10 crafty uses for empty toilet paper rolls

Private Property South Africa
Carmel Woodman

Here’s how to keep your kids busy and productive these holidays, with something as simple as empty toilet paper rolls.

The holidays are quickly approaching and keeping the kids entertained becomes a challenge for many parents. We’ve got a few craft activities to do with your kids, using empty toilet paper rolls. Not only are these great bonding activities, but these crafts also result in handy ways of using empty toilet paper rolls around the house.

  • Bird seed holder

Take an empty toilet paper roll and cover the outside of it with peanut butter. Then coat the roll with bird seed and place the roll over a branch outside. This is a great way to attract some feathered friends to your garden. This is particularly useful for bird watchers or nature lovers who will appreciate the array of birds in their garden.

  • Storage for toy cars

Toy car garage

If your children have mini toy cars that lie around the house, or on their bedroom floor, you have probably stood on one of these before. Here’s a nifty trick, store these cars inside your empty toilet paper rolls, and create an entire mini garage for them. Use a cardboard box as the “building” and paint it your child’s favourite colour. Then glue the rolls into rows inside the cardboard box. Just like that, you and your child have created a storage space and had fun while doing it.

  • Seed starter

Giving your child something to look after is a great way to keep them focussed and busy, while also learning to be responsible. Empty toilet paper rolls are great to use as a starting point for plant seeds to grow. Fold one end of the roll closed and fill it with soil, then place your seed inside the roll. Your child can then be responsible for watering their plant, and making sure that it grows. Cardboard is the perfect substance to use as a seed starter because it degrades and decomposes over time.

  • Desk storage

Desk storage

Need a place to store your stationary at home? Toilet paper rolls are a neat way to stash your pens, pencils and other office or school supplies. Gather about 10 rolls (depending on how much storage space you need) and spray paint them whichever colour or colours you or your child prefer. If you’d like to go with a nature theme, glue some twigs around each roll. Next, glue the rolls to a piece of cardboard and you’ve created a new storage space for you or your child’s stationary.

  • Organise cords

The curse of tangled cords is one that many homes face. With many chargers and cords floating around your home, being used for different purposes, they can often get lost or tangled. A great project to do with the kids is decorate each empty toilet paper roll in a different colour, then use each roll to store a cord. Fold the cords neatly and then push each cord into a roll. Store these collectively in a drawer or box, and you’ll never have to experience the curse of tangled cords again.

  • Organise yarn

If your yarn is tangled in bunches in a mishmash of colours, you need a way to organise each bundle properly. Set the kids to work untangling it and dividing it up into colours. Then use your empty toilet paper rolls to wind each yarn colour around, until it’s neatly secured and tuck the edges in. Store these bundles in a box or container.

  • Gift container


Each empty toilet paper roll can be used as a gift container, to store small gifts like sweets or small toys for kids. It’s a good idea to make a few of these with your kids and use them for presents for your kids’ friends. Start by folding each roll in half, length-ways. Then place the gift inside and fold each end of the roll closed. Decorate each roll after that and add a bow to finish off your gift container.

  • Store wrapping paper

Wrapping paper is difficult to keep tidy, especially once it has been unrolled. Get the kids to decorate your toilet paper rolls. Make sure that each roll of wrapping paper is rolled up small enough to fit inside a toilet paper roll, and get to work putting each roll of wrapping paper inside an empty toilet paper roll. This is a great way to keep the wrapping paper from unravelling and getting damaged.

  • Napkin holders

Cut the toilet paper rolls into rings and decorate these rings using any kind of material or colours that you like. For example: fabric, pretty paper, beads or glitter. Make sure you do sets of rings that match, or at least are similar. Pull a napkin or serviette through each ring and use them on your dining room table for dinner with your family or guests.

  • Wall art

One of the most fun ways to use empty toilet paper rolls is to create wall art. Let your and your child’s imaginations run wild, and see which ways you can fold the rolls to create different shapes. Make flowers, birds and butterflies easily by cutting the roll and folding each piece in the middle, then sticking the pieces together.

So hang onto those toilet rolls once you’re done with them, they can provide a good few hours of entertainment for both you and the kids, and can be quite useful around your home.          

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Kids Holidays


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