Cuckoo Buds 3 Column

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Unusual Items To Re-purpose For Cards and Scrapbooks

I try to 'repurpose' as many items as possible.  Re-purposing is a fancy way to say "Recycling" but we don't have to use government standards to label items . . . yet.

I've shown in a few of my cards, scrapbooks and albums, my pocket pouches I use to put tags for journaling, photos or just pretty tags inside.  This is not my original idea, I don't know who's it is, but it's great and has been around for many years.  First saw it about 10 years ago.  It's a perfect size, easy to cover and decorate, and FREE - so can't beat that!  Last week when I posted my Anniversary Book for friends I had a couple of requests to explain how to do this - so here are the easy peasy directions.

First, save the rolls from your toilet paper - brand doesn't matter.  The only thing required here is thinking ahead.  I've also used empty paper towel rolls and cut them to size.
Next, I use the first of two high tech gadgets for this project - an old (but cleaned before using on paper crafts) toothbrush!  Pick off as much of the big pieces, then gently brush off the remaining paper.

 Mark where the ends of the roll meets and make sure they aren't on the fold, gently press down.  I have arthritis in my hands and wrists pretty bad, so this is where I use my second high tech gadget ~ an old rolling pin to get a nice crease in the cardboard!

Well, it gives a nice crease, but I need for it to go from this (top) to this (bottom,) what's a scrapper to do?
We improvise!  Now, this is not the only time I use an iron - in fact, this is my craft iron and craft board!

Use a hot setting, but not on steam - NO WATER  on the paper and you will want to press hard and quickly because remember, this is paper!!  So press for a few seconds, pick up the iron, another few seconds until you have a nice flat pocket and no longer a tube.  "Why not go right from brushing off the paper to the ironing step?"  Great question!  There is 1 out of every 4 tubes that need a tad of glue on the inside and if you just go for the big squish and go from taking 4 minutes to 2 minutes (this is really very quick to do!) chances are you will end up with more that need gluing and it is so much easier to glue them before they are flat!  And, for gluing, I use an ever so tiny dab of glossy accents.  Use whatever you use, but only a very small amount, let dry and then move to the next steps.
 So ~ here we are ~ time to have fun!!
I usually have enough made up in advance to put pockets in cards when needed or make little scrap books.

Measure roll, mine are 4 1/4" x 6" by the time you roll it around.

I love my Xyron for this step or even spray adhesive, glue or tape ~ whatever you have and use. Roll the tube, carefully aligning the paper and the tube.  I use my high tech rolling pin again to make sure all of the air bubbles are out of the adhesive and it is on good and tight!

Before decorating, I  punch the holes in the tube.  If I'm making a TP Album, I use my Zutter Bind It All.  In a Book or card for a pocket, I would use my Crop A Dile or a hole punch.

This was my first tutorial!  I hope it made sense, and you are able to make your own pockets and Mini Albums!  I had a lot of fun!  Thanks so much for popping by!



  1. I will have to give this a try. Thank you so much for your great tutorial, Donna! *HUGS*

  2. What a cute use for those TP rolls. I use them for crackers buy never considered they would make a cute pocket. I'm thinking it would be perfect for a gift card, too...all gussied up! xo Diana

  3. Hi Donna,
    What a great idea! I love that you make little albums from these. Thanks for sharing this idea.


  4. Awesome tutorial Donna!!! Thanks :)

  5. Well you are just too clever Donna. Thanks for popping over and your words of encouragement.

  6. Your tutorial was GREAT Donna and what a neat idea recycling toilet paper rolls. I've never seen this before!! Hope you have a wonderful day my friend, Gail

  7. Hi Donna,

    What a neat idea! I might burn the house down though ironing cardboard :-) Wonderful tutorial and happy crafting!

  8. Oh my sweet Donna!
    This tutorial is AMAZING! How creative and talented you are! It's a wonderful idea to "re-purpose" toilet paper rolls into many beautiful projects. I just love this! Thank you so much for your attempt to make this tutorial for everyone!!
    Love and hugs,
    LS xoxoxoxoxo