but super easy, and super inexpensive! My kind of DIY!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2″ by 12″ nipple
  • 1/2″ by 2″ nipple (you can also go 3″ if you buy the super fluffy/thick paper towel rolls, but our 2″ nipple works just fine, even with what I consider the bigger rolls)
  • 1/2″ 90 degree elbow
  • 1/2″ flange
  • 1/2″ cap
  • thread locker (optional – I didn’t use this but it WILL make your connections tighter)
  • spay paint in your choice of color
  • 4 size 8 or 10 screws and coordinating hex nuts (figure out what length screws you need based on the thickness of your cabinets)
  • drill
  • pliers

PRO TIP:  You can buy these in galvanized steel or black – I suggest the galvanized, as there is far less oil on them, which will rub off EVERYWHERE.  You’re going to spray paint anyway (and trust me you want to do spray paint because the pipes are oily/dirty and you want a nice clean finish), so going with the less oily option to start is a better option.

Step 1:

Screw your 2″ nipple into the flange.

Step 2:

Screw the 90 degree elbow onto the 2″ nipple.

Step 3:

Screw the 12″ nipple into the 20 degree elbow.

Step 4:

Screw the cap onto the end of the 12″ nipple.

Step 5:

If you want to use thread locker, now is the time – unscrew each connection one at a time, and add your thread locker (read the instructions on the package), and then re-screw the connections together.

Step 6:

Clean the entire paper towel holder with a wet rag, and then dry.

Step 7:

Once dry, spray paint – do SEVERAL light coats so you don’t end up with globs of paint (full disclosure, by this point in our renovation, I had lost any and all patience I might have had and I totally didn’t follow this advise, and thus I got several globs of paint – luckily they aren’t visible when the paper towels are on the holder, but do yourself a favor and spray paint the RIGHT way the first time)!

Step 8:

Decide where you want your paper towel holder under your cabinets, and mark where you’ll need to screw it into your cabinet with a pencil.

PRO TIP:  Plan to attach your paper towel holder so that the vertical 2″ nipple will STOP the paper towels from pulling off the holder.  Essentially, figure out where you will most often be pulling the paper towels from, and place the holder so that when you pull, you’ll be pulling against that 2″ nipple.  This is kind of difficult to explain, but for us, we usually are standing at our sink when we pull paper towels off the roll.  So, our holder was attached so that the 2″ nipple is closest to the sink, and the cap end of the holder is facing away from this sink.  Otherwise you’ll likely be pulling the roll right off the holder when you go to reach for a paper towel!

budget kitchen renovation

You can kind of see what I mean here – the cap end of the holder is facing away from the sink, where we usually stand when we pull off paper towels. This way, that 2″ nipple provides a barrier so the roll doesn’t come off when we pull off a sheet.

Step 9:

Drill holes all the way through your cabinet (unless you’re attaching to a wall, in which case you should either drill into a stud or use dry wall anchors) where you previously marked.

Step 10:

Once all 4 holes are drilled, you can attach your paper towel holder by pushing the screws through the flange and the drilled holes, and then attaching your hex nuts.  Be sure to tighten the nuts FULLY with pliers.

Here you can see where we drilled into the cabinet bottom. Keep in mind that this will likely affect where you can set dishes and the like, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding where to put the holder in the first place!

And there you have it!  Easy. Quick. Inexpensive. And perfectly rustic and industrial! Plus, it’s one of a kind, and that, my friends, is something I LOVE!

DIY budget farmhouse kitchen renovation

Plus, I love that it got our paper towels up off the counter to give us more counter space!

So there ya have it folks!  A quick and easy DIY, that helps optimize space in your kitchen, especially if it’s small!  So what do you think?  Is this something you would consider for your kitchen?  Let me know if you try it, I would love to see!