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Don't be so quick to toss those empty paper towel rolls! They deserve a second life and here's why:

Ah, those empty paper towel rolls. (And yes, plastic wrap, tin-foil and toilet paper rolls.) Always there for us when we need them but never appreciated once the paper towels are gone. But why not take advantage of their round shape and some creative ideas? Instead of having the cardboard go to waste, use the empty roll for one of these neat ideas!

Empty paper towel rolls become... Cord Holders
Organize TV cables, extension cords, and all those unnecessarily long wires tangled in a cabinet somewhere with empty cardboard rolls. Get the details from Apartment Therapy.


Empty paper towel rolls become... Napkin Rings
Paper towel rolls make the perfect base for homemade napkin rings. Just cut the roll into your desired width and decorate with fabric.


empty paper towel rollsErika G., Flickr


Empty paper towel rolls become... Art?
Check out this image we found on Flickr. This wall art is made up of paper rolls. Never know what those empty cardboard rolls can become!

And those are just our first few...

Empty paper towel rolls become... Gift Wrap
For small gifts -- like jewelry or money -- these rolls are perfect! Just place gift in tube, then wrap with paper or tissue. Tie ribbon on the ends and trim excess paper for a surprising, delightful paper gift wrap alternative.

Empty paper towel rolls become... String/Yarn Storage
You crafters know what a tangled mess embroidery thread and yarn can be. Why not wind around a empty cardboard roll? No more knots!

Empty paper towel rolls become.... Kids' Craft Supplies
Keep them for craft projects. Let the kids get creative and see what they can make out of them. A totem pole is a creative idea to get them started! Even young kids can play with the rolls and color on them. A safe, fun craft for any age.

Empty paper towel rolls become... Boot Forms
Tired of your boots falling over in your closet? We have a solution! Stick an empty roll in each boot so that they stand up straight and keep their shape.

Empty paper towel rolls become... Garden Protector
Seedlings might need the extra support to get growing. Cut length-wise along the empty paper towel rolls so that you can slip them onto the stems. When the plants are strong even enough to stand on their own, simply remove the roll.

Empty paper towel rolls become... Linen Press
We all have table linens that make an appearance once a year, then back in the closet. So what's the best way to store them without having a day full of ironing when we want to use them again? Store napkins by rolling around an empty tube. Use a wrapping paper roll for larger linens and say goodbye to holiday wrinkles!

Empty paper towel rolls become... A Knife Sheath
Flatten the roll and cut to desired length. Close one end with heavy tape. Slide over a a knife blade for safe storage.

For more creative unusual uses, check out Uses for Old Phone Books!


  • Sunny

    Paper towel/toilet paper rolls have so many re-uses. Really like the electrical cord storage idea. Have six under my computer desk that are now no longer going to be in the way. At gift giving time, I like to do something different. Recently, for a 16th b-day present I bought my Granddaughter a bikini. Packaged the top in a tin that "International Coffee" comes in. The bottom went into a semi-flat box about the size of a half sheet of paper. Wrapped each one individually. "Attached" the smaller one [be-ribboned] to the one on bottom w/folded-over scotch tape strips; added ribbon around both and WALLA ~ ~ ~ ~ everyone loved it. Have used paper towel rolls to house panties, sox, and other small items; tp rolls for $$$$$. Well, there are many more. Fun!!!

    Reply
  • Lyn Orr

    I use toilet paper rolls for storing electrical cords. I don't decorate them but I do write the length of the cord on the paper roll. Handy for when you are looking for a particular length!

    Reply
  • Mark Worthington

    Well if ur outta papers and have a lil tin foil they make a descent pipe;)

    Reply
  • Patricia

    ok mark so u use them for a pot pipe huh? thats an old trick....


  • Jenny Derfler

    And, and, and...not to mention that paper towel rolls could also become hamster tubes!!

    Reply
  • Hi! Debbie

    Not hamster tubes. They chew them up into little pieces...!


  • Wendy

    I use the tubes as a plastic bad dispenser. Just shove the bags in the tube and they stay neat until you needed.

    Reply
  • Jodi

    At the ranch that I volunteer at, I bring cut up paper towel rolls for the bunnies to chew and play with. Helps to keep them occupied.

    Reply
  • Marilyn

    They are great bird toys. I talk through it to my Green winged Macaw and he tries to talk through it and then he chews it and rolls it and plays with it. We even do a little tug of war with it.

    Reply
  • patricia lackey

    another idea would be to build your daughter a small log cabin doll house u could decorate any old way inside if u wanted to.

    Reply
  • 10 Comments / 1 Pages
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