The month of March in the year 2020 will go down in history as the time when toilet paper became worth its weight in gold. It seems a little silly to some people that when the COVID-19 virus started to spread to the United States that toilet paper suddenly became a hot commodity. The idea behind hoarding toilet paper has also become a major subject of discussion and fuel for memes, jokes and other social commentaries. Though the real reason that toilet paper is now an endangered species in the grocery store scene will never truly come to light, we can try to make the best of the situation.
It’s been said that there is no more toilet paper to be had but for those lucky enough to have it in surplus what will they do with it all?
Here are a few fun projects for you to try out if you happen to be in quarantine and have a lot of toilet paper in your home.
Toilet Paper Casting or Molding
Toilet paper casting, or molding was a much more popular craft back in the mid-’90s but is still relevant with today’s card makers and scrapbooking crowd. This kind of craft is ideal because it is inexpensive, doesn’t require a lot of materials and the end product can be used in a number of fun ways as embellishments.
To create a toilet paper cast you really only need 4 things.
A stiff-bristled brush that’s good for dabbing or pressing with the bristles
A rubber stamp or a mold
Water (in a spray bottle is best)
A drop or two of glue or some kind of adhesive to secure the edges of the finished product to reduce fraying or peeling.
Simply choose a design you want to create and find a stamp or mold that will suit your needs. Then you wet the stamp or mold with your spray bottle, add a square of toilet paper and use your brush to gently pat it into all the nooks and crannies of your mold. Then wet the paper again and add a second layer. Repeat until you achieve the desired thickness. Then let it dry, it can take as few as 8 hours or a few days to dry. Once the casting is dried you can cut off any excess toilet paper and use a drop or two of glue to secure the edges to prevent fraying. The finished product is great as an embellishment on a card or in a picture frame. Thicker castings made in a mold can be displayed like porcelain figures. They can also be painted to add to the effect.
Toilet Paper Origami
What is toilet paper origami you may ask? You may have seen it before in a fancy hotel room or on a cruise ship or if you are one of those people fortunate enough to have an in-home cleaning service. Simply put toilet paper origami is a fun little embellishment to a roll of toilet paper, purely a temporary display item, to indicate that the restroom has been cleaned. The best part about toilet paper origami is that you can still use the toilet paper for its intended purpose so there is not really any waste involved. There doesn’t seem to be any real idea of who started this paper folding trend or why anyone really takes the time to do it other than an assurance that the restroom is clean. Aside from cleansing reassurance it also adds a sense of elegance and class to the restroom scene.
Toilet paper origami has even become popular enough, at least in Japan, that a Japanese man invented the automated folding machine for toilet paper. This machine, called a Meruboa, doesn’t seem to be readily available to just anyone, search all you like but you probably won’t find one for sale in the US.
So during this time of quarantine, even if you don’t have an unlimited supply of toilet paper, you too can become a toilet paper folding ninja. Here are a few fun folding diagrams to try out and a reference you can check out if you find that you enjoy this impermanent art form (Origami Resource Center)
The Tube Crafts
There are so many millions of options to use the tube from the center of the roll as well. The cardboard tube at the center of a roll of toilet paper is the perfect shape and size to create just about anything from an advent calendar to finger puppets or even houses for your own tiny town.
Depending on the season, your toilet paper tubes can be made into reindeer, bunnies, ninjas, or even Uncle Sam. Here are some cute examples of fun projects to inspire you to make your own paper tube finger puppet.
To make your own paper tube puppet simply choose a character that you like and imagine them onto the tube. You can paint them, cut and paste colored paper onto them or cut the tube itself to the desired shape. The only real limit is your imagination and the availability of empty toilet paper tubes.
If you don’t have any children at home and want a more mature project to create there are lots of beautiful ideas for wall hangings and other embellishments that you can make with these simple paper tubes and a little paint and glue. You can check them out in greater detail on Pinterest or crafting blogs like CraftPaperScissors.
Practical Uses for Toilet Paper Tubes
Organization and Repurposing Tubes
Toilet paper tubes, if glued together and placed in a box, make an excellent way to store and organize things like cords, fishing tackle and other small objects.
You can cut up one side of a toilet paper tube and use it to secure your unused portions of gift wrap so that they don’t unravel.
Add some dryer lint to a toilet paper roll and you have a great fire starter for camping.
You can cut your toilet paper tubes into small sections and put them in between pleats on your curtains to get that ideal pleated look.
They can be used as small seed starter pots since the cardboard is biodegradable and will decompose once you’ve planted your start.
You can even use them to help your children create a fun bird feeder for the yard.
Bird Feeders Tubes
All you need is a little peanut butter, a toilet paper tube, and some yarn, ribbon or string.
Cover the tube with peanut butter. Other nut butter varieties are also acceptable but pricier.
Cover the peanut butter-covered tube with a birdseed mix.
String it up in a tree or from the eves of your house where the birds can find it and enjoy their treat.
Be sure to hang it in a location that is safe from neighborhood cats and other predators that might try to get an easy lunch of bird meat.
Get creative and enjoy all that extra toilet paper.