Cardboard postal tubes are a great example of efficient and cost effective packaging. They are great at protecting longer and thinner products such as posters and blueprints, and help save space in transit.
But what should you do with the tubes after you’ve received your product in the post? Recycling is definitely an option, but wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to release your inner artist and use them to craft something spectacular?
We’ve searched the internet and asked the more creative members of our team to come up with some amazing uses for cardboard postal tubes. These ideas should help you save money, declutter your homes and have some fun!
Stationery storage pots
Tubes cut into sections make ideal storage containers for your ‘bits and bobs’ such as stationery, batteries and toys. These are incredibly simple to make; simply score a line along the outside of the tube, pierce with scissors or a craft knife and then cut along the line.
As with any craft activity that involves using scissors or a sharp knife, children should be assisted by an adult at all times. You may also want to attach a round piece of paper or card at the bottom of each container to avoid damage to walls or surfaces.
On the subject of adults, this next one is for you!
After a long, hard week at work, many of us like to come home and relax on a Friday night with a bottle of wine and takeaway. The only downside is having to stop off at the shops on the way home to buy the bottle.
It’d be great if we could all afford to have a built-in wine rack in our kitchen but if you can’t, don’t worry. Postal tubes make a really simple, attractive and low cost alternative.
You have a bit of license here to design them to suit any room and can alter the size depending on how much space you have. Just like the stationery storage pots, simply cut the tubes into sections of equal sizes and then use string, elastic bands, Sellotape or glue to attach them into a shape of your choice.
When attached together, postal tubes can make quite a sturdy structure. So it makes perfect sense that some crafters have used them to build unique pieces of furniture.
Making pieces of furniture from cardboard tubes will take a little more expertise than the wine rack or stationery pots. Doubleeei, who created the set above, have made hundreds of fantastic sculptures from reused cardboard.
There are a couple of important things to bear in mind when building furniture out of postal tubes. Firstly, despite the picture showing the table and chairs set outside, we would recommend keeping all cardboard furniture indoors or under cover. Unless properly treated, cardboard isn’t waterproof and therefore leaving it outside could spoil it and no one wants to be sat on a chair that suddenly gives way!
Secondly, if you thought it was easy to lose your keys down the back of the sofa, think of how easy it would be to misplace things down postal tubes. Just like in the picture, remember to cover the tops of the tubes with lids or a fabric covering. It won’t hurt to make the chair just a little bit more comfortable!
If creating household storage and furniture doesn’t seem like your idea of fun, you can use postal tubes to create miniature totem poles and go as artistic and creative as you like.
The actual cutting up part of creating the poles is incredibly easy. Just follow the same routine as the stationery pots.
The great thing about these totem poles is that the majority of the work is actually the really fun part; painting your tube. Totem poles are all about creating individual designs, just like Doodlers Anonymous have done with these crazy faces!
Just think of the hours of fun the kids will have and the ideas are limitless.
And a couple more practical suggestions
Reusing postal tubes doesn’t have to be complicated. There are some really simple and practical ways of reusing tubes that require no arts or crafts at all.
When we say practical, we mean things that will make your everyday life easier. Wrapping postal tubes around coat hangers like this will help to prevent crease lines in your clothes.
Or maybe if you’re a keen gardener or have an allotment, a more practical use for you would be to place the tube around the stem of a sapling tree to prevent damage while it grows.
Find your own use
Hopefully, these examples will have shown you the many possibilities to creatively reuse postal tubes. The strength and durability of these packaging products makes them ideal for storage, protection or fun and games.
This kind of creativity gives you a really cheap and safe way of introducing your family to arts and crafts. And as we approach the February half term school holidays, what better time to get crafty with your little ones!