Introduction: Duct Tape Dispenser From a Tin Can!

Picture of Duct Tape Dispenser From a Tin Can!

In order to enter the duct tape contest, I had to put on my thinking cap....not made of duct tape, by the way, and the only thing I could come up with is a dispenser for the duct tape which can be used by anyone wanting to make all these other questionable projects...Seriously, is there any item at all that really makes any sense? Made of duct tape?  Mr Balleng's ible is the prettiest and will probably win the contest, but all that work for those cases?  Just put the maps in the ziplock bag, insert in back pack....duh!  I think we are forcing the issue of using this tape for various things. I have found exactly ONE (1) use for the tape that couldn't be done by another product....and i was in the Marine Corps (never once saw a roll of duct tape), worked many jobs in the forest products industry, sawmills, have been a handyman all my life, and just never came across this tape.  Oh, the use I found for it was to seal my shop vacuum cleaner as over the years the gasket sealing the unit failed, and a leaky vacuum just doesn't cut it.  I have included a picture of that to illustrate that usuage.  So on with the dispenser. (If you have read this far you are obviously under the spell of the duct tape wizard, whatever that might be!)

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

1.  Boards cut to size, that being large enough to accomodate your roll of duct tape.
2.  One tin can (I used the 14oz. pork and bean size can....fits the roll of duct tape,and other tapes as well, perfectly!
3.  Assorted dry wall screws.
4.  Various saws,drills, bits, etc.

Step 2: Cut Boards to Size

Picture of Cut Boards to Size

Boards are cut to fit tape roll, so dimensions are not necessary. See photos.  Two boards are cut from old fence material, plywood pieces for top and back piece are cut to fit as shown.

Step 3: Cut Holes for Tin Can to Fit Into

Picture of Cut Holes for Tin Can to Fit Into

I used my bandsaw for this...I suppose they make a hole saw this large, but I didn't have one.

Step 4: Place Tape on Can, Insert in Holes Cut

Picture of Place Tape on Can, Insert in Holes Cut

Line up all pieces to fit top and back pieces of plywood.

Step 5: Screw on Side Pieces

Picture of Screw on Side Pieces

Side pieces are screwed in place, obviously needed to keep can and tape roll in place.

Step 6: Add Cut-Off Bar to Dispenser

Picture of Add Cut-Off Bar to Dispenser

A piece of wood is cut on an angle as shown on the table saw.  Cut a piece that fits the two side pieces of the dispenser.

Step 7: Provide Holder for Razor Knife

Picture of Provide Holder for Razor Knife

To secure a knife to the dispenser, I drilled two holes, and glued two magnets in place to hold knife and always have it available.

Step 8: Use Knife to Cut Pieces to Length

Picture of Use Knife to Cut Pieces to Length


Step 9: Add Final Piece for Clamping Dispenser

Picture of Add Final Piece for Clamping Dispenser

This piece is optional, but is a way to attach dispenser to bench or table in the camp site.  You could also screw this "base" to a fence post, or wall, cupboard, or shelf.  It's useful to be able to pull off piece of tape with just one hand and cut to the length you need.

Step 10: Change/Add Tape

Picture of Change/Add Tape

Dispenser could be used as portable source for other types of paint...masking tape, for example, wrapping tape, box tape, fabric tape, etc. To change or add tape, simply unscrew one of the side pieces, pull out can, insert new tape roll, and re-attach side piece.

Step 11: Companion Piece to Original Dispenser!

Picture of Companion Piece to Original Dispenser!

I had made this dispenser a few years ago so the portable dispenser was a natural. See:


Grunambulax (author)2013-10-12

Actually looks like a lot of people thought of this.. Nice job and design though..

