As usual, my two Jack Russel terrorists were the inspiration for this project. They have recently taken to stealing our toilet paper rolls and ripping them apart. I have always had them stored on a pole on the floor next to the toilet. This meant I had to try and come up with a way to store the extra toilet rolls on the wall rather than the floor. Upcycling a large bamboo steamer worked perfectly as wall mounted toilet roll holder.
One of my friends bought a bamboo steamer but It was way too big for any pot she had, so she gave it to me to see if I could repurpose it. While the size was perfect I felt it was a bit plain and boring so I gave it a macrame rope makeover.
How to upcycle a bamboo steamer into a toilet roll holder
Find a bamboo steamer
The bamboo steamer I used for this project was approximately 36 cm in diameter and 15 cm deep. I only used the bottom section, I will find a purpose for the top at a later stage.
I started by removing the bottom of the bamboo basket, so I would be able to add the rope around the surface. You will need a craft knife or scissors to cut the bamboo strips that hold the base to the sides.
Adding the macrame Rope
The macrame rope I used for this project was 5mm in thickness and I ordered 30metres which was enough for this project.
To start I measured the outside circle of the bamboo steamer which was 1.2m. I cut 8 pieces of rope approximately 2 meters each, I would rather have too much than get caught short.
Start by gluing the 8 pieces of rope onto the bamboo steamer as shown in the photo below. Space them in groups of two across the width. You can glue them using hot glue, preferably not the black hot glue like mine. I have a large hot glue gun and use the 30cm gluesticks so just swapping the black for the clear was not an option.
Weaving the macrame rope
Next, I cut 2 pieces of rope 5 meters long. I did originally just cut the leftover rope in half but it kept getting tangled up while I was trying to weave it. To hide my unsightly hot glue I wrapped the rope around that area first. Next, you start weaving the two pieces over and under the groups of two and around the back and start again.
As you are weaving make sure the rope on the inside of the steamer is sitting tidily like the photo below and not overlapping or crossed. It will be a pain in the butt if you only notice it at the end and have to undo it all.
To prevent the rope from tangling, I found it easier to wind the rope into a ball.
Once I had covered an area of about 15cm I went back and straightened the ropes and pulled them tighter to hold them in place.
You keep repeating this step until the bamboo steamer is completely covered. If you do run out of rope and have to make a join do the join on the underneath so it is easy to hide.
Hanging the bamboo steamer toilet roll holder
To hang the basket I thought of two ways. The first was to sew the weaved bamboo back onto the bottom of the steamer. Next, you could cut some rope and make a loop and glue the loop into the top. You use the loop to hang the basket onto a hook in the wall. This is the easy way but I did not like the idea of seeing the loop and hook.
Making a base
I wanted it to look like it was just floating on the wall. This meant I had to make a base.
I used a thin piece of MDF and marked it around the outside of the steamer.
Next, I used a jigsaw and cut just inside the shape that I made. I did this to prevent the MDF from sticking out from the back of the bamboo steamer.
I used a hot glue gun to attach the weave bamboo to the base and trimmed some of the longer pieces. Finally, I nailed the MDF over the weaved bamboo.
To hang the toilet roll holder I used 3M self-adhesive velcro. The velcro can hold up to 7 kilos which is way more than my toilet paper holder will weigh fully loaded.
Our guest toilet now looks nicer and my toilet paper is out of reach for the dogs.
By adding the weaved bamboo to the back, even when the toilet paper is low it still looks good.
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VéroniqueSeptember 6, 2022 at 12:37 pm
How do you think of all those wonderful ideas??? I like this post. I think I’ll try it for my future new house !
Anita HollandSeptember 7, 2022 at 4:09 pm
Thank you so much.
BarbaraSeptember 6, 2022 at 1:36 pm
That is really cool. How creative! Very pretty and practical. I love up-cycling.
Anita HollandSeptember 7, 2022 at 4:10 pm
Thank you Barbara, I never throw anything away, I love to upcycle everything if I can.
Marie BSeptember 8, 2022 at 5:23 am
Now that’s some swanky designer-style TP holder you’d pay BIG bucks for retail! Love the boho vibe of the macrame and the very clever idea. Ha ha puppies, she showed you whose boss. LOL
Anita HollandSeptember 9, 2022 at 2:25 pm
Thanks Marie, at least they keep me in ideas. haha
MichelleSeptember 12, 2022 at 11:56 pm
Genius as always, Anita. I’m in love with how the woven macrame around the steamer looks. It’s got that boho vibe which always works for me.
Our fur babies don’t attack the toilet rolls, but one of our purr babies is a demon when it comes to toilet paper. He’ll jump up and claw the stuff down while it’s on the roll and make a right mess. We always keep our bathroom door closed just in case he attacks. Maybe we should introduce the toilet paper demons, and they can keep each other occupied. Joey thinks he’s a dog and loves cuddling up to them. Humans not so much 😀
Anita HollandSeptember 13, 2022 at 3:46 pm
Thanks Michelle, I had hoped they would have outgrown it by now. But at least they inspire me.
Dee Cottage Comforts HomeSeptember 13, 2022 at 1:33 am
What a clever idea! Turned out great!
Anita HollandSeptember 13, 2022 at 3:46 pm
Thank you Dee!
SaraSeptember 13, 2022 at 2:07 am
Gorgeous; I love this! I have a thing for toilet paper displays so it’s going right onto my private pinterest board AND a public one lol .
Anita HollandSeptember 13, 2022 at 3:47 pm
Thanks so much Sara, I love how it turned out. Thanks for sharing.
Rosemary PalmerSeptember 19, 2022 at 8:40 am
Oh those pesky dogs. Great idea. I love the rope look.
Anita HollandSeptember 19, 2022 at 10:08 am
Thank you so much Rosemary.