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Cardboard Tube Crafts: 6 Clever Ways to Reuse Cardboard Tubes

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Do you ever wonder how you can reuse cardboard tubes? Between Cricut vinyl, wrapping paper, paper towels, and toilet paper, cardboard tubes can pile up. Of course, you can toss them out, but it’s always nice to repurpose them whenever possible. If you have tons of leftover cardboard tubes in your craft room like me, then you will love these six brilliant cardboard tube crafts!

I’ve seen many crafters, particularly in the Cricut community, ask for ideas to repurpose their cardboard tubes leftover from empty craft vinyl rolls. Some of us have bins full of cardboard tubes. (Guilty as charged!) So let’s look at some ways to repurpose them!

Cardboard Tube Crafts Video Tutorial

If you’re more of a visual learner, please don’t miss my step-by-step cardboard tube craft video tutorial below. I’ll demonstrate each step to create these simple, beautiful, upcycled cardboard crafts.

6 Cardboard Tube Crafts to Turn Trash to Treasure

A six-picture grid detailing all the ways you can use cardboard tubes, such as pen holders, vinyl roll holders, napkin rings and more. Don’t throw out leftover cardboard tubes from vinyl, paper towels, or toilet paper. Here are six cardboard tube crafts you can make today.

1. DIY Craft Vinyl Holder

Did you know you can upcycle cardboard tubes to organize your craft vinyl? These upcycled cardboard tubes decorated in bright rainbow-print paper hold pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple colored craft vinyl.

In this upcycled cardboard tube idea, you can make a vinyl roll holder from your empty cardboard vinyl rolls. This is one of my favorite cardboard tube ideas because it’s kind of like the chicken and the egg theory, where one comes from the other. Easily reuse cardboard vinyl rolls to hold existing vinyl! I like to cut my cardboard tubes in half with an X-Acto knife and then cover them in pretty scrapbooking paper.  

To finish off this DIY cardboard tube project, hot glue the tubes together and add some baker’s twine to hang your upcycled vinyl organizer in your craft space! See how I did it here in the cardboard tube craft tutorial video.  

A craft space is organized with white shelves holding paint and white wallpaper with black polka dots. A DIY cardboard tube project is covered in bright rainbow scrapbook paper and hangs from the wall, holding an array of vibrant colored vinyl rolls.

2. Cord Keeper

Upcycled cardboard tubes are covered in colorful washi tape stripes. The cardboard tubes are used as organizers for electrical cords and phone chargers.

In my craft room, I have an entire drawer of messy cords that get tangled all the time. So I was looking for a great way to organize this nest of electrical cords, and I got a simple-but-effective DIY cardboard tube idea!

I created cord keepers using short cardboard tubes from toilet paper or regular cardboard tubes from vinyl cut in half! This upcycled cardboard tube craft really saves the hassle of a messy drawer of tangled wires. I used bright and colorful washi tape to decorate the cardboard tubes and make them colorful, of course!

Of all the cardboard tube crafts, this is one of my favorites because it’s so practical and functional.

3. Desk/Pen Organizer

This pen organizer is made with upcycled cardboard tubes, each a different length, covered in washi tape and attached to a rainbow base. This desk organizer can hold pens, markers, scissors and more.

This upcycled cardboard tube idea makes a cute gift. It’s easy enough to be a cardboard tube craft for kids but still cute enough for any adult. After all, who couldn’t use cheerful pen, scissor, and pencil organizers?!

I used the cardboard tubes to craft a pen holder for my desk by covering each tube with scrapbooking paper. I mounted the tubes together and then fixed them to a base made from a circle of chipboard covered in rainbow paper. See how I make this cardboard tube craft in my craft tutorial video.

4. Hair Bow Organizer

A rainbow-colored hair bow organizer is made from upcycled cardboard tubes covered in faux glitter leather. The organizer holds scrunchies and bows in pastel colors and hangs on the white wall of a girl’s room.

Of all the cardboard craft ideas, I think this one is the cutest! My daughter has A LOT of hair bows and scrunchies, so I thought, how about a hair accessory holder? Cardboard tubes are the perfect size to hold scrunches and hair ties, keeping them organized and in place.

I gathered five standard (paper towel or craft vinyl-sized) to make this DIY cardboard tube craft. I decorated the tubes with glitter canvas that has a faux leather finish. I also used beads and bakers twine for this DIY cardboard tube project. You can see how I made the hair bow organizer in the cardboard tube craft tutorial video (at the end).

5. DIY Napkin Rings

White napkins with black trim look festive and ready for a holiday tablescape thanks to upcycled cardboard tube napkin rings. The rings are covered in blue snowflake print fabric, and the napkins are against a white plate on a light blue background.

Napkin rings are a super-easy way to dress up a table for a special event or holiday. It’s a small touch that can add a lot to your tablescape. But, usually, I can’t easily find the napkin rings I’m looking for, and if I find the perfect rings, they’re quite expensive.

To resolve this issue, I realized that cardboard tubes are just perfect for DIY napkin rings. You can make them go with any look, and they’re so simple. So to make this cardboard tube craft, I decided to cut my cardboard tubes down to about 1.5 inches thick and cover them in a pretty snowflake print fabric. I also added some decorative iron-on vinyl designs using my Cricut EasyPress Mini to really make them pop!

Learn how to make these napkin rings from upcycled cardboard tubes in my cardboard tube crafts video.

6. Christmas Candy and Small Gift Holder

Recycled cardboard tubes make excellent holiday candy and small gift holders. These candy holders are shown on a pink background, with red and white ribbon. The tubes are wrapped in holiday tissue paper in red, green, and blue patterns.

Lastly, cardboard tubes make the perfect containers for gifting candy or other small items at Christmas time! I like to fill my upcycled cardboard tubes with candy, wrap them in Christmas tissue paper, then tie the ends off with ribbons. Voila—perfect stocking stuffers!

You can use this cardboard tube craft for plenty of other holidays as well. They’re cute party favors for birthdays and a great way to hold Valentine’s candy too. Switch up the paper to match the moment, and you have the ideal gift wrap for any small, oddly-shaped gifts or goodies.

Learn how to make these darling Christmas candy and small gift holders, and check out how I keep the candy inside by watching the cardboard tube crafts video here.

I’d love to see and hear your ideas for cardboard tube crafts and organizational hacks! So be sure to join my crafting community here and show off your talent!

Of course, if you have any questions after watching the video tutorial or checking out any of these cardboard tube crafts, please leave me a comment below!

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A picture of six rolls of vinyl kept in rolls by decorated upcycled cardboard tubes. The yellow graphic on the bottom says "6 Ways to Repurpose Cardboard."

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I’m thrilled you are here! I have spent the last 10+ years making messes and magic in my home studio to make the world a more colorful place, one craft at a time! I’m on a mission to nurture the creative magic inside your soul and bring that bursting imagination inside you to life with easy-to-learn tutorials. If you haven’t yet, be sure to join the subscriber community to gain access to all my freebies or visit my signature design shop, Catching Colorflies!

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