Cooktop Cove: Stop throwing out toilet paper tubes. Try these 10+ hacks instead
By Caitlyn Knuth
Life is full of tasks that seem small from the outside but, come time to complete them, entail more frustrations than desired. Whether it's vacuuming hard-to-reach areas of the home or keeping wayward cords from tripping family and friends, mundane tasks always seem to require complicated solutions. Luckily, there’s a crafty answer to these problems lying just within reach. It doesn’t take much more than a single toilet paper tube to turn aggravating everyday tasks into the easy life events they were meant to be.
With a simple toilet paper tube and a little time, a seemingly endless list of organizational and helpful possibilities is born. Feel free to feed the birds or put some order to Hot Wheels that somehow find their way into the living room each day. With a little tweaking and thoughtful placement, a toilet paper tube has the power to change the way you view your to-do list.
1. For vacuuming hard-to-reach areas
Vacuuming is essential to in maintaining a dust-free home while upgrading overall air quality. Just because it's important doesn't mean it's easy. From bed frames to air vents, many household places are seemingly impossible to reach. Skip the expensive, customized vacuum heads and instead, create your own with a toilet paper tube. A little tape will keep the tube in place while you mold the end to whatever unique shape or size is required to make the most of those cleaning moments.
2. Avoid creases when hanging pants and skirts
There's nothing worse than reaching for a favorite shirt or pair of pants when it's a big day at work only to find yourself face to face with an unsettling number of wrinkles. Although standard hangers keep clothing elevated, narrow bars can make it nearly impossible to maintain clean lines. An easy way to reduce and even eliminate this problem is to slide a set of toilet paper tubes onto the hanger. A wider cylinder will keep clothing smoother and allow for hassle-free dressing.
3. Keep cords together
With nearly every appliance requiring an outlet or two, bundles of messy, twisted cords are commonplace. Although they provide the necessary connection points for devices, they can be extremely displeasing to look at and a serious hazard to safe walking. A simple solution to keeping cords out of the way is to pass a bundled edge through a toilet paper tube. Instead of finding a way to hide multiple cords, the bundle is tucked away as one easy-to-handle unit.
4. Keep hair accessories organized
A ponytail is a quick and elegant solution to any bad hair day, but the process can become a nightmare when there isn't a bobby pin or hair band to be found. Give those items that never seem to stay in one place a permanent home by transforming a toilet paper tube into a hair accessory stand. Bobby pins can slide swiftly onto the top edge while hair bands are securely held at the other side. Just as easy to remove when it's time to put the finishing touches on a ponytail, this is a sure way to keep track of smaller hair accessories.
5. Keep pens and pencils organized
Frequently needed but not always readily available, pens and pencils are home office items that somehow manage to never be where they were left. A solution to maintaining order is to turn a toilet paper tube into a desktop container. Wrap an entire tube in construction paper for a colorful take on a pencil cup or cut the tube in half for a highlighter-specific sized container.
6. Store toy cars
Toy cars are a staple item in the bedrooms of kids everywhere, but they're one of those toys that somehow manages to make its way throughout the house most of the time. With tiny wheels and metal or plastic frames, toy cars can make for an unpleasant barefoot experience if left unattended. To keep toes protected and toy cars in top shape, consider stacking a few toilet paper tubes together and using them as storage units for these well-loved miniature vehicles. A dab of glue is all it takes to create a multi-level organizer that's perfect for any room.
7. Bird feeder
There's no need to spent a lot when it comes to keeping winged-friends well-fed. Instead, cover a toilet paper tube with a bit of double stick paper and sprinkle the preferred bird seed over the entire surface. Simply set this outside or hang it up for a savory snack that will bring the birds flocking to the window. Toilet paper isn't the only way to make a bird feeder. Try these top DIY bird feeder ideas.
8. Organize yarn
The variety of colors, textures and crafting potential makes yarn an important item to keep in every craft drawer. The problems occur when yarn unwinds and inevitably finds itself twisted into an impossible mess with other undone strings. Leave the hassle of untangling far behind by using a toilet paper tube to wrap excess yarn. Easy to manage and even easier to keep separated from other hues, this DIY yarn holder is a quick fix to yarn-based frustration.
