15 Surprisingly Creative Uses for Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

Empty toilet paper rolls are more than just trash waiting to be thrown out. These humble cardboard tubes have the potential to be transformed into something truly remarkable with a touch of creativity. 

From practical storage solutions to fun craft projects, the possibilities are endless. Here are 15 surprisingly creative uses for empty toilet paper rolls that will inspire you to think twice before tossing them in the bin.

Seed Starting Pots

toilet paper tubes pot for seed sprouting
Image Credit: Oksana Bokhonok / Shutterstock.com

Did you know that you can turn your empty toilet paper rolls into biodegradable seed-starting pots for your garden? Using these instead of small, traditional plastic flower pots is not only cost-effective but also much better for the environment. As the cardboard decomposes, it enriches the soil with organic matter, giving your plants a healthy start.

Cord Organizer

Organize cables using toilet paper roll
Image Credit: Levent Konuk / Shutterstock.com

We all grow tired of tangled cords, but there is an easy fix that won’t break the bank: use empty toilet paper rolls to keep your cords neat and organized. Simply wrap each cord around a cardboard tube to prevent tangles. If you want to jazz them up, decorate the rolls with washi tape or stickers. 

Bird Feeder

Bird feeder made out of a toilet paper roll
Image Credit: Adam Kipris / Shutterstock.com

Another great project for toilet paper rolls is to create an eco-friendly bird feeder. Simply coat an empty toilet paper roll in peanut butter and roll it in birdseed. Hang it on a tree, and birds will flock to enjoy the treat. This DIY feeder is a fun way to attract wildlife to your yard while repurposing a common household item. Be sure not to use scented rolls for this craft.

Desk Organizer

Desk organizer made of toilet paper rolls
Image Credit: alfredhofer / Shutterstock.com

You can also make empty toilet paper rolls into a practical desk organizer to keep pens, pencils, and other supplies in order. Cut the rolls to different heights and arrange them in a box or tray to create compartments for various items. It can also be fun to decorate them with paint, markers, or decorative paper for a personalized touch.

Miniature Gift Boxes

Toilet paper roll gift boxes
Image Credit: ai_s / Shutterstock.com

Toilet paper rolls can be made into adorable miniature gift boxes quite easily. Just flatten the roll, fold in the edges, and secure with tape to form a box shape. These charming boxes are perfect for small gifts or party favors and can be customized with ribbons, stickers, or decorative paper.

Wall Art

Flowers from toilet roll tube
Image Credit: Maria Symchych / Shutterstock.com

Another fun project is to cut empty toilet paper rolls into differently-sized rings and arrange them in a pattern on a canvas or cardboard to create unique wall art. Paint the rings in different colors or leave them natural for a minimalist look. This is a great kid’s project for a family on a budget. 

Napkin Rings

napkin ring holders like Santa clothes made with toilet paper rolls
Image Credit: Maria Symchych / Shutterstock.com

Are you planning a picnic? Let the kids have fun first by turning empty toilet paper rolls into napkin rings. Cut the rolls into desired lengths, glue fabric scraps on them, and slip them around folded napkins. These napkin rings give the kids something to do and add a charming accent to your picnic table.

Hair Accessory Organizer

Empty group of toilet tissue paper roll
Image Credit: Nokwan007 / Shutterstock.com

Toilet paper rolls can also help keep your hair accessories neat and organized. They work great as holders for hair ties, clips, and headbands. Stack the rolls in a box or container to create a convenient organizer that makes getting ready in the morning a breeze.

DIY Fire Starters

Empty Used Toilet Paper Rolls
Image Credit: Daniel Waters / Shutterstock.com

You can create eco-friendly fire starters by filling empty toilet paper rolls with dried leaves, twigs, and newspaper. These homemade fire starters are perfect for camping trips or backyard bonfires. Light one end of the roll to ignite the contents and get your fire going in no time. And there’s no need for chemical fire accelerants.

Toy Binoculars

boy looking through binoculars toilet paper roll
Image Credit: Herlanzer / Shutterstock.com

Small kids can have a ball and let their imaginations run wild by crafting toy binoculars from empty toilet paper rolls. Decorate the rolls with paint or markers, attach a string between them, and let the adventures begin. These DIY binoculars are perfect for backyard explorations or indoor safari expeditions…or maybe they’re a secret spy!

Festive Party Decorations

Toilet paper roll decorations
Image Credit: Katerina Morozova / Shutterstock.com

These tubes are a cheap and great way to add a festive touch to your parties and celebrations. You can let the kids use toilet paper rolls to create decorations. From streamers and garlands to confetti poppers and party favors, these versatile tubes can be transformed into almost anything they can think of to liven up any event.

Gift Wrapping Decor

Toilet paper roll decoration
Image Credit: Kira_Yan / Shutterstock.com

Use empty toilet paper rolls to create embellishments and decor for your gifts and packages. Cut the rolls into spirals, flowers, or other shapes and paint or decorate them to personalize your presents. Gold, silver, and copper paints work great to turn your gifts into amazing works of art.

Table Centerpiece

toilet paper rolls with candles
Image Credit: Olya Detry / Shutterstock.com

In much the same way as gift-wrapping decor, you can create a unique table centerpiece using empty toilet paper rolls as the base. Paint or decorate the rolls in metallic or regular paint and arrange them in a decorative bowl or tray. You can add candles, flowers, or other accents for a personalized touch that will impress your guests. They’ll never guess it was a toilet paper roll!

Educational Math Tools

child hands painting toilet tissue roll
Image Credit: LorenFotografia / Shutterstock.com

Empty toilet paper rolls can be used as math tools at home or in the classroom. Cut the rolls into different lengths to teach counting, addition, subtraction, and other mathematical concepts in a hands-on and engaging way that makes learning fun. For even more fun, let the kids color the tubes with markers. 

Plastic Utensil Holder

Making funny creatures from toilet paper roll tube
Image Credit: Ekaterina Pokrovsky / Shutterstock.com

Another great picnic project is to use empty toilet paper rolls as plastic utensil holders. You can store your plastic utensils in the rolls so that they all stay together, making one for forks, one for spoons, and so on. You can even let the kids decorate them to match your picnic napkin rings!

One Man’s Trash

Man took empty toilet paper roll
Image Credit: Boris Chamicevyc / Shutterstock.com

They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and toilet paper rolls can be a real example of that truth. While many will just toss them into the garbage without a thought, you can use them to create useful tools or give the kids a fun and productive project.

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