| | |

From Kitchen Drawer To Hidden Paper Towel Holder

Well, if you liked my pony walls, you’re going to be blown away by this project!  😀

Okay, just kidding.  This took me all of 30 minutes to do, but I was so ridiculously proud of myself.  Why?  Because it’s kind of an organization project, and let’s just say that organization is not where my talent lies.  And that’s an understatement.  I stink at organization.

But in my kitchen, I needed a place for my paper towels.  Yep, paper towels.  You see, I hate seeing paper towel rolls out on the counter or anywhere visible, no matter how pretty the holder is.  And since the main thing I use paper towels for is food (like when I make plantain chips and take them out of the oil and let them drain on plate lined with paper towels), putting them under the sink where the trash can and household cleaners are simply isn’t an option.

So I decided to reconfigure my dishtowel drawer so that the front part is a hidden paper towel holder.  Yes, indeed.  Prepare to be blown away…

In-drawer paper towel holder - 9

Impressive, right?!  Right??!!  I mean, forget pony walls and such.  This is sheer engineering genius right here, folks!  😀

It all started with a 1-inch dowel rod.  In one end, I screwed a magnet onto it.  This is one of those suuuuper strong neodymium magnets, and I found some that had a hole in the middle just the right size for a screw to fit through.  I found these at Home Depot.

In-drawer paper towel holder - 1

Then on the other end, I screwed on two washers  — a larger one to keep the smaller one from going through the hole in the side of the drawer, and the smaller one so that I could use a screw to hold them on.  (The center hole on the larger washer was way too big for a screw to hold it on.)

In-drawer paper towel holder - 2

Then I measured and marked for placement of the dowel (just using a full roll of paper towels to gauge where it needed to go), and using my 1 1/8-inch spade bit, I drilled a hole in each side of the drawer.

In-drawer paper towel holder - 3

You can see the holes on each side here…

In-drawer paper towel holder - 4

And taaa daaa!!  Here’s my new hidden paper towel holder…

In-drawer paper towel holder - 5

The end with the two washers screwed into it keeps the dowel from sliding through the hole.

In-drawer paper towel holder - 6

And to secure it on the other end, I hot glued two washers together, and then stuck them to the end of the dowel that has the super strong neodymium magnet attached to it.

In-drawer paper towel holder - 7

It worked!  And it’s wonderful.  And it only took me 30 minutes to complete this engineering marvel.

In-drawer paper towel holder - 8

But most importantly, my paper towels can now be hidden away out of sight, and they don’t have to live under the sink with the garbage can.  And my dishtowel drawer is large enough that there’s still plenty of room in there for my dishtowels.  Huzzah!!




Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. OMIGAWD you are a GENIUS!! I have been trying to think of where to store my paper towels for SO long and presto you have solved that problem!! BRILLIANT! Am stealing your idea toute suite!

    1. In a dream! I just remember that there were angels, and a staircase to heaven…


      Okay, maybe not. 😀 I was standing in my kitchen with the drawer open, and the paper towel roll was sitting right there on the countertop. I noticed that it would be a perfect fit, and an idea was born!

      1. I love your stream of consciousness!!! As a fellow musician, I appreciate following that method of inspiration!!

  2. Why stop at paper towels? You could have a whole drawer for aluminum foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, etc.

      1. Could you also screw the washers outside the drawer? So that you could pull the magnet off without chasing them? Or is it impossible to make a hole on them?

        1. Okay NOW I am blown away! The paper towel part was pure genius, but the thought of a drawer for foil/plastic wrap/parchment paper takes it to an entirely other level of WIN.

    1. You just made me a happy girl. The fam need paper towels where they can see them but using this for all the other necessities is awesome.

      Keep the great ideas coming Kristi.

    2. I have never seen anything like this but its GENIUS! Love it and agree that you could put all your ‘rolled’ items in a drawer like this. Easy Peasy!

  3. “Off the top of your head” you just found yet another solution to a nagging problem – and it wasn’t even on your 2015 “things to accomplish list”. I always thought I was creative but you take the Genius Wonder Woman award!!

  4. Neat! I was thinking you were going to create a slot in the front of the drawer and thread the towels through so you didn’t have to open the drawer to get at the paper towels, but that would require cutting the front of your beautiful drawer …

    1. Just thread paper towels over the fromt of the drawer and leave the drawer slightly open – no cutting or sawing on the drawer needed !!!! andddddddd when you have the amount of paper towels you want, push the drawer shut and tear them off!!! This idea could go on an on for making your life easier!

  5. Is there no limit to your amazingness?? I sure hope not, because I just love reading and seeing pics of what you are doing!

  6. You’re right! Sheer genius. I am really impressed and fully intend to steal this idea. I might even take all the credit for thinking of it, however, I don’t think a darn soul would believe me! lol

  7. I came up with this idea 5 or so years ago but I use a pvc pipe with corks to hold it in place. This has been such a great addition to my kitchen.

