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10 Cardboard Tube Crafts

We all have cardboard tubes hanging around (you know the cardboard tube you’re left with after the toilet paper is gone), so why not turn them into something fun before recycling them?! Here are 10 craft ideas featuring a cardboard tube.

cardboard tubes

1) Animals

Create an animal using paint, crayons, construction paper markers and/or googly eyes (basically, whatever you have on hand).

Octopus cardboard crafts

2) Cuffs

Bracelets or superhero cuffs are awesome for costume play. Simply cut a toilet paper roll in half and decorate! Cut all the way through vertically  to make a cuff.

Super hero diy costume play

3) Kazoo

Place a small square of wax paper over one end and secure with a rubber band. Poke with a pin to make a small hole in the middle of the wax paper. Hum into the open end for a fun noise!

Cardboard tube kazoo

4) Gift Box

Decorate cardboard tube, place the gift inside, and then fold the ends in. Complete with string or a bow.

cardboard tube gift box

5) Stamps

Use the end of a toilet paper roll as a stamp for ink or paint. Bending into different shapes as desired.


cardboard stamps

6) Castle

Cut little rectangles out of one end of the toilet paper roll and a door out of the other end. Draw bricks or stones on the outside.

cardboard castle diy toy

7) Tree

Cut 2 slits in the top insert a tree shape onto the top and decorate.

cardboard tube tree decorations

8) Shakers & Noisemakers

Cut a toilet paper roll in half, staple one side together, and fill with dried beans or rice. Then staple the other end together the opposite direction.

cardboard noisemakers

9) Lantern

Cut a toilet paper roll in half lengthwise and fold as shown.


Cut slits starting with the folded end up to the top folds without cutting all the way through.


Decorate and re-assemble finishing off with glue or staples. Add a wire handle.

cardboard tube lanterns

10) Binoculars

Decorate and attach 2 toilet paper rolls together. Add a string and your imagination.

cardboard tube binoculars

Allison Waken is a kids’ activity and craft guru always ready to try something new. See more on her blog, All for the Boys, where she features activities and crafts that inspire creativity, play and interaction.

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