In this post, I’m sharing all of our favourite toilet paper roll crafts and paper towel roll crafts as well as ways to use other cardboard tubes for art, crafts and activities.

    Below, you’ll find ideas for:

    • Holiday crafts made with toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls
    • Kids’ art made with cardboard rolls
    • Learning games and activities made with cardboard tubes
    • Ways to use cardboard rolls for homemade toys and play ideas

    Here in my daycare, we love crafting with cardboard tubes. Toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, wrapping paper tubes, food-wrap tubes, poster tubes and mailing tubes are all valuable crafting commodities at our house.

    My family knows they’re not allowed to throw out any kind of cardboard roll. Ha! They think I’m nuts for hoarding them, but there are so many ways to use them for daycare crafts and activities, I hate to throw them away.

    We make a ton of preschool crafts with toilet rolls and paper towel rolls. Wrapping paper rolls are great when you need a long tube, and the tubes that hold cling-wrap or aluminum foil are great when you need something a little sturdier.

    If you have a growing stash of cardboard rolls at your house, this post is for you.

    Where to buy cardboard rolls?

    If you don’t have a stash of your own, and you want to buy cardboard tubes for crafting in bulk, you can order them here on Amazon with my affiliate link . (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

    30+ Things to Make with Cardboard Tubes:

    Click on the links below to see the full tutorial for each craft or activity.

    Fall Toilet Paper Roll Crafts

    Fall and Thanksgiving Toilet Paper Roll Crafts:

    Use a cool paint process to make some fall napkin rings .

    Make a turkey table topper for your Thanksgiving table.

    Round up some fabric scraps and a few crafty odds and ends for some adorable toilet roll owls .

    This Thankful Turkey Gratitude Craft is fun and easy to make, and encourages kids to reflect on all the things they’re thankful for.

    Toilet Paper Roll Halloween Crafts:

    The kids will love making a quirky monster mobile out of cardboard rolls.

    A spooky crow or owl is a very fitting decoration for Halloween.

    Our toilet roll mummies help little ones develop their winding and wrapping skills.

    Winter Toilet Roll Crafts:

    These cardboard roll snowmen are just the cutest little things, aren’t they?

    Pictures don’t do this cardboard roll Christmas tree topper justice. It’s so vibrant and shimmery. All you need to make it is a cardboard roll, some cardboard, aluminum foil and Sharpies.

    Use paper towel rolls, wrapping paper rolls or toilet paper rolls to make a set of stately, handprinted nutcrackers. Display them on a windowsill, tabletop or Christmas tree in your home or classroom. Paint your rolls with bands of colour, add a face and decorate with buttons, ribbon, yarn and gems.

    Kids can turn a cardboard roll and tinfoil into shimmering napkin rings for your holiday table with this quick and project.

    Here’s another way to make a toilet roll snowman. these guys have 3 body sections and tiny twig arms. Even their hat is made from a cardboard roll.

    Turn some cardboard rolls into colourful icicle spirals to hang on the Christmas tree or in a window this winter.

    This toilet roll menorah is fun and easy to make, and a great way for young children to learn about and participate safely in the tradition of lighting the menorah during Hanukkah.

    Toilet Paper Roll Christmas Crafts

    The hooligans LOVE playing with our toilet roll Nativity set .

    These cardboard roll Christmas candles are one of my all-time favourite ways to use paper towel rolls, and one of our most popular Christmas crafts.

    This cardboard roll Advent Wreath is a beautiful way for kids to craft with paper towel and toilet rolls, and a meaningful way to count down the weeks until Christmas.

    All you need are some cardboard rolls, paint and a glue gun to make this one of a kind snowflake wreath to hang in a window or on a door.

    Cardboard Roll Christmas Ornaments:

    Fleece, batting and a cardboard roll makes an adorable Santa Claus .

    Make a set of cute reindeer ornaments for your Christmas tree.

    This snowman ornament would be great for the tree or as a gift topper.

    TMNT fans will adore these cardboard toll ninja turtle ornaments .

    Valentines Crafts with Toilet Paper Rolls

    Make this heart garland for Valentine’s Day or any day using just cardboard rolls and paint.

    Have the kids dip cardboard rolls in paint to stamp up some Valentine’s cards for someone special this Valentine’s Day.

    Spring Crafts with Toilet Paper Rolls and Paper Towel Rolls

    And a paper towel roll butterfly is the perfect craft for spring.

    The kids can drum up some April showers with these  colourful rain sticks.  made from the sturdy cardboard tubes that once held aluminum foil.

    Easter Toilet Paper Roll Crafts:

    These Easter chicks in paper nests are just too sweet.

    Peeps!  Everyone loves Easter peeps , right?

    Turn paper towel rolls into napkin rings for your Easter dinner table.

    And don’t forget about the Easter bunnies !

    We’ve made “chocolate” Easter bunnies out of toilet rolls too.

