12 practical toilet roll tricks

According to CNN, Americans spend roughly $6 billion a year on toilet paper, and the average citizen uses 57 squares a day. The USA leads the way in toilet paper consumption. Europeans get through less of it, but they still generate some impressive numbers.

In Germany alone, they use 3 billion rolls of the stuff every year. And if you piled the leftover cardboard rolls into heap and then removed one roll every second, it would take 95 years (!!) to remove them all. Suffice to say: that's a heck of a lot of toilet rolls.

So it's fortunate that these nondescript, brown cardboard tubes can be used for so much more than simply dispensing toilet paper. They can be super handy in the home — as this list of 12 suggestions proves. Nice going!


1. Firestarters

To get a fire going in the fireplace can take a bit of time. Get some assistance in the form of these recyclable cardboard tubes filled with dryer lint. They burn easily and heat the logs up.


2. Wool winder

There's no such thing as a lazy housewife or househusband — just a canny one. If your stocks of wool are unravelled and in a mess, just take an electric whisk, slide a toilet roll over the beater and cut a tiny slit in the end which will hold the end of the wool fast. Now you can wind your yarn around the roll in no time at all.


3. Knit a snake

A knitting technique that goes down particularly well with children is making knitted snakes. For this you need a toilet roll and five popsicle sticks held in place around it with a rubber band. The thread is first fed through the tube and then looped around the five ends of the sticks. With each round, the previous thread is pulled over the one now lying on top of it. In this way, you can create a wool snake as long as you like. You can find more detailed instructions here


4. Pen holder

Take a shoebox and several toilet rolls — you already have everything you need to make the perfect storage unit for your ballpoint pens, glue sticks and scissors. Wrap some pretty gift paper around the shoebox and you'll soon have an eye-catching organizer for all your pens and pencils.


5. Gift wrap clamp

It's very rare that you use an entire roll of gift wrap in one go. Once you're done using it, a clamp can help prevent it from getting wrinkled. Cut a toilet roll open lengthways, then slide it over your gift wrap to keep it rolled up neatly. 


6. Pillow box

Sometimes small gifts lack the perfect wrapping. For these presents, you can make cute pillow-shaped boxes, which can work for jewelry or tasty sweet surprises, for example.


7. Bird feed

For birds, the cold winter months are a strength-sapping endurance test. You can give hungry birdies a helping hand, with a feeding ring made from a toilet roll smeared with bird-friendly peanut butter and dipped in grain.


8. Cable holder

To prevent clutter in the cupboard, sometimes only radical measures are effective: keeping every cable in solitary confinement! 


9. Vacuum cleaner extension

Dust likes to hide in cracks and corners and vacuums come with all sorts of attachments to help get it out. But sometimes, none of them are the right fit. When that happens, swap them out for one you've Macgyvered out of a toilet roll. The big advantage? The tip of this extension is very malleable and can fit in cracks of almost any size.


10. Phone stand

These phone stands made from decorated toilet rolls look like brightly-colored bonbons. Use thumbtacks to make the legs. A fun little project for tech heads with crafting tendencies.


11. Air freshener

With a little aromatic oil sprinkled inside the tube, you've got yourself a nice little air freshener in the bathroom.


12. Hair curlers

If your hairstyle calls for more volume, but you don't have any curlers in the apartment, you can make do with some toilet rolls and hair grips. Wrap your hair as usual around your cardboard substitutes and hold it in place with the hair grips. Hairspray and blowdrying will do the rest, allowing you to make a grand entrance.


It's really astonishing how many uses you can find for apparently worthless objects like empty toilet rolls. There are no limits on how creative you can be. For example, how about making a phone stand that is also an air freshener? So, start saving up your empty toilet rolls and share this article on Facebook!


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