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11 Jan 2013
Stretching your duct tape: The cardboard center
Stretch you duct tape by using these cardboard centers|sophie-world.com

If you’re a duct tape user, there’s that sinking feeling you get as you watch your tape dwindle to the last little-paper backed swatch of tape, leaving you with a plain, naked cylinder of incredibly sturdy cardboard. But have no fear! Those leftover center tubes can be used in an array of fantastic crafts. If you are like me, and you use a lot of tape, you’ll want to start a bag or box where you can keep these cast-aside treasures for later projects such as these.


Create a desk organizer out of the cardboard centers|sophie-world.com

Desk Organizer
You’ll want at least six roll centers for this project, and one roll of standard duct tape. You’ll also want some sort of glue (preferably hot glue) and a piece of cardboard (possibly cut from a cereal box, or the like). To save yourself time, don’t pull the last little dregs of tape from the roll, just leave them -- that way they are covered already and you won’t have to use more tape to do so. Glue three of the rolls together end-to-end to make a 6-inch tube, glue two of the rolls together to make a 4-inch tube, leave one just the way it is. For extra security, add a strip of tape around each juncture. Take your cardboard and arrange your three tubes on top of it, either lined up, one in front of the other, or in a little triangle. Trace around the configuration and trim your cardboard. Cover the cardboard with duct tape if you wish, then glue your three tubes in place with hot glue (remember, always use adult supervision). Put scissors, rulers, and longer items in the 6-inch tube, put pens and pencils in the 4-inch tube, and place erasers, rubber bands, thumbtacks, paper clips, and other small things in the 2-inch tube. You’ll have a beautiful desk organizer before you can say, “I’m on a roll!”...


you can create a game using the cardboard centers|sophie-world.com

Carnival Game
I love this one (link to photos from earlier blog)! Take a box (like an orange crate) and line up a bunch of center rolls. With this, you can play a bunch of games: either toss ping pong balls and see if you can make them stay in the holes, use wiffle balls and try for tic-tac-toe three in a row, or put point values on the inside of each roll and toss three pennies to see if you can add up to a certain number (like 7 or 11, odds or evens, etc.). It’s such a simple way to make a carnival game.


Create a bracelet using the cardboard center|sophie-world.com

Wrapped Bangle
Take some yarn or ribbon and tape or glue one end to the inside of the roll. Wrap the yarn or ribbon around and around the roll until the entire tube is covered. Wear to your next fancy event!


Create this very cute shelf with the cardboard centers|sophie-world.com

Tiny Toy Keeper Shelf
Again, I like actually leaving the last bits of duct tape on the roll so that I don’t have to cover each roll, but you could always paint the cardboard if you like. You’ll need a piece of sturdy cardboard, as many roll centers as you can muster, and two pop-tops from a soda can (remove them by rocking them back and forth until they snap off the can top). Arrange the centers in rows on the cardboard and cut cardboard to size. Decorate the cardboard by covering it in duct tape if you want. Decorate the inside of the rolls with tape, felt, paint -- whatever you want! Glue tape centers to the cardboard and to each other row by row. When dry, flip over and secure in each top corner of the cardboard one pop top (use hot glue and then secure with tape when cool). Add a ribbon through the pop tops to hang, or just hang up with thumbtacks through the pop tops. Fill with fun little toys in each cubby.


Create a simple drum using a cardboard center|sophie-world.com

Tiny Drum
Take a balloon and cut in half. Stretch the balloon “bather’s cap” over the center roll and secure with tape. Use a pencil as a drumstick.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can do with these amazingly sturdy, squat little tubes! So next time you are thinking about tossing the empty rolls, think twice... you just might be able to use them for something really cool.