Ballard Inspired Paper Holder

Hello IC friends!   I am feeling a tad better.   Thank you for those of you who sent me “get well” wishes. We are entering a crazy weekend though…we are watching 5 kids all weekend.   Some of you with 5 children are probably like, “oh geez, cry me a river.”   But for this mom of two, it will be crazy town.

So this is what I have been working on in between blowing my nose.


My original inspiration was this Junction Paper Holder from Ballard Designs.


Photo Credit: Ballard Designs

At a mere $159 it was about $142 out of my price range 🙂 Theirs is made of metal…mine is made out of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard).   So this is how my vision came to fruition…

Supply List:

3/4” MDF board

1” Wood Screws

1/4” x 2” boards (2)

3/8” nut

two knobs

rescued shelf or some korbels and wood shelf



1” x 4” board

2 L brackets

7/8” dowel rod

Paper Roll from IKEA

Hook and Loop Tape

Gorilla Glue

Electric Drill

Various drill bits


Drywall screws (capable of holding 50 lbs)

I found two of these shelves laying curbside.   I really don’t know why someone would throw them away.   They really were in great condition. So being the Roadkill Rescue hero that I pride myself in I threw it in my car for that “someday” when it would be made into something fabulous.


Well the day came.   I first unscrewed the hangers from the back.


I went to Home Depot and purchased a piece of 3/4” MDF.   I think it was around $8.   I had them cut it down to 22 1/2” x 34”.

Using the same hole on the back of the shelf I measured and marked those holes onto the MDF and predrilled my holes.


Using a 7/8” drill bit I also drilled holes into the side of my curbside castaway.   This is where the dowel rod holding the paper roll will sit.


It is a perfect fit for a 7/8” dowel rod purchased at Home Depot as well.


I wanted a little shelf at the bottom to hold crayons so I cut a 1” x 4” board down to 22 1/2”.   I also cut two 1/4” thick x 2” boards to 22 1/2” in length for the paper stoppers.


I purchased some L brackets to hold the shelf and predrilled those holes as well.


I also had these little knobs from who knows what that I decided to use on the end of the dowel rod.   I secured hook and loop tape to one side (using Gorilla Glue) so that I could remove the knob when I needed to change out the paper.   And glued the other knob on the other end.


Then I primed and painted everything including the screws and four 3/8” nuts.   I used BIN Stain Blocker and Krylon Black spray paint.IMG_1275

Then I attached the shelf to the top of the MDF board.


Then I predrilled through the 1/4” x 2” x 22 1/2” boards. I used 1” wood screws and put a 3/8” nut between the boards to serve as a spacer so I could slide the paper underneath.


Attached the bottom shelf…


Slid the paper roll in place…


And added my hook and looped knob onto the other end…



Then using a level and some heavy duty drywall screws I attached her to the wall.


It hangs on the wall in between the playroom and the kitchen.


Then I let the little artists loose.


Work of art wouldn’t you say?


Then when they are done you just rip the sheet off and start over.   It is a much better storage spot for the rolls of paper rather than the top of my fridge. 🙂


  1. That is the nicest paper holder ever, even better than Ballard's!

  2. truckermomma says

    I can't imagine a better way to write on the wall! What a fantastic idea!

  3. kami @ says

    Wow! That is awesome! What a great tutorial too, Beckie!

    Lucky little ones you have!

  4. Okay, I love this more than all of the framed chalkboards and whiteboard I have seen in the three years I have been blogging!

    LOVE IT!

  5. The Ousdahls says

    I want one!!!!!!!

  6. Green Door Girl says

    awesome – I love this 🙂

  7. Madigan at madiganmade says

    LOVE it! Great tutorial and I love the idea of using the hook and loop tape to the end of the paper roll. Just darling.

  8. Jen @ says

    Wow – that is so cool Beckie!! You are the DIY queen! It looks great. I bet your kids are having a blast with it. I'm glad you are feeling better!


  9. kpmattingly says

    Love it!! Want to make one for me too?? 🙂

  10. Kim's Treasures says

    VERY CUTE!!!

  11. Wow – your projects are amazing! Do you have a tutorial for the calendar hanging above your new paper holder? I love it! I can probably figure it out – but what did you use for the calendar on the glass?
    🙂 Thanks!

  12. beckie –

    this is truly terrific!

    & picasso didn't have anything on your kids!

    hope you all feel better faster than soon!

