In terms of big-ticket items and clutter, I'm pretty meticulous about what comes into our home. I don't need a ton of possessions taking up space when I'd rather have the extra room for romping around and making memories with my family. But I am guilty of hoarding a few things. Namely, old household containers. Leftover shampoo bottles, toilet paper rolls and empty tissue boxes.
It's a habit acquired from my years spent teaching elementary school. That stuff is like GOLD to a teacher. I don't currently have a flock of students I'm serving, but my own kids are having fun. And I know that somewhere, someday I will encounter a room full of kids who are eager to craft up a storm with toilet paper rolls and I? Well, I will be their hero.
Awesome Uses for Empty Toilet Paper Rolls
Seed roll starters
These are a phenomenal way to reuse your toilet paper rolls. Putting them to use in creating a bountiful harvest for the family is, perhaps, the greatest possible joy!
This adorable little display is easy to make with old toilet paper rolls, and it looks surprisingly upscale!
The kids and I have made these for a few 4th of July and New Years Eve parties. They're a blast!
This is made much in the same way as my seed roll starters above. It's so cute!
Perfect for the 4th of July, and a lot less explosive than the real kind. I've seen several iterations of these, and they're a really adorable decoration.
Turn a toilet paper tube into a cute heart stamp for the perfect Valentine's project! This is a great way to customize brown wrapping paper (we like to keep bulk rolls on-hand and use them for every occasion, decorating them ad hoc).
I actually remember making these in preschool when I was a kid! Some crafts truly last the ages.
Real racing cars made out of toilet paper rolls! My kids have a zillion little action figures that would fit perfectly in this craft.
If you're not ready to hand actual binoculars to your little kids just yet, they can still have a great time playing pretend with cardboard roll binoculars.
A little wax paper, and you're in business! Host your own one-man band, or make them for a whole preschool group for absolute mayhem.
I love this little penguin craft! This reminds me a lot of my Penguin Ornament Craft. Both would be absolutely adorable on a tree.
Gift card holders
Toilet paper rolls can be made into truly adorable gift card holders. We also have another helpful post, if you're looking for ways to give a gift card!
This is a great way to use up several rolls of toilet paper. Make this in conjunction with a homeschool unit on snakes, or as a decoration for a snake-themed party! Or perhaps snake week! Is there a snake week? I know there's a shark week. There should definitely be a snake week, too.
Also very much like our wall art toilet paper craft, these are the simplest imaginable flowers – and they'll definitely last a lot longer than real ones!
I've made these with the boys several times, doing a slightly different take each time, and it never fails to totally crack them up. Party time!
What time is it? It's time for lunch! If you know, you know. And if your kid doesn't know time and you want to give them a little more practice before handing them a real bonafide watch, try this fun paper craft!
My kids are constantly asking for pet fish, and I just can't bear to bring another animal into this house. We already have dogs, cats, chickens, goats, sheep and ducks! Fish just really aren't my cup of tea, compared to all our cuddly little buddies. Instead, I distract them with this craft. Works like a charm.
Such a cute little project for little hands! These would be a fun thing to make on a day that you're going to see octopus at the aquarium or the zoo.
Do your kids love Frozen? Then they'll love this adorable little Olaf friend!
One simple concept, a zillion cute ways to create fun finger puppet animals with toilet paper rolls.
Hidden money gift
What's better than giving someone money? Giving them HIDDEN money, and watching their eyes light up as they unroll it. This would be a really fun white elephant gift.
Christmas crafts, but make them ridiculously simple! These are one of the easiest Christmas crafts I've ever seen, and they'd be so perfect to adorn a package.
These are cute and totally easy, too! All you need are toilet paper rolls, scissors, paint, glitter and some paper stars. It's bound to get messy, but this would be a fantastic way to keep a big group of preschoolers entertained!
I love it when nature merges with crafts involving reuse! It's like the perfect blend of reducing, reusing and recycling… and conservation. This one's for all the nature lovers out there.
Hear ye, hear ye! Someone has made a judge's wig out of a bunch of toilet paper rolls, and the result is epic.
