4 More Fun Craft Projects Using Empty Cardboard Tubes

What do toilet paper, paper towels, and wrapping paper all have in common? The all are wrapped around sturdy cardboard tubes. Here are 4 more simple, fun, useful project ideas for what to do with all of the cardboard tubes you have been saving.

Basic Tubes

Cut a tube into 1′”, 1 1/2″, or any other length rings. You will get between 3 and 9 pieces depending upon the length of the tube. Paint the rings with tempera or acrylic or other water based paint and let them dry completely.

Alternate suggestion

Instead of paint, cardboard rings can be covered with pieces tissue paper and coated with modge podge or other clear shellack.

Once covered, the rings may be wrapped with ribbon or yarn. Photographs may also be cut to size and glued to the cut tubes.

Fiesta Party Shakers

Paint and prepare a 4″ tube. Staple one end closed (hot glue works well also) and fill with two tablespoons of dried rice, beans, or unpopped popcorn. Turn the tube 90 degrees (a half turn) and staple the other end closed. Shakers may be painted or covered after they are filled and sealed. The shakers are ready to be used to shaken to the beat of the music, Fiesta!

Pencil, Marker, Crayon Holder

Glue 4 prepared 4″-6″ tubes to a sturdy base. Decorate the outside and use to store pens, pencils, or markers in an organized way. Use on your desk or near the phone. Never be without something to write with again.

Rain Stick

Use a whole paper towel roll or cut a wrapping paper tube into 12″ sections. Poke holes from one side of the tube through the other. Poke holes in a spiral pattern going down the tube. Poke about 10 to 15 sets of holes. Cut two circles 3 inches in diameter out of sturdy paper like construction paper or thin cardboard. Snip the edges with cuts about 1/4″ apart and 1/4″ from the edge. Place the first circle over one end and glue the cut edges down. Place toothpicks through the holes and dot the ends with glue to secure in place. Fill the tube with about 1/4 cup of dried rice, beans, or unpopped popcorn. Glue the second circle over the other end. For a finished look, glue ribbon or a strip of paper around the edges. When the ends are dry, slowly turn the rain stick over. As the stick is turned over, it will sound like the gentle rain in a tropical rain forest.

Spider or Octopus

Begin with a toilet paper length tube. Paint the entire tube with black paint (green for the octopus.) Let dry. From one end, cut 7 slits about 1/2″ apart, half way up the tube. Allow them to roll slightly for the octopus or bend for the spider. The ends of the legs may be rolled around a pen to create a curl. Glue on wiggly eyes. A ball of green or black tissue paper may be glued in the top to created a rounded head. Spiders may be hung on a web.

Make a few or group many together for a fun display or table decoration!