  13. Amy @ Positively Splendid says

    Holy cow, girl! This is ah-maz-ing!!

  14. That is insanely brilliant… Who couldn't use that?!? (Christmas gift idea!!!!) You are seriously organized… how do you find the time and energy??? Hope you are feeling even better 🙂

  15. Barbara Jean says

    LOVE IT!! Great job


    barbara jean

  16. I am so in love with this! You are honestly amazing!! I posted a link:

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Mom in High Heels says

    Genius! You did a great job.

  18. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says

    Love this!! Fantastic!

  19. CreativeMama says


  20. I love it – it is loads better than Ballard's!! You have done such a lovely job.

  21. laxsupermom says

    That's an awesome project! Easy to follow tutorial too. Thanks for posting this.

  22. Alison @ Stretch My Check says

    Wow Beckie, as usual I am AMAZED by your work. It is gorgeous and looks like perfection on that wall. Seriously, when can you move to NC so I can learn from the master? 😉

  23. That is a really great idea! I am going to have to pass this on to daughter. You have such vision for seeing what something else can be made into, I am jealous. LOL
    Here is another idea for that book.

  24. GET out!!! it's fabulous! now can you make me one? 🙂 ha ha ha

  25. Super awesome. And totally classy. And so functional! I really like it. 🙂

  26. As usual, I prefer your version over the Ballard design. Perhaps they should just hire you?

  27. gail says

    great job beckie! I love how you pick up things "just in case". I do the same. 🙂
    I love how this project turned out. The kiddos! and their art!very adorable!
    hope ya'll get well and stay well!

  28. This is just awesome.

  29. Amanda @ Serenity Now says

    WOW!!! What a fabulous knock-off! Great job, Beckie. I'd love to give that a try, but I'll wait to hear from you to see if your budding artists ever decide to expand to the surrounding wall area. 🙂 I think yours looks just as good, if not better, than BD!

  30. Kara@ Creations by Kara says

    Holey smokes Beckie, this is awesome! I can't believe you got all that done when you were sick. I'm under the weather now, and all I can manage to do is keep people fed. You are amazing!

  31. Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage says

    Gorgeous as always!! 🙂

  32. Thank you for this. I looked at that paper holder in the catalog and thought it was so doable at home. You've done a fantastic job!

  33. Gorgeous! Of course!

    Oh, how I wish I had power tools.

    And skill.

  34. Chrystal - Adorn on a Shoestring says

    I've been thinking of making a paper holder for a while, and am not afraid to admit that this one is like, 9 million times nicer than the one I envisioned!

    I thought my followers would like it as well, so I shared a link to your post here:

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  35. DFWKnitter says

    This is fabulous! Thank you for sharing… I am saving it on the "future Christmas" gift list!

  36. Iris Williams says

    Great Ballard-inspired creation! It looks fantabulous! 🙂 I will definitely have to try this one some day.

  37. Perhaps your blog should be called, "Infarrantly Impressive!"… cuz your projects are always so impressive.
    Thanks for sharing!

  38. Sawdust and Paperscraps says

    I have a roll of paper from IKEA that I've had laying around for months because I couldn't figure out what to do with it! This is
    A W E S O M E !!!!!

    Did you get that?

    I'm Facebooking this so I don't forget exactly where I saw it and of course to share!

    Thanks for the great tutorial!


  39. Love the paper holder! I too would like to know more about the calendar above it. What did you print the calendar on and how?

  40. Tara @ Tara Being Tara says

    This is SO cool!! I sort of want one for my grown-up craft room!! =)

  41. Wow! I'm speechless again…Queen of Roadkill! Can you make me one?

  42. I LOVE this idea! Definitely in the "to do" list!

  43. gail says

    Since I already commented you KNOW I love this idea. Thanks for linking up to my catch as catch can party!
    have a great weekend!

  44. First off — I love the paper holder. But your calendar is what got. That's my "vision" that I probably stole from somewhere but forgot and thought that I was so clever for thinking of myself. 🙂 I started working on it yesterday! I hope mine looks like yours! 🙂

  45. This is fantastic! I have been trying to figure out how to add one of these to my kids craft table but now I think I'll just make one like this for the wall in the craft area!

  46. organizedbyjenn says

    Wow-I totally LOVE this! Thanks for sharing.

