How to Repurpose Toilet Paper Rolls into Planters

How to Repurpose Toilet Paper Rolls into Planters

How to Repurpose Toilet Paper Rolls into Planters


Reusing and repurposing household items is an excellent way to reduce waste and get creative. Toilet paper rolls are a common item that many people throw away without considering their potential for reuse. With a little imagination, these cardboard rolls can be transformed into charming planters for small houseplants or seedlings.

In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide to repurposing toilet paper rolls into planters. We will cover the materials needed, how to prepare the rolls, fun decoration ideas, proper drainage techniques, and tips for planting and caring for your toilet paper roll planter. With simple instructions and helpful advice, you can upcycle toilet paper rolls into functional and decorative planters for your home or garden.

Materials Needed

Transforming a toilet paper roll into a planter requires just a few basic craft supplies:

  • Toilet paper rolls – Opt for rolls made of cardboard rather than paper. Collect as many as you’ll need for your project.

  • Scissors – For cutting the rolls to size and trimming materials.

  • Craft paint, markers, or decorative paper – To decorate the planters (optional).

  • Spray sealant or decoupage medium – For sealing any paper or fabric coverings.

  • Hot glue gun – To seal the bottom of the planter.

  • Drainage materials – Such as pebbles, small rocks, coffee filters, or scraps of screen.

  • Potting mix – Any general purpose mix designed for containers.

  • Plants – Such as small houseplants, herbs, or vegetable or flower seedlings.

Preparing the Toilet Paper Rolls

Before decorating or planting, the toilet paper rolls need some simple preparation:

  • Remove the Cardboard Tube – Peel off any remaining toilet paper and remove the inner cardboard tube if present. This will maximize the depth of your planter.

  • Cut to Size – Measure the plant you intend to put in the planter and trim the roll to an appropriate height using scissors. Leave 1-2 inches extra to allow for drainage materials at the bottom.

  • Seal the Bottom – To prevent soil from leaking out, cover the bottom of the roll fully with hot glue from a hot glue gun. Work on a nonporous surface like wax paper.

Once prepped, the rolls are ready for decoration and planting!

Decorating Your Toilet Paper Roll Planter

One of the joys of repurposing toilet paper rolls into planters is letting your creativity run wild when decorating them. Here are some fun decoration ideas:

  • Paint – Coat the rolls fully or partially with acrylic craft paint in any color or pattern. Allow paint to fully dry before sealing or planting.

  • Markers – Draw designs, patterns, faces, or writing directly onto the rolls with permanent markers in varying colors and thicknesses. Seal with decoupage medium once done.

  • Paper – Wrap decorative paper, gift wrap, maps, sheet music, or photos around the rolls and seal with decoupage medium or spray sealant.

  • Fabric – For a soft look, cover rolls with scraps of fabric, burlap, lace, or raffia and adhere with hot glue or decoupage medium.

  • Natural Materials – Affix items found in nature like leaves, seeds, sticks or moss using hot glue.

  • Embellishments – Glue on buttons, beads, glitter, or any other small embellishments with decoupage medium or hot glue. Let your imagination run wild!

Adding Drainage

Proper drainage is critical for growing plants in any container, including a toilet paper roll planter. To provide drainage:

  • Make holes – Use a thumbtack, hammer and nail, or drill to puncture 5-10 small holes in the bottom of the planter. Space evenly for uniform drainage.

  • Add gravel – Fill the bottom 1-2 inches of the planter with pebbles, gravel, or other small rocks. This will prevent soil from slipping out while allowing excess water to drain.

  • Try coffee filters – Cut coffee filters to fit the bottom of the roll and secure with a rubber band before adding soil. The paper will soak up extra moisture.

  • Use screen – Cut recycled window screen or mesh to size and hot glue over the drainage holes before adding soil.

Planting Your Toilet Paper Roll Planter

Once your roll is decorated and prepped for drainage, it’s time to plant! Follow these tips:

  • Use potting mix – Fill the planter with a potting mix made for containers, not garden soil which can easily become compacted.

  • Plant appropriately sized plants – Choose small houseplants, herbs, flowers, or vegetables seedlings suited to the narrow width of a toilet paper roll planter. Larger plants will quickly outgrow the small container.

  • Water carefully – Add water slowly and avoid overwatering, as there is no drainage tray to catch excess water. Allow soil to partially dry out between waterings.

  • Use a saucer – Place the planted roll on a saucer or small dish to catch any drained water and prevent mess. Empty the saucer regularly.

  • Fertilize when needed – Apply a diluted houseplant fertilizer or compost tea every 2-3 weeks during the growing season for added nutrients.

Caring for Your Toilet Paper Roll Planter

With proper care, plants grown in toilet paper roll planters can thrive! Follow these tips:

  • Monitor soil moisture – Check soil frequently and only water when partially dry. Avoid overwatering.

  • Provide adequate sunlight – Place in a sunny windowsill or outdoors in partial sun. Most houseplants and herbs prefer 4-6 hours of light daily.

  • Watch for pests – Insect pests like aphids may be attracted to plants in small containers. Treat promptly with horticultural oil or neem oil.

  • Re-pot into larger containers – If plants outgrow the roll, gently remove from the toilet paper planter and transplant into a bigger pot.

  • Fertilize regularly – Apply organic liquid fertilizer or compost tea every 2-3 weeks during the growing season for added nutrition.

With the right care and the creative use of materials on hand, repurposed toilet paper rolls can become charming and functional planters. Following this simple guide, anyone can transform this common household item into unique containers perfect for plants.


Repurposing toilet paper rolls into planters is an easy, fun DIY project. With simple preparation, creative decoration, proper drainage, and the right planting and care, these humble cardboard tubes can be upcycled into decorative and practical planters for the home or garden. This eco-friendly project is a great activity for crafters of all ages, and provides a satisfaction of finding new life and purpose in everyday household objects. Ready to get rolling? Collect those toilet paper tubes and put your creativity to work transforming trash into treasured planters!