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How To Turn Old Cardboard Mailing Tubes Into Storage Solutions: Five Ideas

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If your home or business is littered with old cardboard mailing tubes, there are a range of ways that you can reuse them. In particular, you can convert your old mailing tubes into useful storage solutions. Here are five storage ideas to inspire you.


Children produce a lot of artwork, especially during their early school and preschool years. To keep their artistic efforts organized, consider putting their artwork in a cardboard mailing tube. This allows you to roll the art rather than fold it, so you don't have to worry about creases. Additionally, it takes up less room than using a large box that allows you to stack the artwork on top of each other without folding it.

As an added bonus, if you decide you want to pare down your child's art collection, you can use a few old cardboard mailing tubes for their intended purpose and send the art to relatives.

Drawer Organization

Tired of drawers with lots of untamed piles and unorganized items? Then, it may be time to organize your drawers with some old cardboard mailing tubes. To start, measure the depth of your drawer, and cut your mailing tubes into a series of small tubes that are slightly shorter than the depth of the drawer.

Arrange the small pieces of tubes standing upright in the drawer. Ideally, you should have enough tubes so that they fit tightly and stand on their own. Once they are in place, you can use these tiny tubes to hold paper clips, screws, nails or any other small items.

Wall Cubbies

In lieu of organizing a drawer, you can make small organizational wall cubbies in a similar way. To create these, cut up your mailing tube up so that you have a bunch of small tubes. Then, find a basic wooden frame shape -- you can make your own using four pieces of wood organized into a square or rectangle.

Fit the tubes into the frame, and use a bit of glue along their sides to hold them together. Finally, hang the whole thing on your wall, and you have instant cubbies for jewelry, socks, little toys or other small items.

Alternatively, you can forgo the frame and affix tubes of different sizes directly onto your wall. Cut the cardboard mailing tubes so they stick out a few inches from the wall, and then, glue them directly to your wall.

Shoe Organization

If your tubes are large enough, you can even use them to make a shoe rack. Repeat the instructions above, but fill your invention with shoes when you are done.

In addition to making a shoe rack, you can also use old cardboard mailing tubes as shoe trees. In particular, these long tubes work great with knee-high boots. When you are not wearing your boots, slip the cardboard tubes in them. The tubes will hold the leg of your boots upright, preventing your boots from losing their shapes.

Holiday Light Holders

If you have long strings of holiday lights, you can use old cardboard mailing tubes to keep them organized. Simply wrap the strands of lights around the tube -- when you get out the lights next year, they will be easy to unwind. In contrast, if you had just thrown them into a box, they would likely be filled with knots and tangles.

You can also use old cardboard mailing tubes to organize string, yarn or other long and unwound items. To keep small items such as yarn in place, cut a small notch in one end of the tube. Then, when you are finished wrapping the yarn around the mailing tube, slip one end of it in the notch, and that will hold it in place and prevent it from unraveling.