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 crafts with toilet paper rolls 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 ideas, 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.
Are you ready to check out some EASY crafts with toilet paper rolls? Grab a TP roll or two and check out the list below!
Toilet Paper Roll Crafts
Learn how to make these easy toilet paper tube crafts for kids and adults! Get a wide variety of fun ideas, perfect for beginners.
Mini Koinobori Windsocks
Koinobori are carp streamers used to celebrate Children's Day in Japan. Recreate them using cardboard tubes and tissue paper!
Cool Race Cars
Would you believe these cool cardboard race cars actually work? Yes, not only are these cute and colorful, these TP tube race cars go vroom!
DIY Party Favors
Learn to make inexpensive party favors using recycled materials and Mod Podge! You can customize these for any celebration.
DIY Desk Organizer
Use old cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls to create a unique DIY desk organizer! This craft organizer is perfect if you're on a budget.
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.
Mini Pinatas for Kids
Use a toilet paper roll and some crepe paper to make the cutest Halloween kids craft ever: DIY mini piñatas. You’ll love finding out what’s inside this toilet paper roll mummy!
Toilet Paper Roll Cactus
See how to make an easy paper roll cactus. There are three different designs to choose from, all using recycled materials. Video tutorial included!
Who can resist unicorns? Especially when they have manes made of rainbow yarn? Relive your childhood with these cute cardboard tube unicorns. Your kids will love these - but you might too!
Batman and Robin
What would Batman be without his sidekick, Robin? if you make one of these toilet paper tube superheroes you're going to need to make both. The results are worth it!
DIY Toilet Paper Roll Confetti Poppers
If you're searching for a fun activity or party favor for your next celebration, these adorable toilet paper roll confetti poppers are perfect!
Toilet Paper Roll Bracelets
Make 3D toilet paper roll bracelets using toilet paper rolls, paper, paint, and gems. Make them dimensional or just decorate with craft supplies!
Rainbow Toilet Roll Fish
Empty paper rolls can be transformed into so many great things, like these beautiful toilet roll fish. Your child can get creative decorating them in whatever colors and patterns they choose.
You can hang these easy-to-make bats from the ceiling as decor, or fill them with treats for a Halloween party! One thing I can tell you for sure - you're going to want to make a bunch of them.
Christmas Tree Plaque
If you’re looking for toilet paper roll Christmas crafts that kids will love, this tree plaque is one of our favorites! Easy and fun.
Recycled Building Blocks
Scrapbook paper and hot glue is all it takes and you have inexpensive building blocks toy that your kids can use, abuse, and then pitch in the recycling bin once you’re done.
Bees are one of the most hard working bugs out there, and certainly one of the most important ones. If you’ve got a little bee lover at home, you'll have fun making this insect together.
Cardboard Tube Binoculars
These cardboard tube binoculars are a great rainy day craft for kids. They can use them to go bird watching, as a camp craft, or as a nature inspired project!
He's a Mean One Mr. Grinch
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.
Hello Kitty Craft
I've loved Hello Kitty ever since I was little, so when I saw this idea - I'll admit, I squealed out loud! Make these cute kitties using pasta for the hair bows (genius, right?).
It's a bird - it's a plane - it's a cardboard tube? Toilet paper roll crafts are more fun when turned into daring superheroes! This is so cute!
Toilet Paper Roll Butterfly
This toilet paper roll butterfly craft is perfect for kids to make! You only need a few supplies and you can decorate the wings in so many ways.
Washi Tape Phone Stand
One of the easiest ways to repurpose a toilet paper tube is to turn it into a phone holder! This is a fun and easy way to turn your recycling into something practical.
Changing Faces Dolls
How are your kids feeling day? Let them show you with this educational craft! Make a variety of bodies with a variety of faces that spin within.
Fourth of July Rockets
Learn how to make 4th of July party favors out of recycled materials – and they’re shaped like rockets! Just add red, white, and blue candy.
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!
Toilet Paper Roll Autumn Leaves
As the weather has cooled into autumn, these paper roll autumn leaves are the perfect solution to add some gorgeous fall colors to your home.
