We’re kind of tape addicts in our house. And it has gotten a bit out of hand. Rolls of tape in baskets, in baggies, in whatever The Babe last used for a craft project. So I decided to take the lead of her wonderful preschool and build our own tape dispenser. This was a fun building activity that even taught a bit of math along the way. Follow along to make your very own DIY PVC Pipe Tape Dispenser. (This post contains affiliate links.)
DIY PVC Tape Dispenser Supplies
This isn’t your average tape dispenser… It’s an engineered tape dispenser :) Made out of pipe. If you haven’t played with PVC pipe yet, it’s pretty fun to build with, even if you’re not an engineer. Here’s what you need to put it together:
I realize that this PVC pipe naming may be new to some of you, so I’ve linked to the items on Amazon to help you get the right fit. Or, you can print out this page and take it to your local hardware / home improvement store to help you get the right items.
Design Your Tape Holder
I decided to make our tape holder a rectangle because we needed more space than a cube would provide. This is a great time to teach the kids about 3D shapes and how to draw them. Did you know that a 3D rectangle is called a rectangular prism? I had to Google it… The directions below are for the shape we made, but it’s up to you what size and shape you need. FYI, the finished size will be slightly bigger than the lengths of pipe as the elbows take up a bit of space.
Measure and Cut the PVC Pipe
Next measure and mark the desired length of PVC pipe with a pen. Definitely remember the guideline of Measure Twice, Cut Once. PVC pipe is cheap, but not that cheap :) You need:
- 4 x 8″ pieces
- 8 x 4″ pieces
I used a PVC cutter but if you have easy access to a power saw, that works well too. Line up your cut mark with the blade in the PVC cutter and start ratcheting it down until it completely cuts through the pipe. I was going to do a video to help you use your PVC cutter, but then I realized that I’m definitely not a pro at it. So here’s a video from a pro :)
I highly recommend either keeping this part as a grown-ups step or kids should be closely monitored and assisted as the cutter is very sharp. Please wear appropriate safety gear like goggles if you choose to use a saw because sometimes shards of PVC come off the pipe when they are cut.
Assemble the Tape Holder
Here comes the fun part for the kids. It’s time to build the tape holder! Use the 8″ pieces as the length and the 4″ pieces as the depth and height. The Babe really liked trying to figure out how to make it fit together. I think I need to buy some more fittings as a building block activity for her. I love that she loved playing with piping because I’m a chemical engineer and my dad is a chemical engineer. There’s been a lot of piping work done in our careers… Maybe she will become a chemical engineer too!
Now, grab your cable tie and the cyclindrical coupler. Slide the cable tie through the coupler and attach on the inside of one of the cross bars. We used the short side so we didn’t interfere with too much tape storage.
And finally, pull out one of the pipes from the fitting and start sliding on your tape. You’re all done!!
Now it’s time to do some projects with tape! Have you seen LBCB’s DIY Recycled Suspension Bridge?
Or, check out the Left Brain Craft Brain Tape Addict Pinterest board for lots of fun and helpful ideas.
Follow Anne @ Left Brain Craft Brain’s board Tape Addict on Pinterest.