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How to Recycle Paper Towel Rolls

Stop throwing out the rolls when the paper towels are gone. There are dozens of good uses for them.


  • Step 1: Make gift boxes Turn them into gift boxes. Paper rolls are great for holding small items, plus they’ll keep the recipient guessing as to what’s inside the tube-shaped box.
  • Step 2: Make fire starters Make fire starters by stuffing them with other leftover paper goods like used tissues and napkins.
  • TIP: Cut the cardboard into strips and use it as kindling.
  • Step 3: Create curlers Create hair curlers. Just cut the rolls into two-inch sections.
  • Step 4: Control electrical cords Neaten up those unsightly tangles of electrical cord by folding the cord and feeding it into an empty paper tube.
  • Step 5: Tuck them inside boots Keep empty boots from flopping over and creating creases by tucking a few paper towel tubes inside them.
  • Step 6: Protect documents Protect important documents by rolling them up and tucking them inside a paper roll before storing them someplace safe.
  • Step 7: Improve hangers Improve pants hangers by cutting a paper towel tube in half lengthwise and taping it on a hanger. Voila! No ugly hanger crease.
  • Step 8: Build a log cabin Save paper towel rolls for a rainy day and then challenge your kids to build a beautiful log cabin out of them.
  • TIP: Notch the ends of the rolls and they can attach to each other like wooden logs.
  • Step 9: Make Christmas crackers Make Christmas crackers by tying small toys and/or candy with string. Leave string hanging out the end of the tube, cover it with holiday paper, and twist each end. Pull on the string and the surprise pops out!
  • FACT: More than half a million trees could be saved if everyone in the U.S. replaced just one roll of regular paper towels with a recycled brand.

You Will Need

  • Empty paper rolls
  • Imagination

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