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. :-)

  • Stephanie

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

  • truckermomma

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

  • kami @

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

    Lucky little ones you have!

  • Lorie

    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!

  • The Ousdahls

    I want one!!!!!!!

  • Green Door Girl

    awesome – I love this :)

  • Madigan at madiganmade

    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.

  • Jen @

    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!


  • kpmattingly

    Love it!! Want to make one for me too?? :)

  • Kim’s Treasures

    VERY CUTE!!!

  • Lauri

    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!

  • randee

    beckie -

    this is truly terrific!

    & picasso didn't have anything on your kids!

    hope you all feel better faster than soon!

  • Amy @ Positively Splendid

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

  • Carrie

    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 :)

  • Barbara Jean

    LOVE IT!! Great job


    barbara jean

  • ificould

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

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Mom in High Heels

    Genius! You did a great job.

  • Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish

    Love this!! Fantastic!

  • CreativeMama


  • Renee

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

  • laxsupermom

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

  • Alison @ Stretch My Check

    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? ;-)

  • Cheri

    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.

  • Megan

    GET out!!! it's fabulous! now can you make me one? :) ha ha ha

  • Katie

    Super awesome. And totally classy. And so functional! I really like it. :)

  • Lori

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

  • gail

    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!

  • Kristi

    This is just awesome.

  • Amanda @ Serenity Now

    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!

  • Kara@ Creations by Kara

    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!

  • Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage

    Gorgeous as always!! :)

  • Alyssa

    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!

  • Heather

    Gorgeous! Of course!

    Oh, how I wish I had power tools.

    And skill.

  • Chrystal – Adorn on a Shoestring

    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!

  • DFWKnitter

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

  • Iris Williams

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

  • Netta

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

  • Sawdust and Paperscraps

    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!


  • Tiffany

    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?

  • Tara @ Tara Being Tara

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

  • **Amy**

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

  • liz

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

  • gail

    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!

  • Amanda

    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! :)

  • Sommer

    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!

  • organizedbyjenn

    Wow-I totally LOVE this! Thanks for sharing.

  • Oonafey

    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!

  • Sierra

    Wow! What a great idea!!

  • Bonnie

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

  • Michelle Hoad

    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.

  • Black and White {Side by Side}

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

  • Amy Jo @ The Little Moments

    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.

  • Anonymous

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

  • Laurie Turk

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

    Hugs Girl!

  • KatrinkaJane

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

  • Erin @ Crafts and Sutch

    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!

  • Heather –

    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…


  • Heather –

    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…


  • Heather –

    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…


  • Amy

    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!

  • Courtney Elizabeth

    Awesome idea!

  • The Inspired Nest

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

  • Ali Richardson

    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!

  • TidyMom

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

  • vanpeltium

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

  • Jami

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

  • Black and White {Side by Side}

    i'm featuring your post today!

  • Sara @ Mom Endeavors

    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!!

  • Beckie

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

  • Elz

    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.

  • Patti

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • SewTara

    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! :)

  • Pingback: Ballard Designs Junction Paper Holder — Knock Off Decor

  • Amber

    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.

  • Lisa

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