You know you have them…after that roll of t.p. is finished and after your paper towels have been used up (though hopefully you use cloth rags to offset the need for too many paper towels). So what to do with those leftover tubes? Here are some ideas that can help you extend the life of these guys before they make their way to the trash.
- planters – cut tubes to about 3-4 inches, fold in the sides at one end to make a flat bottom to hold in the soil; fill with soil and seeds as directed by the seed company; the absorbent quality of the cardboard will help to keep the soil hydrated yet can also help to dry out if too wet
- cord organizer – hate the way cords look behind the TV or computer? Fold ‘em up and place inside tubes to conceal and organize leftover cords (works well for Christmas lights as well)
- document/kids painting holder - using a paper towel roll you can roll up documents and place inside; or you can roll up kids paintings/artwork inside for safe storage/transit
- storage of tapers and supplies – store tapered candles inside paper towel tubes to keep them from getting dinged up; store tall slender items like paint brushes or even kitchen utensils to keep them safe or separate from other items (works great for long knives you keep in drawers that children could have access to)
- gift pouch/container – use tubes to “house” small/slender objects and wrap up with decorative paper and twist at the end (like a piece of candy); you can also pinch at one end and seal the other end; decorate for gift giving
- napkin rings – cut tube into 2-3″ pieces and decorate with paint, paper, ribbons, twine, etc. You can make these elegant and artistic or have your kids decorate as a project to make them fun/whimsical (you can decorate for each season/holiday)
- fire starters – if you have a fireplace, you can stuff these with dry leaves, pine needles, shredded paper or dryer lint and wrap with newspaper and twist the ends (like a piece of candy)
- kids crafts – there are just too many to mention, but Google it and I guarantee you’ll find plenty to do! If you don’t have kids, contact your local school to see if their art department could utilize these for their art projects/crafts
- toys for pets – guinea pigs, sugar gliders like to play with/gnaw on these things; contact your local animal shelter to see if they could use these
- feminine hygiene disposal -ladies can use tubes to conceal feminine hygiene products in without having to use tons and tons of t.p. Because we have septic and can’t flush anything down, I keep these handy for this purpose. ‘Nuff said.
Certainly there are tons and tons more ideas, but I found these 10 to be the most common uses. Did this list trigger any ideas? Do you use your tubes/rolls for other uses around your house? Please share!
Hopefully these gave you some ideas and inspiration to think outside the box when it comes to giving a second life to common household items.
As always, reduce, reuse then recycle!