child using cardboard tube in arts and crafts

Best DIY Creations With Cardboard Tubes

Cardboard tubes – every household has them.  We use them for toilet paper, paper towels, wrapping paper, and more. But what if we told you those cardboard tubes can be used for much more than just throwing them away? Check out these amazing DIY creations you can make from cardboard tubes!

Homemade Binoculars

This is an oldie but a goodie. It’s a great craft for kids to do on a rainy day, and they can actually use their binoculars afterwards for bird watching or spying on the neighbour’s dog. All you need is two toilet paper rolls, some duct tape, and some string. The steps are really simple:

1. Take two toilet paper or paper towel rolls and cut them to your desired length. (TIP: Keep the tubes long for a more focused view and cut them shorter if you’d like a  wider field of vision.)

2. Tape the tubes together.

3. Once the tubes are secure, decorate them however you like! You can wrap them in patterned duct tape, paint them or cover them in glitter. Be creative!

4. Cut a length of string and tie it to each end of the tube.

5.  Put the string over your head and adjust it until the tubes are in front of your eyes.

6. Look through your new binoculars and enjoy the view!


This is another inventive creation just from using cardboard tubes. You can make a simple telescope with just two toilet paper rolls, some duct tape, and a magnifying glass. The steps are similar to the ones for making binoculars:

1. Cut two toilet paper rolls to your desired length.

2. Tape the rolls together.

3. Decorate the outside of your telescope however you like!

4. Cut a small hole at the end of one of the tubes.

5. Insert a magnifying glass into the hole.

6. Put the telescope up to your eye and look through the magnifying glass to see things far away!

Bird Feeder

This is a great project for kids and adults alike. All you need is some peanut butter, birdseed, and a few paper towel rolls. Spread peanut butter around the outside of the tube, then roll it in birdseed. Make a hole near the top of the tube, thread some string through it, and tie it off. Hang your new bird feeder from a tree branch and enjoy watching the feathered friends that come to visit.

Cable Organisers

While living in the twenty-first century comes with many benefits, it does have its caveats. One of them is electronic cables, which we seem to have so many of yet no ways to store.

A great way to make use of your spare cardboard tubes is by turning them into cable organisers, a no-cost, simple solution to keeping tangles of cords at bay. They’re super easy to make, too.

To get started, all you’ll need is a cardboard tube and some scissors. If you want to get really fancy, you can also decorate your tube with washi tape, paint, or wrapping paper.


1. Cut the tube to your desired length.

2. Wrap the tube in your chosen material.

3. Use a sharp knife or box cutter to make a slit down the side of the tube, being careful not to cut all the way through.

4. Feed your cords through the slit and arrange them however you like.

5. That’s it! You now have a nifty way to keep all your cords tidy and organised.

Clothes Hanger Add-On

There’s perhaps nothing more frustrating than knowing exactly what you want to wear, opening your wardrobe, and realising your outfit is a wrinkled mess. If you’re sick of having to iron your clothes every time you want to wear them, then this next hack is for you.

All you need is a cardboard tube, some scissors, and some clear packing tape.

1. Cut the tube lengthwise so that it is open on one side.

2. Wrap the tube around the base of your coat hanger.

3. Seal the tube closed with tape.

Fire Starter

No need to go out and buy fire starters when you can easily make your own at home. Simply stuff a paper towel roll with dryer lint, sticks, leaves, or any other kind of tinder. Once it’s full, twist the top closed and store in a dry place until needed. To use, simply light the end of the roll on fire and let it burn. The lint will help to get your fire going quickly and easily.

Pencil Holder

Another great way to put those cardboard tubes to good use is by turning them into pencil holders. This is a super easy project that’s perfect for kids or anyone who’s looking for a quick and simple crafting solution. All you need is a few cardboard tubes, some hot glue, and of course decorative material to make it look pretty. You can use wrapping paper, fabric, or even paint the tubes to give them a more polished look.

1. Start by glueing your tubes together lengthwise. You can use as many or as few tubes as you want, depending on how many pencils you need to store.

2. Once the glue has dried, wrap the outside of the tube with your decorative material. You can use tape to secure it in place if needed.

3. Trim off any excess material and voila! You’ve got yourself a cute and practical pencil holder.

Mini-Pot For Growing Seedlings

Have a green thumb? Then this project is perfect for you. Paper towel rolls make excellent seedling pods and are a cost-effective way to grow your own plants at home.  Simply fill the rolls with potting soil, add your seeds, and water regularly. Once the seedlings are big enough to transplant, simply cut off the bottom of the paper towel roll and plant them in your garden bed or pot.

Marble Run

This is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. You can make a marble run out of toilet paper rolls, cardstock, scissors, clear tape, and marbles. The steps are as follows:

1. Cut toilet paper rolls into small pieces. You can make them all the same size or mix things up by cutting some into thirds and some into halves.

2. Cut strips of cardstock to use as ramps. The ramp should be long enough to reach from the top of the highest toilet paper roll to the bottom of the lowest one.

3. Tape the ramps to the toilet paper rolls to create your marble run.

4. Test it out by dropping marbles down the top and seeing how they make their way through your creation!

There are so many ways to get creative with cardboard tubes! Whether you’re looking for a way to organise your cords or grow your own plants, there’s a project on this list that’s perfect for you. So grab some cardboard tubes and get to crafting!

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