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Farmhouse Paper Towel Holder DIY

Build a beautiful farmhouse paper towel holder in just 15 minutes with this easy DIY tutorial. 

Now that our budget farmhouse kitchen remodel is done, it’s time to decorate it! I have been looking around for a new paper towel holder, but have not had any luck finding something to fit our modern farmhouse style.

Either things were too modern with stainless steel and and slick lines. Or they were too farmhouse with extra rustic and lots of chickenwire. Our kitchen was calling for something in between the two.

diy farmhouse paper towel holder shown in kitchen next to sink

So after lots of searching, I decided I needed to make my own modern farmhouse paper towel holder.

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When I saw that this month’s Craft Lighting Challenge theme was wood, I knew I had to join in on the fun! If you are new to Craft Lightening, it is a fun week where a bunch of bloggers share 15 minute tutorials around a theme.

Since I finally made the decision to make my own farmhouse paper towel holder, I knew it would be the perfect 15 minute craft project I could make out of wood!

side view of diy farmhouse paper towel holder next to sink

Instead of going for the common vertical paper towel holder, I decided to get crazy and go horizontal! And since the paper towels are not super tall when horizontal, I had room above to add a little shelf.

White kitchen with open shelves and white octagon tile backsplash shown with diy farmhouse paper towel holder

I love the little shelf on the farmhouse paper towel holder. It’s the perfect place to set the hand soap. Also, I put a little dish on there to hold my finger nails scrubber (its gardening season and this little thing is getting lots of work).

Now it is right where I can find it, but not adding to the clutter that so easily accumulates behind the kitchen sink.

Close up of farmhouse paper towel holder with shelf

The sides of the wood paper towel holder are easily cut out with a jig saw to give it a more farmhouse look. Anytime you can change up the sides of a shelf (or similar), it adds so much to the piece.

I did the same thing to our DIY Iron Holder with Ironing Board Storage and love the way it turned out. And jig saws are a super budget friendly, easy to use, power tool. With a little practice, you’ll be cutting decorative edges in everything!

Farmhouse paper towel holder on kitchen counter with soap and brush

I stained our new farmhouse paper towel holder to match the lightly warmed, lightly aged color of our open kitchen shelving above the sink. This wood color looks so perfect next to the bright white cabinets and backsplash.

It might be my new favorite right now so get ready to see lots more of it.

DIY farmhouse paper towel holder shown with farmers market tray on shelves

I just adore how our farmhouse kitchen is coming along. Just the right amount of rustic, with lots of clean. What is the next kitchen decor piece I need to make? Let me know in the comments and I just might get a tutorial for it out soon!

Beautiful apron front sink with white quartz countertops with purple flowers, mason jar soap dispenser and wood farmhouse paper towel holder

How to Make a Farmhouse Paper Towel Holder


  • Wood (for tips on buying wood for you project, check out the beginners guider to buying lumber):
    • 30″ of 1×6 board
    • 12″ of 1×4 board
    • 12″ of 1×2 board
    • 12″ of 3/4″ dowel
  • Wood glue
  • 1 1/4″ screws
    • I used the Kreg Jig to create pocket holes so I used pocket hole screws. If you do not have a pocket hole jig (I definitely recommend having one if you like building), you can always use regular screws coming from the outside of the paper towel holder into the shelf.
  • 2 decorative knobs
  • Stain and sealer
    • I used Minwax Weathered Oak stain and furniture wax for the sealer.

Tools needed:

  • Jig saw
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Optional: Miter saw
    • You can cut the straight lines with the jig saw if you like, but the miter saw will be quicker, easier, and more accurate if you have one.
  • Optional: Kreg Jig
    • You do not have to have a pocket hole jig (but I definitely recommend having one if you like building). You can always use regular screws coming from the outside of the paper towel holder into the shelf, but they will be visible where the pocket holes hide the screws nicely.

If you want to use the template that I did for the sides of the paper towel holder with shelf, print out the template below. Then cut it out and line it up so the lines overlap. Or feel free to draw your own!

Template of the decorative sides of our farmhouse paper towel holder

Trace the template onto your 1×6 board twice.

Printed template being traced onto the 1x6 board to create a farmhouse paper towel holder.

