Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Terry And the T.P. Adventure

As anyone on a boat knows, heads are mostly VERY small. They also have minimal storage. So, Terry was thinking.... Those of us who know Terry understand that it means he has thought of something we could do to improve LUX. In this case, he was thinking about toilet paper- specifically, how we could store it on LUX.

Most homes have space under the sink to store the extra toilet paper rolls. This is not the case on our boat. The only storage is on top of the towel bar.

As you can see, the towels do not like to share. Plus, you hang them on the rack to dry- meaning that they are not going to be friendly to toilet paper! We needed a better solution. 

I turned to my trusty advisor- the web. I searched for toilet paper holders. Wow! There are LOTS of them out there. One of my favorites was toilet paper hung on a string with a stick at the end. But, it dawned on me that there was a much easier way to do it. All I had to do was think about the storage bags people make to keep those pesky grocery bags at hand. Same idea. Different contents.

I got busy measuring toilet paper. Here is a picture of my worksheet. 

I agree that it is not the best diagram ever, but it was my working diagram. The toilet paper had a circumference of 16 inches. 17 inches gave me room to sew. Four rolls of toilet paper needed about 19 inches. 1 extra inch was added for differences in brands. An extra 6 inches was added for the top and bottom. For fabric, I used the material left over from making the fish curtains for the portals in the heads! Yes, matching fabric! Not only did I get cute fish fabric, but the fabric is actually a fabric shower curtain. That gives the project some protection against moisture, mold and mildew. Clever, huh?

Just like those grocery bag holders, I was making a tube open on the top and the bottom. The top could remain open. The bottom would need a drawstring and a toggle. On a grocery bag holder, you just need enough room to pull out the bags- and those bags can really be squished down. That is so not a good plan with toilet paper on a boat. You really want to make sure the toilet paper stays where it belongs and in its original shape! There is no place on a boat for free range or squished t.p. So, I decided the best plan would be to make a casing on the bottom with a toggle. To do this, I fell back on an old standard- grosgrain ribbon.

I finished each end of the ribbon with Fray Check. And, I sewed them down- leaving room for the final seam on the side. As you can see in the picture, I also folded over the hems twice, and sewed them down. Both times, I used quarter inch seams. The final sewing step was to serge the long side.

When it came to the pull strings, I went for recycling. We have a collection of badge holders from various conferences. All of them were the kind with a string to hang the badge around your neck- meaning the ends were finished. I saved the bage holders that were still in good shape, and I took the strings for this project!

The final step in the assembly was to put two grommets it the top section so I could hang the bags in the heads.

The picture clearly shows the grommets and the shower curtain rings that I am using to attach the bag to the rails of the towel holders in the heads. I could have just used one ring through both grommets, but I wanted to try it like this the first time.

And now- a look at the completed project in action.

I had originally thought to put the toilet paper in at the top and take it out the bottom. However, once it was installed, it was just easier to do both through the cinched bottom.

You just loosen the toggle, and toilet paper easily goes in or out! This is a fun, easy, and fast project that really does solve a storage problem on our boat. And, if you keep up with it, no one need wonder where the extra toilet paper is in the middle of the night!!😉

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