How to Make a DIY Wood Towel Holder Ring with a Shelf

DIY wood towel holder ring

Finding a good location to hang your towels in the bathroom could be a challenge, especially if you’re limited on wall space. But it makes it even more challenging if you have kids. If the towel bar is attached to drywall, eventually the bar might be ripped off the wall and you’ll end up with a big hole. Having this issue I decided to make my own DIY Wood Towel Holder Ring with a Shelf. This towel holder attaches directly to the stud and will take some effort to be ripped off and doesn’t take much wall space.

I made this project using scrap pieces that I had laying around in my scrap pile. If you have some scrap wood and interested in building something out of wood, this could be a great project to try. I created a step-by-step plan with 3D illustrations.

You also might be interested in other bathroom projects that I’ve done such as, DIY Mason Jar Organiser and DIY Bathroom Floating Shelf.

DIY wood towel holder ring

Time to Complete

3 hours

Total Cost


Skill Level


Download Printable Plans in PDF

DIY Wood Towel Holder Ring with a Shelf PDF


This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

The plans are embedded on the webpage for free, but if you would like to support the website, you can pay a small fee to purchase the printable PDFs.

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DIY Wood Towel Holder Ring with a Shelf

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Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size.  See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.


DIY towel holder ring dimensions

Step 1 – Draw Circles for the Shelf and the Towel Ring

First, start by drawing the outline shapes of a shelf and the towel holder ring. Take a compass and draw an 11″ diameter circle on a 1×12 board. Then take a construction square and draw a line in the center of the circle splitting it in half. The first half of the circle will be used for a shelf and the other side will be used as the railing on top of the shelf. 

Again, take a compass and draw another smaller circle from the same base point as the 11″ circle. The smaller inner circle needs to be drawn at 9 3/4″ in diameter and only halfway on the railing side. 

Now moving on to a towel holder ring, take a compass and draw an 8″ diameter circle. Then from the same base point, draw an inner 6″ diameter circle.

drawing circle outlines for DIY towel holder ring
using a measuring tape
using compass to draw a circle on wood
using construction square to draw a line

Step 2 – Cut the Shelf Board and Shelf Railing Piece

Clamp the 1×12 board to your workbench and using a jig saw cut out the 11″ circle. When using a jig saw, take your time to cut the circles as best as you can. You want to have the circle perfectly round without any zigzags. It will also save you time sanding the curve to make it look good.  

Then using a miter saw cut the circle in half. Clamp the railing board to your workbench and cut out the inner 9 3/4″ circle with a jig saw. 

cutting out circle for DIY towel holder ring
cutting out wood with jig saw
cutting wood with miter saw
cutting out half circle on wood

Step 3 – Sand the Railing Board on the Inside

Before connecting the railing to the shelf board, take sandpaper and sand the inner circle to eliminate any rough edges. Hopefully, you took the time to cut a nice circle and don’t have to spend much time sanding. Sanding the outer edge of the railing will be done in the next step. 

cutting railing board for DIY towel holder ring
sanding railing board

Step 4 – Connect Railing Piece to the Shelf Board

Once the inner edge of the railing boards looks good, attach it to the shelf board with wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails using a nail gun. The nails should go on the bottom of the shelf so that they are not visible. 

Let the wood glue dry, then take a random orbital sander and sand the outer edge of the railing and the shelf board.

attaching railing board to shelf board
applying wood glue on wood

Step 5 – Cut the Towel Holder Ring

Now take the board with an 8″ circle you drew in step 1 and clamp it to your workbench. First, you’ll need to cut out the inner circle and then the outer. 

Take a 3/8″ drill bit and drill a hole anywhere in the inner circle. Insert the jig saw blade inside the 3/8″ hole and cut out the inner circle. Then cut out the outer circle. 

Using a random orbital sander, sand the outside of the ring. For the inside of the ring, use a small sandpaper sheet and sand it by hand. 

cutting ring for the towel holder
drilling hole in wood
cutting out circle with jig saw on wood
cutting out circle with jig saw

Step 6 – Round Over the Edges of the Towel Ring

To eliminate the sharp edges of the towel ring, this could be accomplished with a wood router. 

