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Slow Your Roll: 7 Uses for Cardboard Tubes

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Jess Willingham
10.30.15

Can you spare a square?

No? I guess that means your toilet paper roll is spent. If that's true, don’t toss the tube. Reuse it! There’s a lot of clever things can do with a cardboard tube.

Here are seven ideas:

1. Keep Pants Crease-Free

If slacks aren’t part of your daily attire, chances are they’re hanging on a plastic hanger in your closet. If you have metal hangers (tut-tut!) fix that problem first, then keep reading.

The longer pants hang unworn, the bigger the crease will be when you finally remove the pants. To avoid the ugly crease altogether, cut a paper towel tube or two toilet paper tubes lengthwise, and then place the long-end of the hanger inside the tube (like a burrito).

Tape the open slit in the tube shut, and then neatly hang your lucky interview pants knowing they’ll stay crease-free for months.

2. Protect Your Boots

Keep your boots in shape and prevent flexible boots from flopping over during summer by sticking cardboard tubes into the leg of the boot. This will keep their shape and protect them from damage.

3. Make a Sheath to Cover Knives

If you need a knife outside of the kitchen for a picnic or backyard barbeque, it’s best to cover it just in case. But, official knife covers can get expensive, especially if you don’t use them very often. Use a toilet paper roll in a pinch! Flatten the tube, and then duct tape one end shut. Slide your knife in you have a protected knife.

4. Make a Fly Strip

If flies are bugging you, trap them with a homemade fly strip. All you need is a cardboard roll and double-sided transparent tape. Cover the tube with the double-sided tape so you have a sticky roll, and then hang it where you’re having fly issues.

5. Protect Important Papers

Where do you store your certificates and diplomas? What about your kids’ art? When you have a paper that you want to hold onto for the long haul, protect it by rolling it tightly and inserting it in a paper towel tube. Then, store the tube in a drawer or cabinet. You’ll prevent creases and keep your document protected from moisture.

6. Prevent Tangled Holiday Lights

Holiday lights look awesome, but untangling them can be a nightmare. After the holidays are over, keep your lights untangled and ready to hang next time by wrapping them around a cardboard tube. Secure the ends with masking tape and stash the tub wherever you store your holiday decorations.

7. Store Knitting Needles

Knitting is the new yoga – everybody’s doing it. If you’ve picked up this trendy hobby recently, prevent your needles from becoming a couch-side hazard by storing them in a long cardboard tube (like the kind that comes with wrapping paper). Pinch one end of the tube and close it up with tape. When you’re not knitting, slide your needles into the open end, then pinch and fold that end. 

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