Monday, February 1, 2016

9 Ways to Use Cardboard Tubes

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One of the best parts of being frugal (and the part that sometimes will get you the strangest looks) is finding uncommon uses for common or throwaway things.

So did you save the tubes from the wrapping paper at Christmas? Neither did I. Thinking about it today, though, I wish I would have!

There are so many things one could do with them. They're part of the "raw material" of consumerism and as such, they can be ultimately useful and just plain fun.

Tubes from toilet paper (yes, those...) aluminum foil, plastic wrap or wax paper tubes, and miscellaneous other sources, such as rolls of plastic gloves, are all fair game for these uses. Since you use many of those things anyway, you might as well get some frugal use from them!

  1. Make fire starters with them. Stuff them full of shavings or very small kindling size pieces of wood, then pour melted wax into them. 
  2. Use them as small logs by rolling paper, especially newspaper, tightly enough to fit inside. They burn longer than just paper.
  3. Use them to corral a tangle of electric cords by putting all the cords through one tube before plugging them in.
  4. Make bird cakes for your feathered friends by adding bird seed to suet and stuffing a toilet paper roll with it. Thread a wire or cord through the center and freeze, then when you need it, peel the cardboard tube off and hang it up.
  5. Longer cardboard tubes, like those that come wrapped with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, make great toy logs for the kids. Save them until you have several before presenting them. Cut small "notches" to help them stack together, or let them use tacky glue.
  6. Glued to a base, cardboard tubes can hold pencils or knitting needles or chopsticks...
  7. An old one: Cut into one inch slices and decorated, they make napkin rings. Cover them with foil or decorative paper to camouflage them.
  8. Cover with Christmas wrapping paper to make Christmas crackers. Cut them a couple of inches longer than each end and tie with ribbon.
  9. Use them as gift containers for small items like jewelry, pens or gloves and hair accessories. Tape pieces of paper over the ends and wrap with gift paper or use markers to decorate.

Do you have a good use that I haven't listed here?

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