Young kids don’t need toys to keep them entertained, as you probably learned after your first Christmas when you purchased hundred of dollars of toys, only to have them be happy with the torn up wrapping paper and boxes. Now that you know how easy (and inexpensive) it can really be to entertain your kids, you can put that knowledge to good use by crafting with something you probably have lying around your house already: cardboard paper rolls. You know, the ones you find in the middle of your toilet paper and paper towels? Those are the ones! We’ve collected a bunch of paper towel and toilet paper roll crafts that you can use to keep your kiddos happy and crafty, as well as recycling those cardboard tubes! And good news, we’ve found just as many kid crafts as adult ones, so there’s a little something for everyone.
1. Bird Feeder
I just love the idea of using your paper rolls for the good of cute birdies outside your home. This is a great toilet paper roll craft that young children can participate in and be able to see the results as they watch birds come for a snack. All you need are toilet paper rolls, peanut butter and bird seed. Cover the roll in peanut butter then sprinkle the bird seed on, and then hang outside your window. Then just sit back and enjoy the show!
Check out GrowGoGrow.com for the full tutorial on making your own bird feeder and tons of other DIY crafts and recipes.
2. Flying Fish
Even though your paper rolls aren’t very pleasing to the eye, you can easily dress them up for a bright pop of outdoor decoration for your patio. These flying carp are gorgeous, and you’d never think there were cardboard tubes hiding under there. You will need several paper rolls, tissue paper, a marker, scissors, white paper and some thread or yarn for hanging. This is probably a craft for an older child, or a very patient one, but it’s worth it!
Head over to SquirrelyMinds.com for the entire tutorial! She also has more DIY projects and tons of printable!
3. Pillow Box
This is a great paper towel roll craft for kids or even mamas. These pillow boxes are great to store little treasures inside, or for wrapping up a gift card with a little pizazz. All you need are empty toilet paper rolls, a little craft paper and a glue stick. You can tie it all together with some thread and you’ve got a cute little box to store whatever your heart desires.
PracticallyFunctional.com has the complete how-to for this easy craft, along with TONS of other cleaning, holiday and gardening tips and ideas.
4. Shape Stamps
If you’ve ever been in to rubber stamping, you know how horrendously expensive it is. One stamp can cost up to $20! Never fear, paper rolls are here! Simple cut your paper towel or toilet paper rolls down to size, then manipulating the cardboard into whatever shapes you want. Making your own stamps couldn’t be any easier (or cheaper!).
If you like this idea, then visit MamaPapaBubba.com for all the steps, and you’ll find even more goodies on playing, cooking and crafting.
5. Toothpick Holder
Toothpicks are an odd kitchen item, but one you always need. The box they came in from the store is definitely not attractive and not functional. I may not have a gourmet kitchen but I don’t want an ugly Target Up & Up toothpick box adorning my counter space. These simple toothpick holders will do just the trick. You can trim your rolls so they are toothpick height and then make the a little more narrow so you don’t have 1000 toothpicks in your holder.
CarolynsHomework.com uses aluminum rolls, but you can just stick with your handy toilet paper ones. Check out her site for the rest of the tutorial and you’re on your way to a cuter kitchen in no time!
Yes, you are looking at the correct picture: that is a wreath made from toilet paper rolls! You’ll need a handful of toilet paper rolls, hot flue and acrylic paint. You’ll paint all your rolls then trim into pieces and reshape them into “leaves.” Then start gluing into 5 piece groupings and then attached into a wreath formation. No one would ever guess this is made from a boring toilet paper roll!
You will need to use Google Translate to get the full gist of KifliesLevendula.blogspot.com since it’s in another language! But there are tons of step by step photos so you’ll be rocking this wreath in no time.
7. Power Cord Covers
Power cords are purely functional, and not usually attractive. Most of the time they are strung out behind your TV or desk, looking gangly. But they don’t have to be! You can put your paper towel or toilet paper rolls to fancy use by covering them in pretty paper and then having them maintain your gaggle of power cords. It’s quick, easy and definitely inexpensive.
Be sure to check out this and tons of other design ideas over to ApartmentTherapy.com.
8. Color Matching Game
If you have young kids, then this is an excellent use of your cardboard rolls. You help your toddlers learn their colors and play with one of their favorite toys, pom poms! Just cover paper towel rolls in colored construction paper and then instruct your kids to put the correct pom pom in the colors tube. This is also a great “quiet” game!
If you need more educational games, then be sure to visit KidsActivitiesBlog.com!
9. Storage & Organization
Fancy organizational systems are also expensive, and it’s still frustrating to have a mess of pens, pencils, and other art supplies all over the place. Turns out, you don’t need to drop a lot of cash on acrylic desk organizers, you can make your own! You can cover an old shoe box with cute paper then pop in toilet paper rolls to help your pens stand up neatly. This craft knows no bounds: you can use it to organize cords too!
KidsCubby.com has more info on this craft as well as more inspirational organization ideas.
Even though parents find kazoos to be slightly obnoxious, kids love them. Instead of spending money on the dinky kazoos that will break the moment you get home, you can make your own with cardboard rolls! All you need are the rolls, wax paper and a rubber band. Affix the wax paper to one end of the roll with a rubber band, then poke a few holes in the roll. All done! You can even take it a step further by adding some color for an extra fancy kazoo.
BuggyandBuddy.com has the complete tutorial so get moving on over there!
11. Festive Utensil Sleeve
These are so adorable, and don’t have to be confined just to Christmas. You are basically using the same method as your pillow box by flattening the toilet paper tube, then simply using squares and circles to form a Santa coat. If you love this idea, you can use brightly colored paper to represent other holidays as well!
If you want to find out how you can make art from other items in your home, then you have to check out RecycleArt.org!
Who doesn’t love a good noise maker? No kid that I know! These are awesome toys for young kids, and you probably have everything you need at home already. Gather up toilet paper rolls, sturdy tape, caps from juice or milk and noisy items like beans and rice. Tape one cap on and then pour in your goodies before taping the other cap on.
Check out TheCraftTrain.com for a step by step tutorial that will get your kids making noise in no time!
13. Confetti Poppers
Nothing says celebration like confetti, and these homemade poppers are adorable! These are great for older kids, and require quite a few supplies and time. I’ll let the people at AlphaMom.com give you all the details, so get over there quick so you can get working on these in time for your next holiday!
How cute are these butterflies? They are a great rainy day activity and can be a cute, heartfelt touch to your fridge decorations. You’ll need toilet paper rolls, glue, some twigs and paint.
Head over to TwigandToadstool.blogspot.ca for the complete tutorial!
This is a cute toilet paper roll craft for your kids with big imaginations. You’ll just need two toilet paper rolls, colored paper, tape and some ribbon. Tape your rolls together and then layer on strips of paper in whatever order you like, taping them on the underside.
Finish this craft by checking out Craftymorning.com! She has an entire page dedicated just to kids crafts, something that will keep your kids busy all summer long!