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Craft: TP roll gift ornaments

by Lynn

I’m a lover of toilet paper rolls–for crafting purposes anyway.

On a practical, green level, I’d be happy if they went the way of 8-track tapes (for those of you who remember), but they are great for crafting.

You’ll probably see many places on the web where they’re used to make holiday, “crackers,” an imitation of the beloved British tradition without the noise. The rolls are perfect for that.

But recently, I made something I think is even better because while mine can hold small gifts just like crackers, they also can be kept and reused as ornaments for many years. (See our video instructions for crafting crackers at the bottom of this post.)

This idea was inspired by a piece in Green Craft Magazine.


Toilet paper rolls

Assorted papers* (you also could paint the rolls if you prefer)

Paper cutter (not required, but makes quick, clean cuts)


White glue



Awl or nail and hammer

Easily bendable wire

Jar lids

How to

1. Cut a piece of paper 4 1/4″ tall and the approximate length around the roll.

2. Spread glue evenly on entire piece of paper.

3. Place roll on paper aligning along top and bottom edge and roll along the paper so that paper sticks to roll. (Photo 1)

5. Mash down the top of the roll so the back meets the front and place two staples. (Photo 1)

5. Decorate the “body” of the roll with embellishments as desires. (Photo 2)

6. Use the awl or nail to make two holes about 1/4″ apart going through both layers between the staples. (Photo 3)

7. Thread a piece of wire through the holes, add on bells, ribbon or whatever you like. Twist into a circle for hanging.

8. Place bottom of roll into the jar lid. (Photo 4). It happens that I had some lids exactly the right size. They fit perfectly without gluing. If the jar lid is too big, you can leave it off. Place the items on the table under the ornament. When the ornament is lifted it will reveal the small gifts (organic lollipop, stones, whatever will fit. The piece does not need the jar lid to hang as an ornament).

*For demonstration purposes I used papers other than red and green. You can use maps, stationery, pages from notebooks, whatever you like.

And here’s how to make crackers:

What are your favorite toilet paper tube crafts?

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.

This post is part of the Green Mom’s Carnival‘s 3rd annual annual holidays carnival and is hosted by Jenn of The Green Parent.

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