We all hear it – “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Recycling can often be easy but I love finding opportunities to Reuse. One of the things, it seems we always have a wealth of in our home is the cardboard center to the toilet tissue roll. Obviously, an easy recyclable item, it can also be used to make many fun crafts and other clever ideas.
Here are some of my favorite ideas:
A fun craft that my kids love is to make “binoculars” out of them. This craft is very simple.
- Take three rolls.
- Staple two of the rolls together at each end.
- Cut the remaining one down a side.
- Open the cut roll and lay it over the two, using the curves to encase them.
- Glue to secure the third roll.
- Decorate as desired.
- Punch 2 holes in the same end of the rolls – one should go through each of the encased rolls.
- Take a string and knot each end into an each hole.
:: Desktop Organizer
Use several rolls to create a cute Desktop Organizer. You can paint the rolls different colors and personalize it however you’d like.
The cute one pictured above is from FaveCrafts.com. This would be a great, personalized gift for a grandparent or teacher.
:: Fire Starter
This is one I use frequently! Use a toilet paper roll as kindling for a fire. Save your dryer lint and pack it within a roll. Place it in the center of your smaller logs and light it. It’s a great way to warm your home and keep two things out of the trashcan.
:: Seed Starter
Toilet paper rolls can make great seed starters. For those of you wanting to start your garden from seeds, here are some easy steps to try to get those seeds started!
- Make a series of cuts around one end of the roll. They should be about 1 inch deep and about an inch apart. Fold these tabs in creating a base on one end of the tube.
- Fill the roll with soil, moisten, and insert seeds.
- As the seedlings grow, insert the entire roll into the ground.
:: Bird Feeder
Toilet paper rolls make great bird feeder crafts for kids. Simply roll the toilet paper roll in peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed. Punch 2 holes on opposite sides of the same end of the roll. Pull a string through the two holes and hang up in a branch or a cage. Then watch the birds flock!
I love this idea of using them to create a beautiful wreath. The one pictured below is a Christmas wreath but you could spray paint the flowers pink and red and form them into a heart for Valentine’s Day. White ones would be so pretty for Easter. You could do red, white and blue for July Fourth. So many possibilities!
You can head over here for the instructions. But I’ll warn you, they are in Hungarian. The pictures are pretty self explanatory though!
:: Matchbox Car Tunnels
Speaking of tubes, they make great tunnels and ramps for Matchbox cars. Link several together by punching holes on each end and tying together with string. Cut a slit halfway up the last roll. Flatten it out like the base of a slide. Raise the closed end by propping up or tying to a chair leg. Then let your cars fly down them. You could even make two and race. I made one of these the other day with my boys. It entertained them for a long time and was so easy to make!
Cover ten rolls with white butcher paper. Draw a red line about an inch from the top. Roll out a long strip of butcher paper (6-8 feet). Draw 10 rings in a pyramid shape at one end. Stand up each toilet paper roll on each circle. Use a light weight plastic ball to knock them down! This is a great rainy day activity.
:: Pillow Boxes
You can use toilet paper rolls to wrap small gifts and gift cards. I’m always looking for a cute way to give gift cards other than just in a simple envelope. I thought these pillow boxes from Create Craft Love were so cute and simple to make.
Check out her tutorial. They are really simple. She also has a picture of a reindeer one that would be so cute to use at Christmastime!
:: Cord Storage
Is that area behind the TV or in your office a mess with loose cords? With all the devices being black, it’s tough to tell which cord is which. Keep your cords organized with toilet paper rolls. Wrap up any extra length of cord and put it inside the roll. You can also write on them which cords go with which device so it’s easy to find them. You can also wrap them in paper or spray paint if your cords are in plain view.
What is your favorite unusual use for toilet paper rolls? I’d love to hear more fabulous ideas!