Grunambulax (author)2013-10-12

Brilliant. I like the smaller form factor. Portable. I have to make one of these. It might be interesting to have a blade upside down that you could use to cut the tape

onemoroni1 (author)2013-09-05

You have made the world of duct tape use a little easier.

steinie44 (author)2013-09-05

Hay, check out my tape holder on YouTube.

batman96 (author)2012-08-31

You could screw a piece of another can to the front board, and sharpen it into a blade so that it would cut the tape if you pulled on it.

e.bender (author)2011-09-01

Cool project, needs a handle on top tho.

benbar12 (author)2011-07-13

COOL!!! But try making it more portable. :)

sunshiine (author)2011-06-24

Kewl idea!

uberman97 (author)2011-06-20

Why not use a hinge and a lock so you don't have to unscrew it? Cool project.

Kaptain Kool (author)2011-06-10

Awesome idea!

Creativeman (author)Kaptain Kool2011-06-10

Thanks, Kaptain!

Kaptain Kool (author)Creativeman2011-06-13

Your welcome, if you want to make it look even nicer, I would suggest staining the wood with wood finish!

Creativeman (author)Kaptain Kool2011-06-14

Good idea! Maybe we should have a "Duct tape dispenser decorating contest"! That would be interesting, eh?

Kaptain Kool (author)Creativeman2011-06-14

Yeah, just think of all of the crazy entries...

CAbeachguy (author)2011-06-13

Instead of using the knife, why not just add 4 inches of serrated edge from a box of saran wrap or aluminum foil? Just cut off 4 inches and use 3 small screws or beefy staples through the serrated edge into the very top of the back of the angled leading edge on the front angled piece.

Now it is just a one handed pull & rip in one motion rig.

Creativeman (author)CAbeachguy2011-06-14

I used this concept in the old dispenser...but used a hack saw blade, instead. I like the idea, however it would not work ..."into the very top of the back, etc...". It would have to be on the front edge, and you would still get that torn, ragged edge...which would be fine for most applications, but I like the razor cut edge for the esthetics, if nothing else. Thanks for commenting!

anode505 (author)2011-06-13

I'd change the side panels that hold in the can, to just a small bar that can just swivel out of the way. (just one side) Shouldn't need tools to change a roll of tape.

Creativeman (author)anode5052011-06-14

Good idea, thanks for suggesting!

stringstretcher (author)2011-06-12

Instead of unscrewing the side to change, make that side panel slide up and out.
I'm making one! Thanks for the instructable.

Good idea, and you are welcome.

agis68 (author)2011-06-12

i like most the old one. The last one is huge and good for those having enough spare space....

Creativeman (author)agis682011-06-12

Thanks for the comments. I didn't consider size, but suppose I could have made it all out of the 3/8in. ply...that would save some bulk.

inkerbel (author)2011-06-12

Great idea. My dad will love this as well. I have to say though, I am a huge fan of duct tape and use it often when I feel nothing else will do. When I was in the army, we used to use it to tape our bdu pant legs around our ankles before putting our boots on so they would always stay neatly tucked inside our boots. It was strong yet flexible and tears by hand so it was quick & easy to use for this purpose. I also keep a roll in the car & wouldn't think of going camping without it.

Creativeman (author)inkerbel2011-06-12

Thanks, inkerbel. And thank you for your comments...I am sure lots of people find duct tape immeasurably useful..esp. the people who install ducts! I would never have thought of the pants thing...we bloused our pant legs, using a rubber band like early bungee cord thingee...worked fine. Happy camping.

jia683 (author)2011-06-10

Great Idea! i think i will build one for my shop! : )

Creativeman (author)jia6832011-06-10


schoonovermr (author)2011-06-10

what if you screwed the razor to the block. then it would be like a real tape dispenser.

anarchy burger (author)2011-06-10

you could also leave a groove in the piece of wood that the tape rests on, for the blade to run straight through. Clean cut of a knife, with accuracy of a of a standard dispenser?

knife141 (author)2011-06-09

You know, I've been around a long time, and I've never thought about how handy a duct tape dispenser would be. Nice job!

Creativeman (author)knife1412011-06-09

Thank you!

tocsik (author)2011-06-09

if you added a bit of saw blade you'd have a way to tear it quickly without the use of a knife or just your fingers. Granted it wouldn't be as clean.

Creativeman (author)tocsik2011-06-09

I wanted the clean cut.

About This Instructable




Bio: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.
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