Beer Can Bathroom Cup Dispenser




Finding a good quality wall-mounted bathroom cup dispenser is difficult. The few models out there are made of unattractive plastic. The pop-up style of dispenser takes up counter space and the springs wear out and rust. There's a cheap, simple solution. 

In this Instructable, you'll see how to transform a common beer can into an attractive polished aluminum dispenser that keeps your cups high and dry. 

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Step 1: Supplies

Here's what you need, from the left:

* A beer can. Here we have the venerable PBR 24 oz. Any drink can of a similar diameter will work.
* Clear silicone
* A can opener
* Polishing compound
* A strip of hook and loop tape
* Sandpaper
* A file
* Not pictured: a rag

Step 2: Fill

First, fill the can with water. This will support the thin aluminum while you polish and transfer heat so it doesn't warp when you sand it. Is that an ugly sink or what?

Step 3: Sand

Sand the can to remove the paint. If you have an electric palm sander, it will save you time. Wet sanding seems to work best.

Step 4: Polish

Rub the polishing compound on the can until you get the finish you want. Light buffing will give it a cloudy, brushed look and more will result in a mirror shine. 

Step 5: Remove the Lid

Drain the water, then remove the lid with a can opener. You'll probably have to go around a couple times to get a clean cut.

Step 6: File

File the rim to remove any leftover shards of aluminum. 

Step 7: Apply Glue

Finally, apply four daubs of clear silicone glue to the inside edges of the can. This serves to hold the cups in place, since the beer can diameter is a bit larger than a standard cup. Let the glue cure overnight.

Step 8: Mount

Now you can mount your finished dispenser with four small strips of hook and loop tape. Since it's round, It will be most stable in a corner. 

Drink up and enjoy!

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    15 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I think this is an eh, ok, "ible", but think a little bit more should have been done for the reloading process, ... a removable top, would work much better, & after a few dozen uses of putting the cap on, & off, it should be easier to do with more use, ...
    a good idea of repurposing, but could have went a little bit further, ...


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Good question! The cups push right in, catching just a bit on the silicone bumps, whiich then hold the stack in place.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I love this kind of instructables. Thanks kamm, I think this is a pretty clever way to re-use old cans that otherwise would be wasted. Although I don't drink alcohol, I found the Arizona cans comment very helpful.

    This is easy to follow, I liked it a lot.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You could also use the beer to make bread or as slug bait in the garden if you don't want to drink it. I've found that Tesco Value Lager works well for both purposes, and comes in big cans. ;-)

    For things like mouth wash, after brushing your teeth to rinse, theres personal measures like medical reasons to test urine ect. Think out side the box lol


    7 years ago on Introduction

    A few tips:
    1. If you polish the can before you drink it, it will be much more rigid, and easier to polish.
    2. A buffing wheel on a bench grinder will polish it up super easy, and super fast!
    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Also it could be hung from the bottom of a cabinet, shelf? using a screw or two into the bottom of the can