Top Ten Uses for Toilet Paper Tubes

When it comes to being responsible consumers with the things we throw out, the second “R” can definitely be the most fun: REUSE! In our family of five, we tend to go through some toilet paper (and quick shout-out to the awesome, our source for responsibly-sourced TP for more than a year now!). There are a kajillion uses for empty toilet paper tubes – here are our top ten!


  1. Cut them into pieces and paint to make colorful napkin rings.
  2. Cover them in peanut (or sunflower) butter and bird seed, then hang outside as a bird feeder.
  3. Use them for wrapping paper storage – just stick the rest of the wrapping paper roll into the tube, and it will help keep the paper neat until next year.
  4. Stuff them with dryer lint and save the homemade “logs” for use as kindling for your summer campfire.
  5. Decorate two of them with paint or colorful fabric, glue/tape/rubber-band them together, and voila! Your little kid has some fun “binoculars.”
  6. With a little cutting and a little folding, they make perfect seed starters. Cut a tube in half, then cut four half-inch slits in one end of each smaller tube. Fold those flaps over each other to close up the ends of the tubes. Fill them with potting soil, plant a seed in each one, and water. When it’s time to move the seedlings outdoors, you can plant the whole thing.
  7. Make a heart-shaped stamp. First, flatten the tube, then invert one crease down into the tube to make a heart. Wrap some tape around the tube to hold the heart shape in place. Pour some paint onto a paper plate get stamping!
  8. Create stacking toys for toddlers. Decorate them with paint, fabric, and/or stickers, and then affix cardboard bottoms and tops to the ends to make them stackable.
  9. Make a dog toy. I’ve worked from home for years, and when my dog was a needy puppy (as opposed to the needy grown-up dog she is now), I’d sometimes keep her entertained by dabbing peanut butter on the middle inside surface of a toilet paper roll. She’d have fun tearing it up to get to the treat, and I’d have a good ten minutes of peace.
  10. Use them as organizers for hair bands and scrunchies. Just slide those babies over the tube (which you can decorate first to make things look prettier), and you have a place for them.
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