Introduction: Multi Purpose Recycled Dispenser-Holder (from Scraps)

About: Charlotte designs textiles and prints for a living. When she has a spot of free time, she often sneaks off to do something crafty with her hands. Enjoys making beautiful things and writing lists. Loves organiz…

I have a whole wall lined with bookshelves in my room. One of the shelves is an IKEA IVAR open pine wood shelf which is over 2.1m tall. Now for another person in another room, it would probably not be a problem. However, at the top of my walls lies an outcropping ledge which prevents me from being able push the shelf all the way flushed against the wall since it is taller than the ledge, and it really frustrating. So this leaves me no choice but to hack off the top of the posts of the shelf. A real shame, but I am not about to throw away a perfectly good shelf.

Thus, after resolving my shelf issue, I am left with the 3 top bits of the posts. Which in itself is 3 fine pieces of beautiful pine wood. So what do I do with them, I'm not gonna throw them away am I? The form is already there, I just needed to find a function for it.

Now, if one just takes a step forward, the solution is actually quite simple.

A Tape/Bangle/Scroll Holder.

Step 1: Identify Your Materials

The design for this holder is as these scrap pieces originally look.

2 stump posts with a removable bar across them set on a base.

I first hacked off, with a hand saw, the top bits of the posts of my shelf so that it would fit under the ledge. Looking at the size I was working with, I then got the corresponding materials, as listed below.

Materials I used (for ref. adapt according to your own):

1. 4 x Pieces of wood, various sizes (you would need, in replacement for the posts I got off my shelf)

2. 4 x Small L-brackets (20mm x 20mm)

3. 4 x Flat Head Self-Tapping Screws (1/2")

4. 2 x Chicago Post Screws (the thickness of your posts)

Step 2: Deconstruct

Clamping the scrap bit to the work bench, I used a mallet to gently knock the pieces apart. After separating everything, I leveled them and drew a marking line along the base of all the stump posts to make them all the same size.

Step 3: Removing All Previous Materials

The original shelf post had been constructed using glue in the notches before the pieces were further secured with a nail gun. For my modification, I'm gonna be cutting through the notch so I removed all the glue bits and the nail by wiggling it out with pliers.

Step 4: Begin: Making Slots on the Stump Posts

Now that all the wood pieces have been cleaned up, we begin by drilling through the notch, that's the side face, that's already there. If you don't have notches, it doesn't matter, just drill through. I made 2 large holes that is slightly larger than the thickness of the bar that's gonna be slotted on.

Step 5: Hole Through the Front Face

On the adjacent plane of the stump post (since the block has a square face), drill a hole that is 2mm-3mm larger than the diameter of your Chicago post screws. Make sure that your Chicago screws can be slotted in and removed easily and comfortably.

Step 6: Making Slots

With the large holes that were drilled on the side face, clamp your stump posts securely to the workbench and saw through them to make slots. Clean it up nicely, do a bit of sanding to smooth out the slot. Try slotting the bar piece of wood across the 2 stump post.

Note: Make sure it sits comfortably in the slots and you can smoothly remove and place the bar. It should not be tight or even snug, it has to move smoothly with ease.

When you slot the across-bar on the 2 posts, you should be able to see the bar through the hole for the Chicago post on the front face of the post. Mark this hole point. This is where you need to drill a hole the same size as the Chicago screw hole (you previously made on the front face) on both ends of the bar.

After drilling the holes on both ends, test to make sure your Chicago post slides through the post and bar and anchors the 2 pieces together nicely.

Step 7: Make Room to Accommodate Swivel

This holder allows you to lift the bar up on one side like the car park gantry to slide your materials on easily without removing both sides.

To achieve this, anchor your bar to the outside of one of your stump posts and swivel the bar. Mark the lowest point that the corner of your bar swivels to. Make the slot for this post deeper by sawing up to this point and go further by 3-5mm more for ease. Sand your new slot with a bit of sand paper to smooth is out.

When you place your 2 posts side by side, you should be able to see that one of them has a deeper slot.

Step 8: The Base

I found an appropriately sized scrap piece of wood from the reuse bin at my workshop (highly useful since everyone dumps their leftover materials there). It is long and wide enough to set the stump posts on, you can go wider if you want to.

Step 9: Securing the Holder

To secure the stump posts to the base, place the stump posts with the bar secured with the Chicago screws on the base and set your L-brackets on both sides of each posts, total: 4 brackets.

Mark the points for the screws that will secure the brackets and drill a tiny hole in its place. The hole should be smaller than the screw (total: 4 small holes). These holes will help to guide the screws in and help to secure purchase without splitting the wood.

Step 10: Beautiful Finish!

Now that you have your 4 pieces of wood ready to go, give it your favorite coat of paint, let it dry and you can screw in your brackets.


I don't know much about painting, so here I used a quick-drying spray paint. For a hardier coat, sand the surfaces first, use a coat of primer, then apply paint and depending on the finish, apply a coat of lacquer or finish.

After that, you are done!!!

Step 11: Enjoy Your Work!!!

I have 3 of this post scraps so I gave my friend (MelChinStudio) the first one I made. And she is the one who provided me with these beautiful pictures of how she's enjoying it. If you think about it, it really is a versatile helping hand. You can use it for your bangles and bracelets, tape dispenser, paper roll holder, kitchen towel spool, etc... the uses could be endless.

I really enjoyed making this, given how easy it was to execute and how easy you can put your own spin on it. Now I have another decor piece to help me organize my things and knowing the fact that I managed to use up my shelf bit just makes the enjoyment so much more satisfying. Enjoy!!!

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