Take a rounding-over bit that has a 3/8″ radius curve and insert it into the wood router. Elevate the router so that the curve goes halfway to the edge. Before trimming the towel ring, test it on the scrap piece to make sure you have the correct curve elevation. Then run through the inner and outer edges on both sides of the ring. 

cutting ring for the towel holder
using wood router to trim edges

Step 7 – Cut Shelf Support Board

Use the remaining wood to cut 2″ x 9 1/2″ piece with 45-degree miter cut on both ends, see picture. Use a table saw to cut 2″ x 9 1/2″ and then a miter saw to cut the 45-degree angles. This piece will go under the shelf board and will hold both the shelf board and the towel ring. 

Step 8 – Make an Incision for the Leather Strap 

This piece that goes under the shelf will need to have a thin opening in the middle for a leather strap to go in. This leather strap will loop around and hold the towel ring. 

Find the center of the board and draw a rectangle that’s 1 1/2″ wide and 1/4″ tall. This rectangle needs to be about 3/4″ from the top. Then take a 1/8″ drill bit and drill several holes inside the rectangle as close to each other as you can to make an opening for a jig saw blade to go through. Once you insert the jig saw blade, cut out the rectangle. 

The opening should be large enough for the leather strap to fit in. If you’re using a thicker fabric or leather, the opening might need to be slightly larger.

cutting out an opening for leather belt of the towel holder
drawing a line on wood board
drilling hole in wood
using jig saw to cut wood
support board with incision cut

Step 9 – Trim 1/4″ Grove for the Leather Strap Ends

On the backside of the shelf support board, draw a 1 1/2″ x 1″ rectangle right under the incision for the leather strap. Then take a wood router with a straight bit and cut out the rectangle that is 1/4″ deep. This 1/4″ grove will be used for holding and hiding the leather strap ends. 

drilling notch in support boards of the DIY towel holder ring
using wood router on wood
support board for the towel holder

Step 10 – Drill Pilot Holes and Pocket Holes on the Support Board

Take a 1/8″ drill bit and drill two pilot holes about 3/4″ apart from each other in the center of the 1/4″ grove cut out. These pilot holes will be used for attaching the shelf to the wall. The screws will go inside the pilot holes through the leather straps and into the stud of the wall. 

Instead of nailing the support piece to the shelf board, a better option is to use pocket holes. The pocket holes will be against the wall and will not be visible like nails would. Take your Kreg Jig and set it for 3/4″ wood thickness. Then drill two pocket holes on the backside of this support board.  

drilling pocket holes in DIY towel holder ring
drilling hole in wood
drilling pocket holes
support board for the towel holder

Step 11 – Attach the Support Board to the Shelf 

Using a random orbital sander, sand the support board to eliminate any rough edges. Then attach it to the shelf board with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. 

attaching support boards to the shelf board
applying wood glue on wood
attaching wood board with pocket hole screws
diy towel holder ring

Step 12 – Stain the Shelf and the Towel Ring 

Before staining the pieces, run through the boards with 350 grid sandpaper. Next, apply pre-stain and after 30 minutes, apply the stain. Then wipe off the stain with a clean shop paper towel. 

Let the stain dry overnight and then apply a coat of polyurethane. Polyurethane seals and protects the wood. Lightly sand the boards again with a 350 grid and apply a second coat of polyurethane. 

sanding towel holder ring
applying pre-stain on wood
applying wood stain on wood
applying polyurethane

Step 13 – Connect the Towel Ring with a Leather Strap

Take a 1 1/2″ wide strip of a leather strap and cut it to 11″ in length. Wrap the leather strap over the towel ring and feed it into the incision of the support board. The ends of the strap will be placed inside the grove so that the support board and shelf will be flush with the wall.  

Using a stud finder, find the stud you want to attach the towel holder to. Drive 2 1/2″ wood screws into the support board, through the leather straps, and into the wall. If a stud is not available then use drywall anchors to hold the screws. But it will hold stronger if you drive the screws into the studs. You are done with a DIY Wood Towel Holder Ring with a Shelf.

DIY towel holder ring
leather strap for towel holder
attaching DIY towel holder ring to wall

2 thoughts on “How to Make a DIY Wood Towel Holder Ring with a Shelf”

  1. This is brilliant. The sink in our guest bathroom covers the vanity completely so there is no counter on which to put drinking glass, toothbrush, etc. If I can talk hubby into making two of these to put on the wall above the sink, problem solved.


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