Recycling is one of the best ways to minimize waste, but unfortunately, not everything can be recycled, such as toothpaste tubes. In 2020, Tom's of Maine will release the first-ever, fully recyclable tube, but until then, there are some fun and easy toothpaste tube crafts you can try at home to upcycle old tubes.
Why Can't You Recycle Toothpaste Tubes?
Currently, toothpaste tubes are unable to be recycled because most are made of a mixture of plastics and aluminum, as CNN reports. However, Colgate has finalized designs for a new toothpaste tube made entirely from recyclable materials. Tom's of Maine will release the new design in 2020, and all other Colgate products will switch to recyclable packaging by 2025.
4 Easy Toothpaste Tube Craft Ideas
These fun toothpaste tube projects not only take a small step toward helping the planet, but they're also a great way to get kids thinking about the importance of reducing waste and learning how to give new life to items that are usually tossed away. Here are four creative solutions for recycling toothpaste tubes.
1. Tooth Fairy Pouch
After your kids do all that work to keep their baby teeth clean, it's important to keep them safe until the Tooth Fairy comes to collect them. Use that empty toothpaste tube to make a Tooth Fairy pouch to leave on a nightstand for the Tooth Fairy's visit. Not only is this one of the cutest toothpaste tube crafts for kids, but it also makes it so much easier for the—ahem—Tooth Fairy to collect teeth instead of reaching under a pillow.
To get started you will need:
- An empty toothpaste tube
- Permanent marker
- Hot glue
First, cut off the top end of the tube, then clean it and dry it out. Next, make a slit on each side of the tube, starting at the top of the open end and cutting one inch down. You should now be left with two 1-inch flaps. Then, cut one of those flaps off. You can use scissors to round the edges of the flap that is left. Once you've finished this, it's time to decorate.
I spray painted the tube and then had my daughter draw over it with permanent marker so that it could be personalized just for her. After the decorations are complete, cut a small square of Velcro and glue one side to the inside of the top flap and the other side to where the flap should line up when you fold it over. Now, you can close it up and keep those tiny teeth safe inside until the Tooth Fairy pays a visit!
2. Icing Tube
Toothpaste is an important tool in your bathroom routine, but the tube itself can be very handy in the kitchen. One simple way of recycling toothpaste tubes is to use them for frosting cupcakes and cookies. Simply snip the sealed bottom off and wash it really well. Then, you can fill the tube with your own homemade icing. The toothpaste tube opening is the perfect size to frost cupcakes or cookies, or to detail cakes.
3. Cutlery Sleeve
The kids can help make the dinner table extra fancy for a special occasion by turning those empty toothpaste tubes into cutlery sleeves. Of course, you'll need to collect a few to make a full set.
- Fabric swatches
- Hot glue
- Buttons or small decorative jewels
First, cut the tops off all the tubes and wash and dry them. Next, measure and cut a rectangle of fabric that can wrap completely around the outside of the tube. Thicker fabrics such as fleece, felt, or flannel will work best so that none of the printing on the tube shows through. Glue the fabric on the tube with a seam meeting along the center of the back of the tube. Then, add some flair by having the kids glue on buttons or jewels. Better yet, cut shapes out of another empty toothpaste tube and place them on silver side out. Slide a silverware set inside, place one next to each plate on the table, and voila!
4. Mini Tote
You can create a fun little toothpaste tube tote using two empty tubes. This is also one of the best toothpaste tube crafts for kids because it helps younger crafters hone their fine motor skills.
For this, make sure you have:
- Hole puncher
- Wide ribbon
First, cut both the top and bottom ends of one toothpaste tube off, and then cut it along the fold length-wise to create one large rectangle. Repeat this with the other empty tube, and wash and dry them. Use the hole puncher to make holes at regular intervals along both of the short sides and one of the long sides on each rectangle. Then, have your kids sew the two pieces together by weaving a long string of yarn through the holes. Tie knots on both ends to secure the yarn. You should be left with a small pouch with an opening at the top. Next, thread some ribbon through the top hole closest to the opening and tie it off. Then, repeat the same on the other side with the end of the ribbon to create a hanging strap for the tote.
Do you love crafting with your kids? Check out other DIY projects you can complete at home on the @tomsofmaine Naturally Crafty Kids Pinterest board!
Image Source: Sher Warkentin
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Why It's Good
Minimizing waste with these fun recycled toothpaste tube crafts is not only a great way to help the environment, but it also offers kids a hands-on lesson in the importance of recycling.