Empty cardboard paper towel and bathroom tissue tubes are a favorite with young children who immediately grab the empty ones and turn them into a telescope or microphone.But did you know cardboard tubes have many other uses? Instead of tossing out empty tubes and making more trash for landfills you can recycle cardboard paper towel and bathroom tissue tubes by turning them into a variety of useful items that will save you money and help reduce the amount of trash your house produces. To help you learn how you can reuse cardboard tubes here are twelve of my favorite eco-friendly ways to reuse cardboard paper towel and tissue tubes.
12 Things You Can Do With Cardboard Tubes
1. Rain stick
Cardboard tubes from paper towels make great rain sticks to use in musical activities. To make a rain stick crumple up aluminum foil and place inside the roll, then add 1/4 cup of rice, seal both ends with duct tape and use markers and other craft materials to decorate the outside of the rain stick.
2. Party Favors
Bathroom tissue tubes make great treat holders for a birthday party. To make party favors cover each cardboard tube with a sheet of tissue paper, wrapping paper or cloth square leaving 1-2 inches of paper or material at each end. Glue or tape to hold in place. Next fill each tube with a variety of candies and small toys.To finish tie each end with ribbon.
3. Seed Starter
You can make your own inexpensive seed starters by using empty cardboard tubes. To make seed starters cut bathroom tissue tubes in half and place into a shallow tray. Next fill each tube with soil and seed a water by lightly misting with a spray bottle as needed. Once your seeds are ready to be transplanted lift each tube out and plant in your garden. There’s no need to remove the plant from the tube as it will decompose and enrich the soil around your plant.
4. Hairband Organizer
My husband is always complaining that he finds hair ties all over the house with three females in the house digging through them to find just the right color or type its no wonder. To avoid this problem and keep our hairbands organized we started keeping them on empty paper towel rolls.Now the girls and I are able to quickly find just the one we’re looking for. To make your own hairband holder simply slide each hairband over the cardboard tube. To remove stretch the band you want and pull over all the other bands on the tube.
Kids love kazoo’s and they are super easy to make using cardboard bathroom tissue rolls. Just cut a square of wax paper a little larger than the end of the cardboard tube and secure to one end with a rubber band. Now just remember to send your kids outdoors to play them!
6. Scrap Ribbon Holder
Have lots of leftover ribbon from craft or sewing projects? Cardboard tubes make a great way to organize ribbon scraps. To make a ribbon holder tape each piece of ribbon to the cardboard tube and roll the ribbon onto the tube. Once you have all the ribbon on the tube secure the end with a piece of tape so it stays in place. To use remove the tape and unwind ribbon in the amount you need and re-tape whatever you have left.
7. Bird Feeder
Cardboard tubes make great bird feeders for our feathered friends. To make a bird feeder punch a hole on either side of a toilet paper tube. Insert a piece of ribbon into the holes and tie in a knot to make a loop for hanging. Next spread peanut butter all over the tube and then roll in birdseed. To finish hang your bird feeder outside in a tree or on a fence.
8. Door Wreath
Cardboard tubes can be made into a beautiful and eco-friendly wreath to hang on your front door. To make a wreath you will need about 15 toilet paper tubes, so start saving up.Once you have 15 tubes you can paint the tubes any color you like depending on the season. Next stretch a wire coat hanger into a circle shape. Cut a slit halfway through each toilet paper tube and slide it onto the wire hanger.You will end up with a big circle of cardboard tubes.To finish you can hot glue seasonal items on and attach a big bow.
9. Cloth Napkin Rings
You can make really cute and inexpensive cloth napkin holders with cardboard tubes. To make napkin rings cut tubes into two inch segments. Next paint the tubes or glue on your choice of craft materials. Allow to dry and slide over cloth napkins.
10. Christmas Light Storage
Wrap Christmas lights around a cardboard tube to make storage easy and prevent the light cords from becoming tangles.
11. Electrical Cord Storage
To keep household extension and electrical cords tidy and make storage a breeze, simply fold each cord back and forth and place inside a cardboard toilet paper tube. You can use a marker to write what type of cord is inside each tube on the outside of the tube.
Cardboard tubes can be used to make cute bracelets that little young girls will love wearing. To make beautiful bracelets cut each tube into 1-2 inch segments and then cut a slit through each one. Next paint, or cover each one with wrapping paper or cloth. Finish by hot gluing on jewels and other assorted craft items.
These are just twelve of the items you can make by reusing cardboard paper towel and toilet paper tubes. However with just a little imagination you can come up with even more uses that you may never have thought of before.
Once you are done with whatever you turned your cardboard tube into remember to recycle!