Are your kids as obsessed with marble runs as mine are? Those tube contraptions get expensive! Instead, hand them a bunch of old toilet paper roll tubes and let them go to town.
Tiny grad caps
OMG, these are the most adorable dang grad gifts I've ever seen! My college savings jar craft is a close second, but definitely isn't as easy to mass-gift for group events.
Itty-bitty TP crowns. I'm absolutely dying over this one. Perfect for a tea party for tiny tots!
As long as we're doing arts and crafts, we may as well create a crafty solution to stash all our pens and brushes. This is genius!
Perfect for Barbie. You can decorate them as fancy as you'd like. Match her decor, match her dream house, whatever floats Barbie's boat!
I love spool knitting! Functional crafts like this make my heart happy. Not only are they a great way to teach kids, they're also a perfect gift for friends and family.
Another adorable way to spruce up your holiday table (or any table, really). I'm not sure how everyone might feel about putting their eating utensils into an item that used to reside in the bathroom, but it would probably be fine if they were put in storage for a bit first, and painted well enough to take people's mind off that fact.
Since we love to go camping, these have really come in handy out on the trails! Bring along some extra wood (or just use whatever you find laying around, if that's legal in your camping area) and get it going with one of these. Works every time!
Got a bunch of random cords sitting around in your closets? Us too. This is the perfect way to regain control of your electronics space!
Gift wrap holder
I really, really can't stand when rogue wrapping paper rolls try to unravel themselves all over my closet. Whip them into shape by simply sliding an empty toilet paper tube over them. Problem, solved!
If you have random bits of ribbon taking over your craft space, just spool it around a toilet paper roll! Better yet, cut a slit in the side of a toilet paper roll for the end to come out, and secure the ends of the toilet paper roll by tucking it in on itself. The ribbon will stay in control, and you can have more room to craft!
These totally remind me of my little jack-o-lantern fruit bowls. So fun! Kids will love crafting these and hanging them all around for a party.
These little bunnies are so perfect for Easter. Fill them with candy or our non-candy Easter egg fillers for an allergy-friendly experience that any group can enjoy.
The cutest, most eclectic little toilet paper roll houses make for a perfect fireplace display. I'm smitten.
Another iteration of toilet paper Christmas trees, this requires a little more in the way of supplies but I think it's actually easier than other methods I've seen!
Here's yet another one that's very similar to our toilet paper wall art idea. I love this creative little project, and it would be a great gift for so many loved ones.
Cut the toilet paper roll holders in half, add a little pipe cleaner handle and boom! You've got a tiny, totally cute mug that's perfect for a Christmas tree ornament.
My kids are super crafty with toilet paper roll tubes, but sometimes I want to give the older ones just a bit more of a constructive, guided challenge. This is totally the sort of thing I'd like them to make for one of their teachers!
They got me with the googly eyes.
You know I adore elephant crafts, and this little dude is the CUTEST!
I actually remember making these in preschool! Toilet paper roll angels can be done a bunch of different ways, but I love the idea to combine a toilet paper roll craft with a paper plate craft!
Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar
I love it when temporary gift ideas like this are upcycles. No more waste! This is such a clever idea.
This is so, so simple and could absolutely keep a group of kids busy for hours on end.
This is very similar to the tiny tea party hat above, but this person put it on a DOG! I'm dying. Best ever.
I'm definitely going to have the kids make these next time we make gingerbread cookies. Can you imagine the adorableness of that display?
I really want to hang these from string and make spooky flying votives!
Easy AND effective at scaring the pants off your neighbors. I love it.
Absolutely freaking genius. I really want to make tiny chotchkes to put in there. Maybe chocolates?
What could possibly be better than sidewalk chalk? Handmade sidewalk chalk.
This is a super smart way to get kids hands-on with word practice.
This is a little involved, but the final product is worth the effort for sure.
Perfect for a wedding, these are such a cute, crafty way to dress up the table.
What are your favorite ways to reuse toilet paper rolls?