    Cardboard Tube Activities for Learning

    Use a poster tube or wrapping paper tube to make acardboard drop zone” for toddlers . It will keep kids entertained, strengthen fine motor skills , and help children understand cause and effect.

    Knitting on a cardboard roll is a ton of fun, and a great way for kids to make belts, scarves and bracelets while learning some early knitting skills.

    Making Art with Cardboard Tubes

    Make some cool 3-D structures with tubes and a low-temp glue gun.

    Create a unique piece of art for a kid’s room, toy room or classroom.

    Kids can use cardboard rolls to stamp a piece of heart art for their bedroom or playroom.

    DIY Yarn and Toilet Roll Art Caddy

    This yarn-wrapped desk organizer is a fabulous way for kids to keep their most-used art supplies at their fingertips. It’s a quick and easy craft that tweens and teens will love.

    Painted Toilet Roll Desk Caddy

    Here’s another DIY desk caddy that kids will enjoy making and using. Paint your cardboard rolls with funky colours and patterns to match your decor.

    Ways to Use Cardboard Tubes for Play

    In a pinch, a sturdy kitchen roll, makes an excellent bubble wand .

    Make a set of simple “stand up” paper dolls  using toilet rolls for both the dolls and the bases that they stand on.


    Make some simple toilet roll cuff bracelets out of toilet rolls and gems, and anklets with toilet rolls and duct tape.

    Turn a long cardboard tube into a torch .

    Make a set of homemade dolls to play with using assorted cardboard rolls, fabric scraps and yarn.

    Well, what do you think? Are you inspired?

    Now, it’s your turn to inspire me!  If you have a favourite cardboard roll craft or activity, I’d love to hear about it!

    Before you go, be sure to check out this collection of tp roll Christmas crafts for kids by Red Ted Art.

    If you enjoyed this post, check out:

    • 25 Ways to Re-use Your K-cup pods
    • 40 Gifts Kids Can Make that Grownups Will Really Love
    • 70 Homemade Gifts to Make for Your Kids
    • Budget-Busting Homemade Laundry Detergent
    • Denim Pant-leg Craft Aprons

    Get the 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!

    25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $8.99!

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    Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.

    What can you do with a cardboard tube?
    20 Incredible Uses for Cardboard Tubes
    1. Make a fly and pest strip. Get rid of pesky flies and mosquitoes with a homemade pest strip.
    2. Use as kindling and logs.
    3. Make boot trees.
    4. Protect important documents.
    5. Preserve kids' artwork.
    6. Make a plant guard.
    7. Start seedlings.
    8. Store knitting needles.
    What is the cardboard tube in toilet paper called?
    What is the cardboard in a toilet paper roll called? The cardboard in the center of the roll is called the “core” and that's what you're going to use for your projects. more
    What is the difference between a PST tube and a SST tube?
    The Plasma Separator Tube, also referred to as PST™, contains lithium heparin and plasma separator gel; whereas, the Serum Separator Tube, also referred to as SST™, contains a clot activator and a serum separator gel. more
    Are tube amps good?
    Just like our ears, musical instruments and just about everything else natural, tube amplifiers have the least distortion at the lowest levels. This is why a tube amplifier can sound great played softly, while with transistor amplifiers people are usually needing to turn it up to have it sound best. more
    What flavor is cardboard?
    Question 29 from the Impossible Quiz says "What flavour is cardboard?", while the possible answers say "Honey", "Pork scratchings", "Egg mayonnaise", and "Talc". The correct answer is "Egg Mayonnaise" because Splapp-Me-Do doesn't like egg mayonnaise at all. He actually thinks it tastes like cardboard! more
    Why is it better to use a plastic tube rather than a glass tube?
    Plastic tubes are not only less expensive but also safer than glass tubes, because they are less likely to break. Unfortunately, it is frequently difficult or impossible for individual laboratories to obtain comprehensive data on the equivalence of replacement plastic tubes vs their original glass counterparts. more
    Is cardboard good for soundproofing?
    The short answer to this popular question is no. Cardboard does not actively absorb sound, but the material will significantly reduce the transfer of noises and echoes when placed along walls, ceilings and floors. more
    What is the cardboard tube in toilet paper called?
    What is the cardboard in a toilet paper roll called? The cardboard in the center of the roll is called the “core” and that's what you're going to use for your projects. more
    Does cardboard absorb sound?
    Cardboard does not actively absorb sound, but the material will significantly reduce the transfer of noises and echoes when placed along walls, ceilings and floors. Sound waves require open space to move, so anything obstructing this process has the potential to limit unwanted sound. more
    Does cardboard absorb vibration?
    Dampening Sound With Cardboard While the material is prone to wear and tear, cardboard acoustic panels are known to control rattling, vibrations and slap-back in open spaces. more
    What's a SST tube?
    BD Vacutainer® PST™ Tubes contain spray-coated lithium heparin and a gel for plasma separation. They are used for plasma determinations in chemistry. more


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