4 Cute Crafts That Use Recycled Cardboard Tubes

Help your kids make these cute and clever crafts using the cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper rolls. It's the perfect project to celebrate Earth Day on April 22.

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Sweet Cake Stand

Biz Jones

Sweet Cake Stand

Elevate your treats for your next party!

What You'll Need:

Corrugated cardboard
2 toilet-paper tubes
Hot glue
Gesso (optional, for brighter color)
Craft paint
Edge punch (or pinking shears)
Colored cardstock (or ribbon)
Adhesive dots

Directions:

1. Cut out a 12-inch, 9-inch, and 5-inch circle from the cardboard (an adult’s job). Lightly mark the center of each disc, measuring out from the center point to each of the four sides to make sure the distance is equal. Place a tube at the center of each circle and trace around it with a pencil (you’ll need to do this on both sides of the 12-inch disc).

2. Starting with the 5-inch base, trace the outline with hot glue (an adult’s job), then place the tube on top and add extra glue around the seam. Attach the bottom of the 12-inch disc to the top of tube. Repeat these steps to attach the 9-inch circle on top. 

3. If desired, gesso the whole stand; let dry. Then coat with one to two layers of paint.

4. To add trim: Cut the cardstock into 1-inch-wide strips until you have enough to cover the edges of the 12-inch and 9-inch rounds. You have a few possibilities to add a decorative edge: Use an edge punch (as shown), cut a scalloped trim using pinking shears on one side, or use a piece of ribbon. Attach to the circles with adhesive dots. For the base, cut a ¼-inch-wide strip of cardstock or ribbon.

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Jewelry Holder

Biz Jones

Jewelry Holder

Show off accessories and clear your dresser top too!

What You'll Need: 

3 paper-towel tubes
Felt (about 2 feet)
Pinking shears
Double-stick tape
Screw punch (find it on Amazon)
Ribbon
Skewer
Command Velcro strips

Directions:

1. Cut paper tubes to desired length (ours were 6½ inches long). Cut two pieces of felt large enough to wrap around each tube, adding an extra ½ inch to the length. Cut a third piece of felt the same width, but at least 2½ inches longer for the earring organizer. 

2. Add a few rows of double-stick tape to a tube and roll the felt around it to cover, letting the felt edge overlap (this is the back). Repeat for the other two. (The third tube will have the earringholder overhang.) 

3. Lightly mark dots for earring holes (ours were 1 inch apart) on the overhang, then punch out using a screw punch.

4. Mark two centered spots for ribbon at the top and bottom of two tubes, and only on the top of the earring-holder tube. Cut a slit at each mark with a craft knife (an adult’s job).

5. Cut two pieces of ribbon to the total height of your organizer, plus 6 inches, and knot each at one end. Use a skewer to push each ribbon up through the slit of the earring tube. Knot each 2 inches above slit, then push through the second tube and knot again. Push through the third, then tie the ends together. To keep the organizer in place once it’s hung, use Command Velcro strips attached to the back of each tube.

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Pet Phone Stand

Biz Jones

Pet Phone Stand

Little friends help you go hands-free as you FaceTime with Grandma!

What You'll Need: 

Templates
Toilet-paper tubes
Gesso (optional, for brighter color)
Craft paint

Directions:

1. Cut out the template, wrap it around the tube, and trace. Cut out the shape. 

2. If desired, coat with gesso; let dry. Paint a color; let dry. Add the features and let dry.

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Butterfly Bunch

Biz Jones

Butterfly Bunch

Just wing it! No one will believe this wall art is made from toilet-paper tubes.

What You'll Need: 

Toilet- and/or paper-towel tubes
Gesso (optional, for brighter color)
Craft paint
Hot-glue gun or adhesive dots
Poster putty

Directions:

1. If desired, prime tubes inside and out with gesso; let dry. Then paint; let dry completely

2. Flatten the tubes and use scissors to cut them into slices. For a large butterfly, you’ll need five ⅝-inch-wide slices. For a small butterfly, you’ll need two ½-inch-wide slices and one ¼-inch-wide slice (eyeball it).

3. To construct the small butterfly: Fold two ½-inchwide slices in half; unfold. Add a dot of hot glue (an adult’s job) to the inside center of each and refold to make a set of wings. Glue the two sets of wings to the sides of the ¼-inch-wide “body.” 

4. To construct a large butterfly: Add a dot of glue to the inside center of one of the ⅝-inch slices and squish it together to make a “body.” Add a dot of glue to the flat side and press on another slice for a wing, as shown. Repeat for other three wings.

5. To assemble into artwork: Arrange the butterflies on the floor first; use poster putty to attach them to the wall.