Cut it out with the jig saw.

Jig saw with the decorative shelf edge of the wood paper towel holder

Measure your paper towel roll. I decided I wanted my farmhouse paper towel holder to be only 1/2″ bigger that the roll so I cut my 1×4 and 1×2 to 11 1/2″ long.

If you want a little more room to make it easier to attach a new roll, leave them at 12″ long.

Wood shelves cut out of some scrap wood and a dowel

Measure up 9″ from the bottom of the side pieces and mark a line. This will be where the top of the shelf is.

Measuring tape shown on the top of the shelf for the farmhouse paper towel holder

Drill pocket holes into both ends of the 1×4 and 1×2 boards.

Pocket holes shown in each end of the shelf and back support boards

Line the 1×4 shelf board up so the top is at the 9″ line. Secure to one of the sides with wood glue and screws. Line the 1×2 board up so it is flush with the bottom back of the side and secure with wood glue and screws.

The pocket holes should be hidden on the back or bottom of the boards when you attach them.

Shelf and back support to the farmhouse paper towel holder with screws

Attach the other side the same way. Mark the center of the circle (from the template) on each side of the farmhouse paper towel holder. Drill a hole just larger that the screw on the back of your decorative knobs.

Drilled hole shown in the decorative knobs to hold the support for the paper towel roll

Cut your dowel so it is about 1/8″ shorter that the length of your shelf. Drill holes into each end that are the same size as the screw on the decorative knobs.

Drilled hole in the ends of the dowel

Sand, stain, and seal your new wood farmhouse paper towel holder. Then to assemble. Place a roll of paper towels on the dowel.

Place one of the decorative knobs through the hole on one side of the paper towel holder and line the hole in the dowel up with it. Screw the knob into the dowel. Then repeat on the other side.

Wood paper towel holder shown with decorative knobs being secured to the side

Now you have a beautiful new modern farmhouse paper towel holder with just the right amount of modern and just the right amount of rustic. PERFECT!

Completed farmhouse paper towel holder shown on kitchen counter next to sink

Love quick woodworking projects? This 15 minute countertop herb garden is so fun too.

DIY countertop herb garden made with a cedar fence picket and 3 clay pots.

I also love this simple, but elegant, small console table. It’s perfect for any small space.

Farmhouse style small console table with 2 drawers and open shelving.

Happy building!

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

And don’t forget to check out the hosts of Craft Lightening and see all the other fun 15 minute wood projects to keep you entertained all summer long!

craft lightning wood challenge image with lightning bolt

The Country Chic Cottage

30 Minute Crafts

Pet Scribbles


Tuesday 12th of September 2023

Great fun - not too heavy going so that it becomes a chore. Simple ideas to build up confidence with wood and quickly see achievements! These are great ideas and you really can make your own plans because you can see everything that is being done. Kati is genius!

Tim Rosenberger

Wednesday 19th of June 2019

Hi, my grandson wants to make this for his 4H woodworking project and needs a set of plans with dimensions to show the judge. Can you help me? Thank You, Tim


Tuesday 25th of June 2019

Sorry, I do not have a printable set of plans. He can make one up from my post if he wants.


Saturday 18th of May 2019

Looks great! And I LOVE your backsplash--looks like chicken wire--ultimate farmhouse. Not sure that was intention, but love it!


Monday 20th of May 2019

Ha ha, I never noticed the resemblance to chicken wire, but it does. I love the unique, but simple, design and it works so well in our home. Thanks!


Sunday 30th of September 2018

Do you have a downloadable or printer version of this with all the instructions? I think my would like one of these.


Tuesday 9th of October 2018

I dont have it as a PDF, getting all my build plans formatted is on my log to-do list. But you can print from my site - the code was set up to minimize all the extra stuff. Hope this helps! Your wife will love it!


Sunday 30th of September 2018

I think my wife would like one of these sorry for leaving her out the first time.

Laura / Pet Scribbles

Friday 25th of May 2018

Wow is this gorgeous! You've made a paper towel holder into stunning decor! Love it!


Monday 11th of June 2018

Thanks so much Laura! Who would have thought a paper towel holder couple be so pretty ;)

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