Five uses for kitchen roll inners

Miss Thrifty10 January 27, 2011

kitchen roll tube Kitchen paper tubes, kitchen roll inners, “cores”, cylinders or whatever the official term is…

First of all I composted them. Then I saved them for use in a (predictably abortive) attempt at poisoning all the bindweed in my garden.

So what next for my beautiful cardboard tube stash? Plenty, as it happens.

And of course, all these ideas work for bog roll tubes too. Or toilet roll inners. Or whatever you want to call them…

Tangle-free storage for Christmas lights

store christmas lights I did this when we took down the Christmas decorations a couple of weeks ago. The tree lights pack up small, but get into terrible tangles. So I coiled the wires tightly around the kitchen paper tube and pinned the end in place with an old kirby grip, ready for next year.

On consideration I may also, albeit unwittingly, have made a super-festive electromagnet. I may plug it in next December and pick up the sixpence in the Christmas pudding.

Crumple-free storage for artwork and small posters

Self-explanatory, no? I have quite a few small items – mainly gig posters and art prints, but also education certificates – that I am storing in this way.

Seedling pots

Thanks to the ever-helpful Mrs Green at MyZeroWaste for the How To video. As she notes:

“Last year I paid a Kings ransom for some biodegradable pots and realised I’d been, as they say in the trade, taken for a ride. I mean, come on – biodegradable pots; that’s just a toilet roll inner, right? There’s no faffing around trying to get the seedling out of the pot, you just chuck the whole lot in the ground and the cardboard disintegrates, keeping the seedling happy and snug in the meantime. Horrah!”

One of her commenters suggests removing the bottoms of the tubes before you plant them.

Growing carrots!

grow carrots Another great tip from MyZeroWaste, this time from guest poster Sarah:

“Carrots hate being moved, if you try to transplant them they split, fork or die, don’t form that delicious tap root and are generally inedible. So you can’t usually give them a head start indoors or in a greenhouse, which plants need in my garden – because the soil is cold and sticky.

“So, I saved some toilet roll inners, stood them in a deep tray, filled them with compost and sowed my carrots. They germinated and grew fine on the window sill. I went to plant them out and the cardboard was still solid enough to handle reasonably well. I left one or two seedlings in each tube and set them in rows in the veg bed…planting season finally came to an end and I now had several rows of carrots grown this way.”


Kindling for fires

make fire kindling I have seen some complicated “recipes” for filling empty tubes with various ingredients and using them as kindling, but the simplest one can be found at The Cottage Smallholder:

“Last week, without a trusty firelighter, I suddenly had a brainwave. The coal scuttle was full of loo roll tubes. I scrunched up newspaper really tight and pushed it into a roll leaving a ‘wick’ of newspaper at one end. Danny lit the wick and placed the tube in amongst the damp kindling. It burnt for quite a while and easily lit the temperamental stove.”

Any ideas that I have missed?

Image credits: mikebot, theogeo, color line, Dr Pete.

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10 Responses to “Five uses for kitchen roll inners

Money Beagle says:

I love the idea of using them for Christmas lights. I still have some outdoor lights sitting in the garage that I took down but haven’t put away yet (too cold) and I may have to try that out!

January 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Charles says:

LOL, what a HILARIOUS post. Growing carrots… you can probably sell it as artisan carrots in a farmers market somewhere too

January 28, 2011 at 2:03 am

Jordan says:

I use the to hold tongs in my utensil drawers so they don’t open and get the drawer stuck.

January 29, 2011 at 3:17 am

Hey Lovely, thanks for the sharing the link love – oh my; that video is really old now; it was great watching it again.
Your idea of the Christmas lights is fantastic (I might suggest Mr G tidies up his cables in this way;) ) and the firelighters are excellent; we’ve done this in the past and they work a treat.
And lest we forget – how would the Christmas table look without the adornment of home made Christmas crackers fashioned from oil toilet roll tubes?
Jordan’s suggestion of stopping those darn tongs jamming the drawer is genius!

January 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm

We use toilet roll inners stuffed with tumble drier fluff for firelighters. We also give them to the pet gerbils who love running through and nibbling them. I am currently converting to a simple frugal life and am looking to reduce my waste so I will have a read though the tips you have shared. I am also doing a declutter 11 items in 11 days challenge to give me a head start in the simple living life, Stacey x

February 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Obelia says:

Great ideas – thank you!

We have rabbits, so we save the toilet roll inners and stuff them with hay for the rabbits to nibble – they love them (a bit like Stacey’s gerbils I suppose)!

As for the carrots – well allegedly, growing them big and straight in drainpipes is the way to scoop the prize at the country fair! So toilet/kitchen roll tubes for homegrown carrots makes sense to me :)

February 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Jane Sanders says:

Nice list!

When I was in college, it use is as a pen holder. My friend thought that it was hilarious. I actually thought I was pretty smart. =)

February 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Rita T. says:

That’s really creative and resourceful of you, Miss Thrifty! Though, you did use the roll inners in a funny way too.

July 14, 2011 at 3:50 am

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