Easy DIY Industrial Pipe Paper Towel Holder

10 Materials
4 Hours
When we were designing our kitchen, 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!
These are quite literally the only materials you will need, and they are all at Home Depot! Basic screws/nuts aren't pictured here - you'll need those to screw this into your cabinet! You may also need spray paint if you want to change the look!
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 90 degree elbow.
Step 4:Screw the cap onto the end of the 12" nipple.

(You can use a product called thread locker to "lock" the connections in place, but we found it wasn't necessary!)

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

Step 6: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 7: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!

Step 8: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 9: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!
Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Ana Ochoa - Sunrise Valley Farm Co.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Michael Michael on Jan 08, 2020

    Love this paper towel holder project! I think I can do it. I also love you white tile. Any chance you'd share the details on it?

  • Mary Russell Mary Russell on Jan 09, 2022

    If you used black iron flange,and black iron elbow,why not just use black pipe instead of galvanized?

Join the conversation
2 of 23 comments
  • Carole Atson Carole Atson on Jan 07, 2023

    I have one of these towel holders, but the roll keeps rolling if you don’t hold it so you have to always use two hands. 😟

  • Elayne Santos Elayne Santos on Feb 10, 2024

    That's what I made for my kitchen paper towel holder and I also attached two of them same length on a board I stained and attached as hooks to hang my cooking utensils and I attached the board to the wall near the stove very inexpensive and easy peasy🙂