  8. Do you think it would have worked to put the strong magnet on the inside of the drawer and a washer on the end of the rod for the one side and then the washer/hole combo for the other? I would like to drill less holes in my drawer and would probably not line them up straight! I think those magnets are strong enough to hold the weight of the dowel and the paper towels . . . Just a thought. Thanks for another great idea!

    1. I would suggest using about four of the magnets on each side if you go that route. They’re super strong, but you’d want it REALLY strong since they would be the only thing holding the dowel in place.

  9. I was going to ask the same thing Paige. I don’t want to drill holes, can we just glue the magnets to the drawer walls and to the end of the dowel? Krisii what size dowel did you use? What exactly are these magnets called and what department are they in? I hate going to HD and having people look at me like I am the villiage idiot on the loose when I say “but Kristi said”…..so give us exact instructions!!!!

    1. I used a 1-inch dowel rod. The magnets are called neodymium magnets. They’re the only ones they have that are silver in color. The regular magnets are black. I found them on the aisle that has all of the screws, nails, nuts, washers, bolts, etc. Just ask where the magnets are, and you should find them there.

      1. OK….I’m the one dummy that can’t figure out how you change out the paper towels just by looking at your picture. Please help!

  10. Love it! My drawer is not deep enough for a paper towel roll and the 4 y/o needs to see it, BUT I love the ideas for the foil, plastic wrap, wax paper. Seems I would have to install one of the “cutters” from one of those boxes somewhere usable on the drawer…hmmm.

  11. This is brilliant! I love the way your mind works, Kristi! You have given me something to add to my ‘to-do-list’, heck, might not even make it to the list, thirty minutes?? Hey, I can do that today. Keep the short and simple projects coming (along with your great BIG projects and tutorials). Love them all! big or small.

  12. I love this. I don’t like paper towels on the counter.
    For a no drill option,..I wonder if there are any tension rods that are short enough to fit in a drawer? HMMM…

  13. O.K. I am stilled stumped. If the magnet is screwed onto the dowel how do you pop it off to change out the roll?

    1. The dowel with the magnet on the end goes through the hole in the side of the drawer. On the outside (left side) of the drawer, two washers (glued together) stick to the magnet to hold the dowel in place. To change the towel roll, just pop off the washers (which stick to the magnet), and slide the dowel out to the right. Nothing needs to be unscrewed to change the paper towel roll.

  14. I know you say organizing is not your thing but this is what “organization junkies” like me live for. I don’t mind papertowels on the counter but I can’t stand the ugly designs on them. Somehow, I will make this work!!

  15. Well, I love it. Coincidentally, I have just been thinking about how tired I am of seeing our paper towels on the counter. I will have to hunt my kitchen for an appropriate drawer!

  16. Brilliant! I’m just so relieved to hear you’re no good at organising stuff! Good grief! She’s actually no good at something! Ha ha ha. Phew! 🙂 Well, pat yourself on the back, maybe you ARE good at organising after all!
    Well done Kristi!

  17. Oh, I love it! I also hate the look of paper towel out and I have never found a holder that really works well when you try to pull off a sheet with one hand. I only wish I had a drawer near the sink that is the correct size. But… I will certainly glue the idea to the front of my memory to use when we add an island with a prep sink. Such a clever idea.

  18. Ok, I need to call our cabinet guy and add one more thing to the list. Yes, we have a cabinet guy for our new house, ’cause I’m not Kristi. 😀 Actually, I could probably at least do this little project myself once the cabs are installed, couldn’t I?

  19. Ok I just showed this to my husband and …..

    I said, “At some point I want this in one of our homes.”

    He said: But how do they come out? Is there a slot in the bottom?

    I said: No, you can just open the drawer… Or leave the drawer cracked open a bit and let it peep out.

    He said: No, it needs to have a slot in the bottom. Then we can say, “Yes, our drawer is very tired. Its tongue is hanging out.” Come on. We don’t want any of this Alpha stuff with it sticking out on top.

    At which point I died laughing and started pecking out this reply and he promptly went to sleep.

    I enjoy your posts. You bring back many good memories. I grew up in Texas in a home that was under constant reconstruction. When an architect assistant marries a construction helper turned machinist, the result is never a remodeling.

    Enjoy have fun ☺

  20. Really cool invention…Thank you! My motto is, “If it ain’t pretty, it doesn’t belong on my counters.” I’d love to implement your design in my kitchen but hesitate to drill holes in my drawer. Do you suppose using closet rod end holders to secure the dowel might work instead?

    1. I do think it would work as long as you install the end holder so that the opening is going the opposite direction from the direction you pull the paper towels. Otherwise, you’ll pull the rod out of the holder each time you pull off a paper towel, and that would be incredibly frustrating.

  21. Hi! I know this post is from 2015, but I just came across it. Brilliant idea on how to hide paper towels! How tall is your drawer box? I.e. the sides the rod is attached to. The drawer box I’d like to add the paper towel rod to is only 3.5″ and I’m not sure it tall enough for the rod and paper towel roll. Thank you!