We started to recycle more than a year ago in an effort to be more “green”. You get the recycling bins for free from the city so recycling doesn’t cost you anything! Some items I realized we weren’t recycling were the cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls (just so convenient to toss it in the trash ain’t it?). So here are some fun ways you can re-use those cardboard rolls:
Organizing your wrapping paper. Cut down the roll and then slip it over your wrapping paper instead of using a piece of tape (the tape always ruins the paper).
Organize your cords. Use a roll to hold cords together while they sit in your closet or garage. No more knots and tangles! You can even use it for your hairdryer or flat iron.
Bird feeder. Smear some peanut butter and birdseed on a roll. Poke holes and run twine through it and then hang it in a tree or on a shepherd hook.
Use them for crafts! You can dip the end of a roll in paint to make circle art. Of you can make the rolls into fun holiday art pieces. Glue funny eyes, a red puff for a nose and color the rest of the roll to look like Rudolf the reindeer.
Save precious artwork. Does your child love to draw and paint pictures for you to hang? Well save those mementos by rolling up the art and placing it in a paper towel roll for safekeeping.
Organize your hair bands and clips. Attach loose hair bands or bobby pins to keep clutter at bay in your bathroom.
Make a telescope. Glue or tape two rolls together and have fun outside bird watching.
Super hero or dress-up cuffs. Cut a t.p. roll in have and then cut down the middle so you can place it around a wrist. Have fun decorating the cuff with a super hero logo with your child’s name on it. Or make a pretty cuff bracelet with the name or initials of your child. I made one with a Sharpie and washi tape.
Keep your boots up. Place a paper towel roll or two t.p. rolls inside each boot to prevent them from slouching over and wrinkling.
Use it to help carry a bucket. Have a bucket with no grip on the wire handle? Cut a slit down your t.p. roll and place it over the wire handle so you can get a better grasp when doing yard work.
Wrap a gift with one! You can place small items inside of the roll and wrap it with wrapping paper. To make it really pretty use colored tissue paper and then wrap clear cellophane. Tie each end with ribbon and it will look like a big piece of candy! I have wrapped gift certificates for Mike like this so he has no clue what the gift is.
Make poppers. Place confetti, small pieces of candy or a fortune inside a roll and wrap it with just tissue paper for poppers at a paper. Guests will tug on the tissue sides to reveal the fun surprise fillings!
Use it for traveling with your jewelry. Cut a piece of the roll and poke holes in the cardboard with a safety pin or sewing needle. Use the holes to attach your earrings and put in a Ziploc bag or in jewelry case when you are traveling. I hate it when my necklaces get tangled in my earrings!
Use it to help fill vases. When filling a vase place roll(s) inside to push the items to the outside. For great ideas on tons of fillers read this post.
Napkin holder. Going on a picnic or having an outdoor bbq? Wrap your plastic ware in a napkin and then slide half of a t.p. roll over to hold the tiny bundle together!
Make tiny crowns. Slice the roll in half and then cut out triangles to make a tiny crown for a doll or stuffed animal. You could even use decorative scissors, spray paint or apply glitter and string them along twine for a crown bunting (Ohhhh that would be adorable for a princess party!).
Store plastic bags in them. You can stuff a lot of plastic grocery bags into a paper towel roll until you need to re-use it again. The roll won’t take up a lot of space.
Make shakers. Take thick tape like packing or duct tape to seal off one end of the roll. Pour rice, beans, pasta, legos, or coins inside and then tape the other side. Your kid will have so much fun shaking his/her new toy while making music. You can make it a guessing game and have your kid decide what’s inside!