9. Store wrapping paper
When it comes time to make sure a gift is perfectly wrapped for that special someone, mixing and matching paper can be half the fun. Unfortunately, wrapping paper doesn't generally come with a re-stick option at the edges once it's been opened. This can make for frustrating fly-away edges that easily tear over time. To extend the life of your wrapping paper collection, simply slip a toilet paper tube over the ends of a roll to keep the edges firmly in place while not being used.
10. Seed starter
Those with a green thumb know that not all plants are ready to hit the outdoors from the very start. Sometimes, it takes a little TLC to get a seedling going in the right direction. Turn a toilet paper tube into a seed starter by filling it with potting soil and dropping the seeds in. It's an easy way to give plants a chance before moving them to larger gardens.
11. Organize scarves
Although scarf hangers can be useful, there are times when the closet just doesn't have the space needed to keep all those beautiful accent fabrics at eye level. When it's time to store scarves in drawers, pull each one through a toilet paper tube to make them easier to find. This simple strategy will keep scarves from tangling and reduce the risk of snags in the drawer.
12. Make a gift container
Gift giving is a meaningful gesture, but sometimes the small gifts can be the most difficult to wrap. When you're giving a gift that won't fit standard packaging, consider cutting a toilet paper tube to size and pressing the ends in for a secure container. This a great way to wrap jeweler and other small items that don't require an entire bag or make for awkward wrapping.
13. Fire starters
Whether it's lighting the fireplace or making the most of a camping trip, starting a fire is a necessity that often proves more difficult than expected. To avoid having to buy expensive materials, transform a toilet paper tube into a fire starter by stuffing it with dryer lint. Highly flammable and easy to transport, these fire starters are easy to come by and can be added as needed.
14. Napkin holder
When the next dinner party rolls around, skip the frantic trip to the store and instead, slide napkins through a toilet paper tube to keep them in place. Cut the tube to the desired width for a classic look that costs no extra money.
15. Heart-shaped stamp
It's tempting to head to the craft store every time an amazing new idea comes to mind, but more often than not, there are DIY solutions just waiting to be discovered at home. For sealing letters or artwork with a charming heart-shaped stamp, press one side of a toilet paper tube in toward the center and cover the edges in red paint. Pressing this onto a white sheet of paper or envelope will leave a perfectly painted remnant of love and joy.
16. Cat toy
Feline friends can benefit from a repurposed toilet paper tube with just a little time and creative energy on the part of their humans. Cut a toilet paper tube into narrow circles starting at one end of the tube. Loop three or four of them around one another, and before long, your kitty will be batting around a homemade pet ball at no cost to you. For more, check out these top DIY projects for anyone who loves cats.
17. Phone holder
Cell phones have become an integral part of everyday life, but there's nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out where to place the phone for a hands-free call or to manage those moments when other priorities compete for your time. Take the worry out of everyday life by cutting two downward triangles into the top of a toilet paper tube. The side slots will act as a convenient nest for the phone and will keep you from wondering where it went. Feel free to decorate the tube with a bit of colorful paint for an aesthetically pleasing look.
18. Avoid creases on pants when hanging them on a hanger
Smooth pants make for a professional overall look, and a simple way to keep them looking their well-creased finest is to slide a toilet paper tube or two over the ends of hangers. Avoid undesired pinches and creases as the toilet paper tube keeps the edges of the hanger round and the pants as smooth as can be.
19. Dry out gloves quicker by sticking a tube inside
When it's time to get out and enjoy the cold winter season, gloves are an important part of the ensemble. When the day is done but running the dryer isn't a priority, try placing a toiler paper tube in each wet glove for faster drying. The tube keeps the edges separated and provides for better airflow meaning gloves are dry, warm and ready to use when it's time to head outside once more.
20. Keep necklaces from getting tangled during traveling
Everyone has a few essential necklaces to pack when it's time to travel. Less exciting is the moment the suitcase is opened only to discover those necklaces are entangled together. Avoiding this scenario is as simple as placing each necklace in its own toilet paper tube. Fit the clasps through the center of the tube and connect at the interior point for a sure way to keep chains separated.
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