Put your old tubes to good use with these upcycling tricks
Every house has toilet roll tubes, and even though they can be recycled, they can also be transformed into handy crafts. This is a form of upcycling — a creative way to give old, unloved objects a new lease of life. For some of these ideas you’ll need to keep a few week’s worth of tubes, so make sure you keep them somewhere they won’t get damaged. Upcycling is a great way to get people involved with repurposing old items, it’s fun, creative and it can also help to save you money.
This is a handy hack to reuse kitchen and toilet roll tubes — depending on the size of the gift. To seal the gift in, fold the ends of the tube inwards and repeat on each side; make them look more appealing by decorating them with recycled paper or eco-friendly paint, and finish with a recycled ribbon.
DIY Advent Calendar
At Christmas time the shops are filled with all things festive to fill your advent calendar. Simply fill each tube with your desired gifts and wrap each toilet roll tube in wrapping paper; reuse newspaper or book pages to stick with the recycling theme if you’d prefer.
Add each number onto the side that will face the front, then arrange and adhere the tubes into your chosen shape, and number each roll from 1 to 25.
This is a quick and creative craft that will encourage wildlife into your garden during the winter months. Coat the cardboard tubes in nut butter, roll into a bird seed mix and wait for it to dry — make sure the tube is completely covered. Loop garden twine through the tube and hang it from a tree, fence or bird feeder. Within no time, the wildlife will flock to your garden to enjoy these treats, especially in winter when food can be hard to find.
If you’re looking for a way to start growing fruit and vegetables, this quick tip can save money and time, As biodegradable planters from garden centres can be expensive. Arrange your tubes in a deep plastic garden tray, or make eight slits in the bottom and fold over the edges to make a base. Fill with compost and your chosen seeds, and wait for them to germinate. When the seedlings get too big, transfer to the ground and the tube will decompose over time.
Decorate old cardboard tubes with children to make simple but classic toys on a rainy day. Build a whole town from recycled cardboard for a low-cost, fun activity that children will love. Draw an outline for the clothing and face, then paint and decorate the tube. Why not use leftover yarn or ribbon for hair, too? Check out Pinterest for some inspiration on characters you could create, and for more ideas on how you can make use toilet rolls for children’s crafts.