How to Make a Paper Towel Holder for Your Kitchen

Here's a quick and easy project to manage messes and spills.


An hour or less






We all use paper towels in our everyday life, but they are not always close by when you need one (or several). Most paper towel holders are mounted under a kitchen cabinet or attached to a wall. Make this portable paper towel holder in less than an hour.

Tools Required

  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Hearing and eye protection
  • Jigsaw or band saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Orbital sander
  • Table saw or Circular saw

Materials Required

  • 1-1/4-in. screws
  • 1-1/8-in dowel
  • 2-1/2-in washer (1)
  • 3-1/2-in washer (2)
  • 3/4” plywood or hardwood 7-1/2-in x 15-in
  • Wipe-on polyurethane
  • Wood glue

Project step-by-step (9)

Step 1

The Base Layout

  • Cut two pieces of 3/4-in. hardwood or plywood at 7-1/4-in. x 7-1/4-in.
  • Find the center of the board by drawing diagonal lines from corner to corner, intersecting the lines in the middle of the board.
  • Use a compass to draw a seven-inch radius circle in the center of one of the boards and a 3-1/2-in. radius circle in the center of the other board.


Step 2

Cut a Hole

  • Cut a 3-1/2-in. hole in the board with the 3-1/2-in. circle on it, using a hole saw or jigsaw.


Step 3

Glue the Base

  • Apply a liberal amount of wood glue on the face of the board with the hole in it.
  • Glue the two boards together keeping the edges flush. Be sure not to glue over your seven-inch circle.
  • Secure the boards with clamps and or 1-1/4-in. finish nails.


Step 4

Cut the Base

  • After the glue is dry, cut out the seven-inch circle using a band saw or jigsaw.


Step 5

Smooth the Edges

  • Sand the edges of the base using an orbital sander with 150-grit sandpaper.
  • (Optional) Round over the top and bottom edges using a router with a 1/4-in. radius round-over bit.


Step 6

Dowel Hole

  • Drill a 1-1/8-in. x 1/4-in. deep hole in the center of the top of your base.
  • Next drill a 3/23-in. pilot hole in the center of your 1-1/8-in. hole.


Step 7

Cut the Dowel

  • Cut the 1-1/8-in. dowel at 11 inches.
  • Smooth over the edge on one end of the dowel with 150-grit sandpaper.


Step 8


  • Insert the dowel into the hole on the base top.
  • From the underside of the base, drill a 3/32-in. pilot hole into the end of the dowel through the pilot hole in the center of the base.
  • Add weight to the base by inserting three large washers into the 3-1/2-in. hole on the bottom of the base. Secure the washers in place with a 1-1/2-in. screw through a smaller washer.



Step 9

Finishing Touches

  • Touch up any rough spots on the base and dowel using 220-grit sandpaper and finish the piece with easy wipe-on polyurethane.
  • Stick four self-adhesive rubber feet to the bottom of the base to keep the towel holder from slipping across the counter when you tear off a towel.

Towel Holder