Green Diva Mizar’s Easy DIY: Clever Re-Use of Toilet Paper Rolls

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Green Diva Mizar is on a roll . . . no, literally . . . 

GD Mizar and I sat earlier this week to plan the show and when we got to her DIY segment, I ran out to the recycling and gathered up all the toilet paper and paper towels cardboard rolls I’ve been hoarding. I had wanted to do a GD crafty project with them to make a holiday thing, but the moment passed and there they sat, much to my husband’s continuing horror. I knew I could count on Mizar to figure out what to do with them, so here you have it  . . . 

Who knew? When you Google, “number of toilet paper rolls in US”, you get about 3.5 million results. One credible source, USA Today, stated that there are 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced annually in the USA and account for 160 million pounds of trash.

So, what can we do with all these toilet paper rolls (and paper towel rolls too)? When I did my next Google search, “uses for toilet paper rolls”, I got 4.25 million results . . .

Here are two of our favorites:

Toilet Paper Rolls for Gift Wrapping

Mom always said, “good things come in small packages.” As that is generally the case, then these adorable toilet paper roll gift boxes have just enough room for the perfect little gift! These little darlings are great for party favors.

What you’ll need:

Toilet Paper Rolls
Ribbon, Fabric Scraps

What to do:

1. Fold one half of each end of the tube down toward the center, closing off each end

2. Wrap any type of fun fabric or colorful ribbon around the middle of the tube

3. Tape down ends, glue ribbon if necessary

4. Use your imagination . . . 

Toilet Paper Rolls as Seedling Pots

The calendar says winter, but for all of us in the northeast, it is time to start daydreaming and planning our gardens and time to start seedlings. Never buy another plastic seed tray or peat pot again! Start saving those toilet paper and paper towel rolls and you will have a great supply of EASY plantable seed pots.

What You’ll Need:

Toilet Paper Rolls
Potting Soil
Tray (for little seedling pots)

What to do:

Use one toilet paper roll or cut a paper towel roll into 3 equal sections

Cut 4 evenly spaced slits about 1.5 – 2 inches long into one end

Fold the 4 tabs you’ve created down, like you would fold a cardboard box, tucking the last tab under the first to keep it closed

Fill each pot with dirt

Drop the seeds in as directed

Label each tube

Water and place in a tray to catch the water (I use old plates or one of those takeout/leftover containers)

About the author / 

Green Diva Meg'

(aka Megan McWilliams) is a green living expert and media personality as the producer and host of the Green Divas Radio Show. She has been sharing low-stress ways of living a deeper shade of green for over 20 years. She also produces podcasts and videos for the Green Divas and other clients through the Green Diva Studio.

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    margie plunkett January 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm -  Reply

    Lovee the gift wrap idea.

    Pamela Wolfe January 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm -  Reply

    I do a similar thing with cuttings. Instead of sealing the bottom of the tube (by cutting and folding back the cardboard) I fold a paper-towel into 4 then push it into the roll – this gives the whole of the roll as support for the cutting, and allows for more dirt/compost for the roots to grow into.

    roxy May 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm -  Reply

    Love the seedling pots, gift wrap and ornament ideas!!!

    Ruth August 22, 2013 at 12:26 am -  Reply

    I’ve been collecting toilet paper rolls for projects with my grandson and these suggestions are fabulous. I have been trying to find cardboard egg cartons to do make wax fire starters, but using the toilet paper rolls would work also. Thank you for these great ideas.

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