Itty Bitty Birdhouses
What says summer more than the chirping birds outside your window? Bring warm weather indoors with this cute birdhouse craft that kids can make, decorate, and hang.
Shark Paper Roll Craft
If you and your children are into ocean animals, this toothy shark is going to be a huge hit. Make it for Shark Week or just because you want to see what a "cute Jaws" looks like.
Fire Breathing Dragon
Toilet paper roll crafts take on a life of their own with this "fire breathing" dragon! Kids will love making these, and will also love the effect of the tissue paper flames.
Toilet Paper Roll Pumpkin Box
Looking for a fun fall and Halloween craft? Make this sweet toilet paper roll pumpkin box using cardboard tubes, some paint, and a stick!
Time for Blast Off
You'll need multiple tubes for this cool rocket craft, but the results are worth the time it takes to paint and decorate! Kids will have hours of fun with their new space vehicle.
Toilet Tube Glasses
I wear glasses for real, but mine aren't nearly as cool as these rainbow and pineapple specs! Perfect for celebrations, photo booths, or times when your kids just need a funky pair of frames.
Puppy Marionette Puppet
Are you skeptical of the ability to turn toilet paper rolls and popsicle sticks into a puppet? This post shows you how possible it is. And it's a puppy, so how can you resist?
These Owls Have Wings
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!
Paper Roll Bunnies
How cute are these “realistic” paper roll bunnies? I can't believe these are from one roll each! They make a fun recycling craft idea perfect for Easter, Spring, and even Earth Day.
Paper Roll Scribblers
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.
Recycled Birthday Crowns
Toilet paper roll birthday crowns will make your next birthday party so much fun. Put a birthday crown at each place setting, or even use them as napkin rings - a wonderful surprise for each guest!
The base of this simple holiday wreath is five-point flowers made from toilet paper rolls! I love the idea of this in a variety of winter themes with a little Sparkle Mod Podge to boot.
There are so many ways to dress up a toilet paper roll snowman! Grab a bucket of embellishments and let kids get creative. Perfect for a winter classroom activity.
Geometric Wall Art
It's a tessellation of toilet paper tubes! I love how they were turned into mirrored piece of wall art that you would never guess came from the recycle bin.
Bird Feeder in Minutes
Turn a toilet paper roll into a bird feeder with this step by step tutorial! All you need is peanut butter, bird seed, and a cardboard tube; great kids' craft.
Kids can wrap these silly snakes around their arms, pieces of furniture, posts, and more. Add polka dots and googly eyes to finish off these cute reptiles.
Make a happy Halloween witch using a recycled toilet paper roll! I love her vibrant orange hair with the cute curls. Make a bunch of these for your holiday decor!
Catch the spring winds with this adorable little rainbow windsock toilet paper roll craft. This adorable decor makes for a great rainy day activity.
Turning the simplest materials in something beautiful with little means and effort is so rewarding! You won't believe how easy these lanterns are to make, and they really light up.
Simple Snake Knitting
With a cardboard roll, tape, and popsicle sticks you can set up a simple loom. You'll use your creation to create a knitted "snake," or tube. Make it as long or short as you’d like.
Pretty Pretty Princesses
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.
People of all ages need to store cords! It's really easy to do with cardboard tubes - all you need to do is grab some washi tape, and these are super easy to make. You can paint them, too.
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.
Normally I would tell you that I'm afraid of clowns, but this guy is almost too cute to resist! I love his hat, hair, and his colorful outfit.
How to Make Paper Roll Snowflakes
These paper roll snowflakes are SO BEAUTIFUL and they're really easy to make! Such a gorgeous winter craft idea that you can leave up all winter long.
Band of Monsters
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! I’d also love for you to check out these other posts:
Thursday 17th of November 2022
How about gluing fabric over a core cut from a cardboard tube to make a collar for a favorite stuffed animal? You can even add a bone-shaped tag!
Saturday 26th of November 2022
That's a great idea! Very cute.
Monday 15th of November 2021
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/