You can recycle toilet paper rolls just like any other paper or cardboard product. Check your local regulations and toss them in your recycle bin.


A feature image for a blog post about how to repurpose toilet paper rolls.

…you can learn how to repurpose toilet paper rolls into cool crafts and activities. They make a great base ingredient for rainy day things to do with your kids.

Schools and youth groups love to use them for projects, too. So if you have a bunch saved, you can easily donate them.

Here are 6 eco-friendly ideas for upcycling and recycling your toilet paper rolls:

1. Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder

You can make a simple bird feeder from a toilet paper roll that will attract birds to your garden, and potentially other wildlife and insects. And, they will biodegrade naturally.

Cut the roll in half and fold the bottom in to hold seeds, nuts, fruit chunks, or berries. Attach a string made of natural cotton at the top and hang it in a tree in the yard to attract local critters.

2. Toilet Paper Roll Seedling Pots

You don’t need to spend money on store-bought pots for your seedlings. Just cut a toilet paper roll into 2 pieces and fold the bottom in to hold the soil.

Plant your seeds and wait for them to sprout and start growing. When they’re ready you can plant the whole thing in your garden. The roll will biodegrade and add brown (dry) compost material.

Toilet Paper Roll Seedling Pots
Toilet Paper Roll Seedling Pots

In spring, this is an excellent project to do with a class, your own children, or a youth group.

The following toilet paper roll projects are easy crafts you can do with children when they’re bored or you need a simple activity for the classroom:

3. Toilet Paper Roll Maracas

Fold over the bottom of a toilet paper roll and secure it with staples. Fill the roll with something like dried beans or peas. Then tape on a round cardboard top.

Decorate the roll to personalize it and enjoy a session of your favorite maraca music. It’s a great project for a music class at school.

4. Toilet Paper Roll Puppets

Decorate the toilet paper roll with a face, adding hair, eyes, and other features that suit you. You can make this as complicated or simple as you like, depending on available materials and the age group.

Toilet Paper Roll Puppets
Toilet Paper Roll Puppets

When the decorating is finished, you can add a wooden popsicle stick as a handle. The edge of a table or desk makes an excellent stage to act out your story.

5. Toilet Paper Roll Paper Chain

Cut the toilet paper roll into as many sections as you like and decorate them in a variety of colors and designs. You can make this simple or complicated, depending on your desired outcome.

Toilet Paper Roll Pieces Cut Up
Toilet Paper Roll Pieces Cut Up

Then, if you tie the pieces together with natural cotton string or raffia straw, you’ll have a recyclable paper chain. It is especially true if you also use natural dyes for decorating.

6. Toilet Paper Roll Desk Organizer

You can make an easy desk organizer for school or home with several toilet paper rolls joined together in a row.

Toilet Paper Roll Desk Organizer
Toilet Paper Roll Desk Organizer

Decorate the rolls with natural dyes and other things like paper animal features, then glue them together in a standing position with homemade glue.

Add your pencils, scissors, and other odds and ends to keep them organized and within easy reach.

Next, I’ll address a concern that some people have about using toilet paper rolls for crafts: do they contain germs?

Do Toilet Paper Rolls Have Germs?

I did a pretty thorough search and I couldn’t find anything that says toilet paper rolls have more germs than any other object we encounter in our daily lives.

However, if you’re still concerned, make sure you follow good hygiene practices such as handwashing before and after touching them.

I also found a blog post by Paula at Colorful Craft Corner that covers this topic well, plus how you can sanitize them if you feel it’s necessary.

So, there you have 5 easy ideas for toilet paper roll crafts and activities that are eco-friendly.

Get creative with your leftover paper rolls and let me know in the comments if you have other ideas for using them. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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