This was inspired by three wicked kittens. We'd tried all the traditional methods to keep the cats out of the bathroom and away from the toilet paper, but I'm afraid they became addicted to turning toilet paper into snow and cushions to sleep in.
There were lots of functional ideas that would keep the cats at bay (our home is old; door jambs and doors are being worked on, so that's why I had to figure something else out), but darn, they were ugly! I did NOT want cut-up 2-liter bottles, etc. There were also expensive T.P. dispensers, but I'm NOT paying up to 100 bucks.
So it was out to the workbench. I looked around and had lots of scraps from pallet projects over the summer and fall, so I cut a bunch of them down into strips and built a little-hinged box!
I simply measured around our built-in t.p. holder and allowed for approx. 1/2" total in all directions and made a frame from some leftover redwood strips that were from a demolished shed on our property. I then cut enough pieces from recycled pine, oak (both from pallets) and a few more redwood strips for color and then stacked them sort of "Lincoln-Log" style, staggering the corner wood joints just for visual appeal, as this is certainly not a weight-bearing box. I measured so that from the base frame out to the front face of the box, I could fit a double-roll of T.P. inside without squishing and squeezing the roll. I used some old, forgotten carpet tacks to tack the pieces together at the lap joints, and then bigger nails for the frame after using wood glue on all touching surfaces. I also chiseled out little grooves, so the hinges were slightly recessed to allow the box to close fairly tightly.
I sanded them all relatively smooth and then applied three coats of water-based polyurethane, sanding lightly between coats. I then assembled the hinges to the box and frame, touched up coatings around the hardware and then installed a reclaimed hook-and-eye for the closure mechanism. The final touch was a recycled glass handle. It was the ONLY one found on this property and had no mates, so we have to assume that it was reclaimed by a previous owner. Total cost: 0.79 cents - for the two little hinges. Everything else was reclaimed, leftover, or otherwise reused.
It is mounted to the wall with small drywall anchors and screws x 4. Easy!
The best part? My kittens were TICKED OFF, so I know it works. I haven't had to sweep up toilet paper snow in two weeks, and the littlest kitten thinks it's a great place to sit on and look out of the bathroom window. :D