Today I have a recycling project for you and given the current situation here, something very topical!

I want to say something tongue in cheek like “take one toilet roll, remove the toilet paper, throw it away, and save the tube” because how much do we take this precious resource for granted?  Toilet paper has suddenly become very important given our current lockdown period here where toilet paper is as rare as hen’s teeth.  So instead I will say, save all your precious toilet paper and also save the tubes because you can make pretty and useful projects with them to keep you busy during the lockdown.  I started saving these tubes because I changed TP a few months ago and discovered that these are white inside for some reason.  Seems pointless to me that they would be white inside the tube, but actually very useful if you want to use them in your arts and crafts as it saves painting the insides! So thanks toilet paper tube designers, really appreciate the white inners.   Anyway, the first task is to take a bone folder and flatten the tubes and crease the sides.

To make sure they stay super flat, I wedged them between these clips for a while, not that long, just half an hour or so.

I started painting them with Fresco paints – one side with these yellows and greens.

Then I used my handmade stamps which have featured in a few posts lately as I got a bit obsessed with them, and I even made more for this project!

The inks dry pretty quickly, so I just kept going on the green side

I didn’t take a photo of the pink side without stamping unfortunately, but here are the newest additions to my stamp collection. I made more words to stamp on another project but then decided to use them on this one too.  There is a mistake in one of the words which despite staring at it for hours, I still didn’t see it until after I test stamped it.  Can you see it?

Anyway, I fixed it, and then used this nice brown ink to stamp on the pink and white sides.  That white spiral is also made with one of my stamps.

I decided that these pink sides could do with some more pink, so I added the little pink hearts.

I made a little concertina piece so that I could use that as my spine and then glue all the tubes onto it.

There’s a few different ways of doing this.  I slid the tubes onto each of the folds which I had already folded up and glued, and then glued the tubes in place.

For the cover I cut a piece of kraft card just slightly taller and wider than the tubes and scored it down the middle and then half an inch on either side.  I don’t actually think this is the piece I used but it’s the only photo I seem to have taken of it!

I used more Fresco paints and my brayer and sometimes my fingers, to cover both sides, and then used more of my stamps to stamp the leaves and branches.

The cover and the tube tags are ready to be assembled into a book.

I toyed with the idea of making yet another stamp to make the words on the cover but decided that would take too long and so I just wrote them on by hand.

One more thing I needed to do was remove the twine from the six tags because they aren’t necessary and they’re a bit messy sticking out of the book. Besides I wanted to use them for something else!

I forgot to mention that these tags came from a packet of very cheap luggage tags and are not tags that I made. I took the six pieces of twine, undid the knots and tied all six pieces together with one knot.  Then I separated out three pieces and braided them and knotted the end, and then did the same with the remaining three pieces.

This gives me a piece of braided twine that is long enough to wrap around the book and tie it securely closed.

It’s tight enough to hold the book closed but it’s easy to just slide on and off if you don’t want to be tying and untying the knot.

Here’s a few more views of the inside of the book.  I took photos of most of the pages but I think I might have missed one.

Inside front cover

The next page has a little frame that could be used as a bookplate.


Inside back cover

Sometimes it really is the little things that mean the most.



I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and if you have any toilet rolls, maybe you would like to try your hand at making one of these little books.  If so please leave me a comment below.




I am entering this card in the following challenges:
Funkie Junkie March Challenge – Little Things – it’s a little book of little things 🙂
Mini Album Makers March Challenge – Any Handmade Book Goes – toilet roll tube tag book

Project Recipe

My own stamps!
Paperartsy Fresco Chalk paints
Versafine Clair ink
Archival Ink
From stash: tools for cutting the stamps and the lino, toilet roll tubes, kraft card, packet of kraft tags

7 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Jenny Marples
April 5, 2020 7:12 pm

Elle I love it! Haven’t made one of these in so long and gosh, given how precious toilet rolls are now I guess we should be saving every last bit of them and making more tag books just like this. I love how you’ve decorated yours all ready for the tags. Thank you so much for joining in with the Little Things challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog challenge. Stay safe x

April 2, 2020 10:46 pm

Sweet little book and a perfect use for the toilet paper rolls. Love your handmade stamps and all the happy colours you used. Thanks for joining us at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog.

April 1, 2020 1:52 pm

Brilliant tag book! Love the slide out tags and the up-cycling of the tp tubes! Thanks for playing along in the Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge again!

Sara Emily Barker
March 31, 2020 7:33 pm

I love a good upcycle/recycle project, and your little journal is sweet eye candy! Good for you to make your own stamps. I’m thinking the S is upside down in Namaste? I bet soon crafters won’t be the only ones finding a second or even a third use for what we have. Thank you joining us for our Little Things challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog!

March 29, 2020 9:24 pm

Love this! Such a pretty little book.

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