11 Uses For Cardboard Toilet Paper Tubes


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While some people may already be buying the new “tubeless” toilet paper, most of us continue to buy the kind with the cardboard tubes in the middle. (And really, that tubeless kind called Scotts Naturals is only 40% recycled paper, so please don’t buy it. Buy 100% recycled content toilet paper instead.) But at the end of each roll, what do we do with the tube? We throw it in the recycling bin, of course! However, there may be a few uses around the house for these cardboard gems that can keep them out of the recycling stream for a while, and here are a few to get you started.

  • Create pencil or pen holders by taping one end shut
  • Make a knife sheath for camping
  • Put them in your compost bin
  • Store string by cutting a notch into each end of the tube
  • Tape 2 tubes together side by side, making pretend binoculars for the kids

  • Use as kindling to start a fire in your fireplace
  • Store pantyhose in your drawer to keep them from getting snagged
  • Store Christmas lights until next year
  • Collect a bunch of them and let your kids try to build things with them
  • Cut tubes into shorter lengths and use for seedlings
  • Use several inside your boots or shoes to help them keep their shape

What uses have you found for those cardboard toilet paper tubes? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. When we were kids we used to call them der ders. We used to grab them put them up to our mouths and parade around the house saying “der der der der der”

  2. I remember making them into shakers as a kid! We threw in a handful of dried beans, covered the ends with paper or fabric, and then made lots of noise. I’m sure our parents were delighted with this craft.

  3. Rubbler band a small piece of wax paper to cover one end. Give to kids to hum or da-dee-dee-da-la-la-la, or sing into making kazoo-like sounds. The more kids, the better the music!

  4. Great ideas! I tried almost every suggestion except for preventing sagging of stockings! I really don’t like the tubeless types!

  5. Every Christmas, I use the paper rolls to make my own Christmas crackers. Just fill them with candy/chocolates/canes, a $1. scratch ‘n win lottery ticket or w.h.y.; tape the ends and wrap with your favourite wrapping paper, leaving enough wrap on the ends to tie off with curly ribbon. (can also tassel the ends now by cutting numerous slits in the crimped paper). My kids have loved these since they were small. It has become a tradition. (and rolls can still be recycled for the next year) Could also be used for birthday parties or wrapping small presents in the same manner. Merry Christmas everyone!

  6. I used them to start seeds in last year, worked great! My boys used to love making field goals out of the Christmas paper tubes, and playing nerf football in the living room for hours 🙂

  7. Fold in both ends of tube. Use this as a disposal unit for icky/non-icky tissues,towels,napkins,wipes, etc.,…
    Cut gift paper tubes to desired lengths.
    Keep short one in purse or coat pocket. Longer one in desk drawer or backpack. Long one(s) in cars-long ones make for easy passing. Travel would be less germy.
    Spent ickies would not spend time clutched in fists-they could be disposed of immediately. The possibilities are endless.
    And when you have stuffed the very last icky in the tube, you fold sides together and toss!

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