  47. I cannot believe the amazing projects that you just conjure up out of your head. Seriously, this is super awesome. What lucky kids you have!

  48. Wow! What a great idea!!

  49. Fabulous! Yours is sooo much better than Ballard's. You are one clever girl!

  50. Michelle Hoad says

    I thought I loved you when you showed the games on the wall. Now, if it was possible at all, I love you even a little bit more.

  51. Black and White {Side by Side} says

    this looks SO great!!! thank you so much for the tutorial!

  52. Amy Jo @ The Little Moments says

    Totally awesome! I love that it's just at their height. Do you know of any other place to get a roll of paper? We don't have Ikea around these parts.

  53. Hey, guess what? Yours looks better and more expensive than the "inspiration"! Awesome job, and great tute! Thanks!

  54. Laurie Turk says

    Holy crap that is fantastic! Don't be surprised if you see yourself on TJ very soon.

    Hugs Girl!

  55. KatrinkaJane says

    We like to roll it onto another roll, then use that one, backwards. Voila! Two-sided art history!

  56. Erin @ Crafts and Sutch says

    This is such a great project and tutorial! I love how much space you save because you are essentially putting an easel up on the wall.

    I'm featuring this over at Crafts & Sutch today!. I hope you'll pop over and take a peek and grab a featured button too. 🙂

    Have a great week!

  57. Heather - says

    This is beyond awesome!! I want one of these. I also want to mount a roll of paper on the end of a work table so I can always roll out white and/or kraft paper when I'm making stuff so the background is pristine for tutorial process photos…


  58. Heather - says

    This is beyond awesome!! I want one of these. I also want to mount a roll of paper on the end of a work table so I can always roll out white and/or kraft paper when I'm making stuff so the background is pristine for tutorial process photos…


  59. Heather - says

    This is beyond awesome!! I want one of these. I also want to mount a roll of paper on the end of a work table so I can always roll out white and/or kraft paper when I'm making stuff so the background is pristine for tutorial process photos…


  60. I love this! Now I just need to find a miniature roll of paper, maybe for a calculator with printer, so I can make a mini one for in my kitchen for shopping lists! My kids would just love one of these!

  61. Courtney Elizabeth says

    Awesome idea!

  62. The Inspired Nest says

    That is really inspiring! You truly made that look easy! I am loving it and just may try it myself! Thanks for the tutorial!

  63. Ali Richardson says

    I Like it WAY better than the one from Ballard Designs! Well sone! I admire your ability to work with power tools. I beg my husband to do that stuff most of the time (I'm a tool whimp for sure). Keep up the good work!

  64. FABULOUS Beckie!! What a FUN idea!!
    Thanks for linking up too!!

  65. vanpeltium says

    WOW! That is so clever!! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  66. This is perfect. I just love it! Thanks for the tutorial!

  67. Black and White {Side by Side} says

    i'm featuring your post today!

  68. Sara @ Mom Endeavors says

    This is sheer brilliance! I love it and am so hoping I'll be able to pull it off sometime!!! Totally awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  69. I love yours much better. YOU should be designing for Ballard!
    Thanks for sharing

  70. I've been planning on how to replicate the same shelf system since I saw it in Ballard. Thanks for the cheaper version and great directions! Found you through Jen at Tatertots.

  71. oh my goodness . . . this is fantastic. We are in the beginning phases of redoing my daughter's room to an art studio theme for her. I was planning to design an easel that could be attached to the wall. Thanks so much for the fabulous inspiration and tutorial.

  72. A suggestion (which I do with my kids) is to have them wrap gifts to other family members with their drawings. It is so precious to see how excited everyone gets to get a gift wrapped in a crayoned or painted drawing. The grandparents love it the most.

  73. This is awesome! We have a hideous Little Tykes easel in our kitchen (which strangely enough I found curb side) and while eating dinner the other night I realized I could just hang a roll of paper on the wall.
    This holder is a step up from that! Love it, thanks for sharing and in tutorial form no less! 🙂

  74. Thanks for sharing this idea, I’m doing the same and putting it in the “kids nook” in my craft room so they can create while I am creating too, and we are out of each other’s way!

    My shelf has 3 cubbies on top, and on the bottom piece that holds the paper, I’m putting a hacksaw blade behind it (protecting little fingers) but making it easier to tear the paper.

  75. Am trying to figure out a way to do this using the IKEA paper roll holder. Thanks for the inspiration!


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