First of all, let me apologise for the terrible quality of photos. I had limited space to work in when I did this project and only a phone camera, so the lighting isn’t great and the resolution is rather low. Hopefully everything is clear!
Twinsaver (and maybe other brands I don’t know about) sells these really nice tube shaped tissue boxes. They’re narrow and compact, made of thick durable cardboard, and have a nice plastic ring at the top so you never accidentally rip the box when you try to open it. But they’re also pretty expensive and only hold 80 tissues per box, so we get through them really quickly.
Standard tissue boxes are big and generally unattractive. I’ve seen those wooden covers that go over a tissue box, but they can make it really difficult to reach the bottom of the box and don’t exactly make it smaller. So I have converted one of those Twinsaver tubes into a refillable tissue dispenser.
Step 1: remove the plastic caps from the bottom and top of the tube and set them aside.
Step 2: decorate! You can customise the tube anyway you like. I painted mine with acrylic paint, but you could use decoupage or wrapping paper or washi tape or anything really. If you choose to paint it, I would recommend sanding it with a fine grit sandpaper (150 grit or finer) to get rid of the plastic coating. Whatever you choose to do, you should do that first.
(I actually forgot this for this tutorial, so ended up painting it last, which just makes it a bit more difficult.)
Step 3: these tubes hold specially designed tissues which are slightly smaller than normal tissues. So you’ll need to give the tube a little extra height. To do this, you’ll need to flip the top ring over. Simply apply some contact cement to the the rim, leave it to dry for about 30 seconds and then glue it to the top of the tube.
Step 4: it’s easiest if you have a box of interleaved tissues to work from, otherwise you have to interleave them yourself. You’ll be looking to buy a box that has the opening in the top, but you can ignore that for this project. Simply open the side of the box and take out about 40 tissues. If you overfill the tube, the tissues can get stuck and tear as you pull them out.
Step 5: open one layer of the top tissue, as shown below. Take the bottom corner of the open flap and fold it across the pile so the corner pokes out slightly from the middle of the right edge. You should have a point sticking up from top of the pile.
Step 6: bend the pile in half (left edge to right edge), but don’t fold a hard crease into it. Take the point at the top and pull it up slightly, so you have about 3cm sticking up.
Step 7: feed the tissues into the tube from the bottom, making sure the top point goes through the hole at the top of the tube. If necessary, pull the point up again. The tissues may still be slightly too long for the tube, but it is so slight that you can just squish it in now, and put the plastic cap back in place.
Objectively the easiest DIY project ever, right?