Frugal Tissue Dispenser

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As a former teacher I am very much aware of how many out-of-pocket expenses teachers have. One big request is tissues, especially this time of year. I have made a clever tissue holder for my grandson's teacher. I'm sure she will appreciate not having to add boxes of tissue to her need-to-buy list.


You'll need a large empty coffee can with a snap-on plastic lid, contact paper or wallpaper, non-slip drawer/cabinet liner, Elmer's glue, and a roll of toilet paper.

Remove the plastic lid and cut a round hole (about and inch and a half in diameter) in the center of it. Make four small cuts at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock to "grab" the tissue as it's torn off. (Think about the cuts in the top of a container of wipes).

Measure the height and circumference of the can. Using these measurements, cut contact paper or wallpaper to cover the can. Contact paper should stick on its own. Use the glue if it doesn't or if you choose to use wallpaper. Apply stickers, stamps, draw designs, personalize it with the teacher's name or decorate the can however you choose.


Set the can on a piece of the non-skid rubber liner and use a pen to draw around the can to show where to cut. Cut out the circle and glue it to the bottom of the can. (Keeps the can from sliding around while a piece of tissue is being pulled out).

Pull the cardboard roll out of the center of the roll of toilet paper. Start pulling the tissue from the inside of the roll of toilet paper and thread it through the hole in the center of the lid. Snap the lid in place on the top of the can.

Now the teacher has a convenient dispenser from which the students can pull off as much or as little as they need. An added benefit for the teacher is that the school supplies toilet paper but not boxes of tissue. To refill all she or he needs to do is to pick up a fresh roll from the janitor.


Go ahead and get busy. Those teachers could use a little lift this time of the year. Next year make one for your child's new teacher and send it in along with supplies on her start-of-school wish list.

By Sandy from Elon, NC

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By (Guest Post)
February 23, 20090 found this helpful

At our local school, each elementary child is required to bring a box of tissue at the beginning of the year. The teachers put them away in their storage area and bring one box out at a time. This works just fine.

February 23, 20091 found this helpful

This is an especially helpful idea for teachers who work with lower-income children. For many families, having to provide supplies such as tissue can mean less money for groceries.


And there is nothing more embarrassing than having to tell your teacher that your family can't afford a box of tissue!


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February 24, 20091 found this helpful

This is an ingenious idea! I can see it being used in many places - church nurseries, for instance. Thanks for sharing it and God bless you.

By maya (Guest Post)
February 24, 20091 found this helpful

What a great idea! I'm going to use it at home and in the car. Thanks

February 25, 20091 found this helpful

I can't wait to try this! What a sweet idea for the teachers, too. I bet you could modify it for other containers as well. I will be on the hunt!


Thanks for the great idea!


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February 25, 20091 found this helpful

This is a wonderful idea...and I just learned that you take the core out of the middle of the roll of tissue and feed it from the middle like a skein of can be used in so many places...think i'll make one to carry in my car too...and they can be made scented also...I wonder if you can try your paper towels like this to use in the kitchen...hmmm....thanks for sharing..

By Karen (Guest Post)
February 26, 20091 found this helpful

I keep toilet paper in the car all the time. My daughter has terrible allergies. Tissue boxes tend to get smashed and this is a great idea to protect the toilet paper from getting smashed. That happens a lot too but it lasts so much longer than a box of tissues. I have known for years that its much cheaper.


Thanks for the idea!

February 28, 20091 found this helpful

Just LOVE this idea. It's great for our office, too. They supply toilet tissue but not kleenex so we can all have dispensers at our desks and be creative at the same time. Thanks for sharing,

March 3, 20091 found this helpful

Fabulous idea for bush camping too, no more soggy paper because someone placed it on the ground. In fact there are endless applications. Now I just need to find a container big enough for my kitchen roll so that will stay 'safe' in the car and camping!

April 13, 20091 found this helpful

Great Idea, I am going to make one for the car also and my 6 year old's room.

May 25, 20121 found this helpful

What a clever idea!


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May 25, 20121 found this helpful

That is a very nice idea!

May 25, 20120 found this helpful

This is what I call, "Poor Man's Tissues!" I'm going to pull my from the inside core, didn't know about that. I have several handmade plastic canvas tissue holders that are always empty, so I put toilet paper in them instead.

I also have saved a couple of rectangle tissue boxes (from when I've been frivolous) and taped them together and made a double decker storage bin for plastic bags. When they get worn out, I'll toss them and start all over. I've got a small, cube one in bathroom to always have plastic bags on hand for the "stinky" garbage. I love this website because we can all get great, frugal ideas!


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May 25, 20121 found this helpful

What a great idea! At our school the children are told to bring in several boxes of tissue each to donate to the school. But I think this would be great to use here at home.

July 19, 20121 found this helpful

Great idea! I am making some of these for teacher's in my family, they will love it!


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November 4, 20161 found this helpful

As a former educational assistant, I would use empty coffee containers to store classroom teaching . I would cover the plastic cans with masking tape which was cut randomly and placed on the can randomly and then I would take a crayon and using the crayon on its side color the masking tape covered coffee can and it gave it a different appearance. I then used a label to describe the classroom game inside and put it on the front of the coffee can and then a small label to put on the top of the can. I made several of these classroom teaching game cans and they were different colors.

February 21, 20220 found this helpful

I would love to see the finished product


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