“Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls for Underwhelming DIY Decor”

“Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls for Underwhelming DIY Decor”

I’ve always loved arts and crafts, so when I discovered Pinterest, I fell down the rabbit hole of DIY projects. As I scrolled through the endless pins, one common craft supply kept popping up: toilet paper rolls. Yes, those empty cardboard tubes we all throw away on a daily basis apparently have crafty potential.

Intrigued, I decided to try my hand at reusing toilet paper rolls to create some budget-friendly home decor. What I discovered is that while TP rolls seem ubiquitous in DIY, the results are often underwhelming. Still, if you have kids or just want to flex your creativity, repurposing toilet paper rolls can be a fun activity. Just temper your expectations.

The Appeal of Toilet Paper Rolls for Crafting

So what makes toilet paper rolls so popular for crafts and DIY decor? A few key factors:

  • Free source material. Toilet paper tubes are a recyclable material that most households already have in bulk. No need to purchase materials for your craft.

  • Fun to decorate. TP rolls have a round, tubular shape that lends itself well to painting, coloring, and adding embellishments.

  • Customizable size. Toilet paper rolls come in different lengths, allowing for versatile crafting. Standard rolls are about 5-6 inches long while jumbo rolls can be 9-10 inches long.

  • Lightweight. Since cardboard TP tubes are lightweight, they are easy for kids to manipulate and decorate. Adults can also use hot glue and other adhesives to construct decor pieces.

  • Go green. Reusing TP rolls keeps them out of landfills and reduces waste. Upcycling materials into decor aligns with eco-friendly values.

With all these benefits, it’s easy to see the appeal of toilet paper rolls for crafty reuse. The materials are accessible, easy to work with, and free! However, the end results don’t always live up to the DIY hype.

The Reality of Toilet Paper Roll Crafts

After gathering up all the toilet paper tubes our family used in a month, I set aside an afternoon for crafting. I looked through my old Pinterest boards for TP roll project ideas, feeling excited and ambitious. However, I quickly realized that while toilet paper rolls may be great in theory, in practice the crafts left much to be desired. Here are a few issues I ran into:

  • Time consuming. Even simple TP roll crafts require a fair amount of preparation. You have to clean out the tubes, cut them to size, smooth rough edges, and prime surfaces for painting or gluing. Projects that require multiple tubes to be linked together demand even more time.

  • Messy adhesives. Most toilet paper crafts involve gluing the lightweight tubes, which results in messy drips and strings of hot glue or tacky puddles of white glue. The fumes from the adhesives also linger.

  • Unimpressive aesthetics. Craft store materials like pom poms and foam shapes try to disguise the fact you’re looking at an upcycled cardboard tube. But no matter how much I decorated them, the toilet paper rolls still looked like…well, toilet paper rolls.

  • Flimsy end product. Unless you use heavy amounts of glue, the TP roll creations have little structural integrity. Many curved shapes I attempted drooped or fell entirely apart. Longer tubes cracked when bent. Sturdy crafts these are not.

  • Quickly dated trend. Toilet paper roll crafts feel gimmicky, like a trend rather than a timeless DIY material. The novelty wears off quickly.

While I wanted my afternoon of TP roll crafting to be an enjoyable creative adventure, I ended up frustrated and disappointed with the results. The projects took way more effort than they deserved. So much for Pinterest-worthy DIY decor!

Tips for Making the Best of Toilet Paper Rolls

After my lackluster experience trying to elevate toilet paper tubes into decor, I was ready to resign them to the recycling bin forever. But once I reset my expectations, I realized TP rolls can still have their humble DIY place. Here are some tips:

  • Keep projects simple. Don’t try to make TP tubes the structural base for an elaborate craft. Opt for quick, uncomplicated ideas.

  • Involve kids. Toilet paper rolls are ideal craft materials for small hands. Have fun together making monogrammed name garlands or TP tube animals.

  • Minimize adhesive. Rather than glopping on the glue, choose projects that involve painting, stacking, or just taping tubes together. This keeps things cleaner and faster.

  • Focus on function. LEGO brick holders, pen cups, and other functional items are better TP craft bets than purely decorative ones.

  • Don’t expect longevity. Enjoy any toilet paper roll creations as temporary rather than lasting decor. Repurpose or recycle when you grow tired of them.

Maintaining realistic expectations is key to having success crafting with toilet paper rolls. While they may never achieve Pinterest stardom in my home, I can now appreciate TP tubes for the humble DIY material they are.

Final Thoughts on Repurposing Toilet Paper Rolls

My DIY adventures repurposing toilet paper rolls for home decor didn’t go quite as planned. Yet despite the mess and less-than-gorgeous results, I did gain some new perspective:

  • Reusing household items promotes sustainability, even if the outcome is imperfect.

  • The journey can be just as rewarding as the destination when taking on a new DIY challenge.

  • Not every Pinterest-hyped craft lives up to its photographic potential.

  • Simple, functional TP roll projects have more value than overly ambitious decorative ones.

So will I continue to transform my leftover toilet paper tubes into DIY decor? On a limited scale, yes. I now know to keep my expectations realistic and focus on enjoying the creative process rather than achieving Pinterest perfection. Because TP rolls may be abundant, but their crafting potential is underwhelming.