Tips for reusing empty paper towel rolls. Post your ideas.
They can be used to store or hold electrical cords to keep them from getting tangled. I also like to use them to confuse people at Christmas. I put small gifts in a paper towel or toilet paper roll, then wrap it. The recipient can't guess what it is by the shape. It may be necessary to slit the roll from end to end to fit it around an item then tape it together.
By Knitter in Illinois
I use my toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls as fire starters for my wood furnace and fire place.
Besides being a fun and safe replacement for swords of children, wrapping paper tubes serve as a great disguise for gifts. Roll clothing into long thin rolls and stuff into tubes. Cover with wrapping paper. Can be used to put small gifts in also (like the box in a box thing) The gifts can remain with the rest of the paper and no one will ever know the differance (handy when you do your shopping early and are limited in hiding places)
If using as swords, tightly stuff with news paper or cloth, this will increase play hours and fun for the kids.
Use toilet paper rolls or cut paper towel rolls in half and stuff them with grocery bags. Each rolls holds 3-4 grocery bags.
My son made a "kazoo" in school with a paper towel roll cut in half. They were allowed to color the roll to decorate it and then tissue paper was taped over one end. He has been playing with it for weeks.
A good friend of mine calls them "doo doo doo doos", then puts it up to her mouth and sings "doo doo doo doo" in a bugle like tune rather like a kazoo. I've never been able to think of them any other way since she first did that.
I've found them good for packing sharp knives into picnic baskets. You can squish them down around the knife and it keeps anyone reaching into the basket from getting cut.
Susan from ThriftyFun
My son loves his Hotwheels! We made a "race tube" with two gift wrap tubes. We cut one open lengthwise and taped it to the whole one. We angle it against the couch or in the air and drop the car down the whole tube, and it accelerates and "spins" on the flared one. He is four and just loves it (so did dad!)
My husband used empty paper towel tubes to train our puppy instead of a rolled up news paper that can sting and hurt animals. The paper towel tube does not hurt animals, but they hate the sound it makes. It only took about 2 weeks and the puppy learned not to bark at everything that makes a sound. It worked great and we didn't have to worry about hurting our precious little friend.
I store plastic vegetable bags in empty paper towel rolls. They fit perfectly along the side of a drawer or under the sink and don't take up a lot of room. I also use one in the trailer at camp.
TP Tube Gift Box -