Three kid-friendly, non-consumerist ways to use toilet paper rolls to decorate for the holidays

Guest post by Elisabeth Stone

Toilet paper rolls are brilliant, right? They serve their very important purpose, then become the best toys for young ones to play with.

They are also really useful during the holiday season especially if you have them scattered about the house in every toy box and under the couch. This year we are 1) on a holiday budget and 2) trying to be more eco-friendly in our celebrating, so we’ve found fun ways to use this everyday item to our festive advantage.

Our toddler has even had a blast helping us and learned how to re-use such a simple item in creative ways.

Materials: 1 empty toilet paper roll, paintbrush, red paint, scissors, and ribbon

Directions: Cut the roll into 5 different circular pieces, pinch on each side to make them have a petal shape, paint, dry, tie together, and enjoy!

These make great tree ornaments or even fancy-looking gift decor (instead of using bows) and my toddler loved helping to paint them.

Materials: Small goodies that fit into an empty roll, tissue paper, gift wrap, tape, and ribbon or string

Directions: Insert goodies into roll, wrap roll in tissue paper and tie off at sides. Then wrap around middle with wrapping paper and tape off when finished.  Ta da!!!  Looks badass, huh?

Materials: Empty toilet paper roll and decorative paper.  Maybe some tape (I didn’t use any).

Directions: Make the roll look pretty and then use it to bunch together your light cords.  It looks a lot more festive and clean! 

Happy TPing!

Comments on Three kid-friendly, non-consumerist ways to use toilet paper rolls to decorate for the holidays

  1. Junk mail snowflakes! These ones are pretty complex- but even simple ones look great. I’ve made them with kids as young as 4- scaffolding with them watching, then helping, then making (you know how it goes). I used a nikko to draw the lines for cutting on in the “helping” phase- then let them get creative. – note not my site- but very pretty- I love the way she covers a wall with them.

  2. We make our own Christmas crackers with empty toilet paper rolls. We buy the snapper parts from a craft store, put in a piece of tissue paper for a hat, maybe a little goody, and a funny joke, and then wrap it up in tissue or wrapping paper.

  3. I’m a teacher, and talking to someone from my board’s art department, I was told we could not longer have kids bring in paper towel rolls for projects.

    The reason? The paper towel roll could potentially be contaminated with peanut butter.

    Apparently toilet paper rolls are still ok. I didn’t point out that they have the potential to be contaminated with something that could make a lot more kids sick.

    • Can you use empty gift wrapper roll instead? I’m an activity director at a Assisted/Independent and Memory Care Facility and I started collecting toilet paper rolls and the ladies from church started collecting empty gift wrapper rolls for me…I think that should be OK for school don’t you think?

  4. My favorite holiday trick with card board roles is to paint them like holiday characters! I’ve got a Santa and Mrs. Klaus, Rudolph and a couple elves! Might actually make a nativity next.

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