Don’t throw those cardboard tubes away – try these toilet paper roll crafts instead! Here are 50+ easy projects you’re going to love.
I’m a “saver,” and I know that some of you completely get what I’m talking about. That’s what happens when you’re a crafter, right? Any surface that can possibly receive a little paint and/or Mod Podge is saved from the Goodwill pile.
Because – one day – I swear I’m going to use it.
Typically I could admit this statement is a farce, and then would be honest with you and say that eventually the surfaces I save get recycled or given away. However, this isn’t the case with toilet paper rolls.
I have a big bag of cardboard tubes in my craft room right now. They’re not just mine; my mom also saves them and gives them to me (does craft hoarding run in my family??). They’re waiting for some fun toilet paper roll crafts, and I will (and do!) use them.
There are all kinds of toilet roll crafts you can try, ranging from wall art to wreaths to jewelry. Having said that, most of the projects you’ll do with the tubes are kid related. I’ve got some of both in the list down below.
Toilet Paper Tube Crafts
Before we dive into the crafts, let’s go through some frequently asked questions about toilet paper tube crafts! If you’re ready to dive into the projects, simply scroll down to the list below the questions!
What crafts can you make with toilet paper rolls?
I’m actually kind of excited to share everything that you can do with the cardboard tubes. For years the only thing I knew about was seed starters, and I had no idea there were other things you could make. Turns out there’s a lot, from kids projects to wall art to holiday. You’ll see in the list.
What is the cardboard in a toilet paper roll called?
The cardboard in the center of the roll is called the “core” and that’s what you’re going to use for your projects. Sometimes you can slide it out before the roll is done – but for the most part you have to wait until all the tissue is off to use the cardboard tube within.
Are toilet paper rolls sanitary for crafts?
I’m not a doctor, but I’d say yes. They’re in your bathroom of course, and exposed to germs. However, the rolls are covered with toilet tissue for 99.99% of the life of the roll. If you don’t feel comfortable, I’d sterilize them.
How do you sterilize toilet rolls?
You can either bake them at the lowest setting your oven has, or spray with a bleach and water mixture and let dry. If you choose to bake the rolls you need to watch them (please!) so nothing catches on fire.
What paint can I use on cardboard tubes?
I recommend using Apple Barrel or FolkArt paint. Apple Barrel is the less expensive of the two craft paints, and it’s got great pigmentation. This brand is also non-toxic and waterbase for easy clean up, so it’s perfect to use with kids.
Toilet Paper Roll Crafts
Learn how to make these easy toilet paper tube crafts by clicking one of the links below. There are tons of ideas, including kids projects, wall art, and holiday ideas.
If your kids are a fan of the book or the movie, they're really going to enjoy making this Grinch craft! A little secret: one side of the roll is the mean one, while the other side is the friendly face from the end of the story.
When spring is in full swing, you'll want to focus on bright and colorful activities. These are perfect for celebrating warmer weather, and I encourage you to experiment with vibrant color combinations.
When I was in high school I built a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sewer system for my brothers out of moving boxes. I love the idea of making mini versions of the fab four out of toilet paper tubes. These are totally tubular!
Cupcake liners give just the feathered wing and ruffled body combo I'm looking for in proper owl party favors. Stuff these with candy, use them for decorations - they're cute for just about any occasion!
Make some fun paper roll scribblers in this experimental process art activity for kids. This would be perfect for a rainy day and is so easy to do at a moments notice using materials most people have on hand.
This cute cardboard pirate and parrot love sailing the seven seas and having adventures in their cardboard pirate ship. Call over your crafty first mates and let’s get ready for some pirate-loving fun! Arrrgh!
Transform a humble toilet roll into a beautiful royal princess, dressed for the ball in her full tulle netting skirt. A wonderful craft for kids to show them how they can make their very own paper roll princess.
These wrist parakeets are super simple to make, require very few art supplies, and…are amazingly adorable, yes? They’re also tough. Thanks to their sturdy pipe cleaner tethers, they really stay attached, even on the most active ornithologist.
Don't you just love this surly band of colorful misfits? These toilet paper rolls have a bit of Beetlejuice feel to me and I have to admit - I dig it. Grab a bunch of acrylic paint and pom poms and get crafty!
Are there any cute toilet paper roll crafts you’d like to try? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Love All your ideas. Comes in handy for Teaching a small craft on a budget.
I collect recycle cores and paper hoardering for a Community
Service Programs for children.
Great Job. I am a Graphic Advertising a
Artist by profession ,so I welcome all your ideas.
Do you have any ideas for milk cartons
I saved up 150 milk cartons for a class.
I would love to see all of your ideas in a published craft book. Art teachers can use it for early childhood art projects.
Monday 15th of November 2021
Thank you so much for the kind words! I would actually really love to do a kids' book. It would be fun. In terms of ideas, I need to do a collection myself, but here's a good roundup: https://www.familydaystriedandtested.com/milk-carton-bottle-jar-ideas/