Reusing trash and recyclables is great for the environment, and frugal as well, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. In this series of articles, I will be examining the possibilities of reuse available for a number a different items, including crafts and other options.
The cardboard tube in the center of a roll of toilet paper can be recycled, but why waste the energy needed for that, when it could be given further useful life in the form it has already? Toilet paper tubes can be fun for crafts and helpful around the house. There are endless approaches to crafting with and reusing these versatile cardboard shapes, and in this article I’ll include just a few.
Toilet paper tubes are great containers for small gift giving. Fill them with candy, wrap them up with paper, and gather the ends into fun bursts of paper with string or ribbon. You could paint them, cover them in paper, stamp them, wrap them in ribbon or fabric, or use any decorative technique to make them match your occasion or theme.
If you’d like to make a container with a more unique shape that won’t be instantly recognized as a toilet paper tube, flatten one end and sew it closed. Place your item or gift inside and flatten and sew the other end in the opposite direction.
The tubes can be made into cat toys or noisemakers for holidays or kids toys by filling them with beans or rice, and securely taping the ends closed. Make sure that these are not given to children who are still young enough to chew on things or put them in their mouths. Also, you will want to make sure that you don’t let a dog or cat play with this when you’re not home, as they’re likely to chew it open as well.
I’ve seen some beautiful art projects made by cutting toilet paper tubes into strips, which will make small cardboard pieces shaped like pointed ovals. These are glued together in elaborate shapes, like flowers, and spray painted a solid color. They look so great hanging on the wall, and you’d never guess they were made from toilet paper tubes.
The tubes can be reused as seed starting cups as well. By cutting one end into four flaps, they can be closed off effectively to hold the potting soil insde. They also break down out in the garden, though I’d recommend tearing them away from the seedling before planting to make sure that the roots can make their way out.
Toilet paper tubes are very useful for organizing art supplies. They can be taped together to form a block, or taped into the corners of baskets or boxes to hold up and sort pens, scissors, and other small items that generally fall to the bottom and get misplaced. Mounted next to a message board on the wall, they will keep these things handy there as well.
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uses for toilet paper tubes, and I hope they will inspire you to come up with some of your own great ideas.