Toilet Paper Roll Book (with pull tabs)


An amazing scrapbooking friend of mine (who has known me my entire life) made some adorable miniature scrapbooks for all of my little sister’s friends for their graduation a few years ago. I had completely forgotten about them until I was in my sister’s bedroom last week, hunting for some sunglasses to borrow. I was so excited to find her little toilet paper tube book because I just knew that we could do a million learning activities with these little books.

I chose “colors” for this particular book and I had everything on hand except for the binder rings.  I made it to use as an interactive book for Big Brother to cut out pictures of objects in various colors and glue to the inside pull-tab part of the book.  You could also follow these same directions for letters, numbers, shapes, and even pictures family members! It’s extremely versatile, just like the Plastic Baggie Books.

Here’s what you’ll need:  lots of toilet paper tubes (one for every page), scrapbook paper, glue, 2 binder rings, scissors (or a paper cutter), and a set of multicolored file tab dividers. Optional:  return address mailing labels, decorative ribbon, and pictures of your kiddo.

1. Collect your toilet paper rolls, tearing off as much of the leftover toilet paper as you can. Apparently, Cottonelle doesn’t tear off very well. 
2. Flatten and place underneath a heavy object overnight. I placed ours underneath our Bible basket.
3. Gather a piece of scrapbook paper in every size and cut it down to be exactly the same width as the toilet paper roll.
4. Use a glue stick to glue the paper over the flattened toilet paper tube.
Now get your file tab dividers…I happened to have a package downstairs with all my teaching stuff.
5. Cut the width to fit inside the toilet paper tube with the divider centered. Wait to cut the length until after you have the book put together.
6. Use a hole punch to punch 2 holes in each covered toilet paper tube.
7. Attach the binder rings.
8. Measure the length of the tab dividers to fit inside. Cut.
I used return address mailing labels (which I already had on hand) to print out the names of the colors.
I also took a picture of Big Brother wearing a shirt of each color, except purple…we don’t own a purple shirt apparently.
All done and ready to add our collage in the inside tabs!
Now I just have to gather magazines, stickers, and pictures for Big Brother to cut out and glue on the corresponding color page!


  1. What a wonderful activity!!! I love the idea of reusing old toilet paper tubes. They'll be super sturdy! Thanks for sharing, Jenae!

  2. This is SUCH a cute idea and so simple! I might have to start saving tp rolls for this!

  3. I imagine that since it is toilet paper rolls the holes will be pretty sturdy, but I might add the reinforcement hole stickers just to be sure. I LOVE this activity and am posting it to my FB page.

  4. Love this! This would be great for my18 month at church! Im trying to think of a biblical theme that would work for this! Any ideas are appreciated We had a christmas story book with pull outs that he liked to bring to church but it has fallen apart! This would be a great replacement!

    1. Use words from the bible. Like. Bible, ark, pray, love, Jesus, angel, etc.
      Or the books of the bible. Lastly tell the stories of the bible. Like Daniel and the lions den. Make it super simple version of the story with pictures.

  5. Wow! Another good one Jenae. I'm gonna try to switch this up and make a graduation book for the preschoolers going to big school next year. Get them to decorate it and I'll add in the photos.

  6. LOVE IT!!! Gonna share on fb with my Mommy friends. I love your blog. As a mommy and a teacher, I love all the fun learning activities. :) Thank you so much for all your work in sharing.

  7. What a great idea! And so adorable! I can see so many different ways to use this. It would make a great gift. I could also use it in my classroom. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Fabulous idea! I love it and can't wait to use this in our school! Pics to come… TY and happy learning! :)

  9. Fabulous idea although our state regulations do not allow us to use toilet paper rolls for any art activity (bathroom germs, ecoli, etc). But I do have many paper towel rolls and I will get working on the books…would also be great for numbers, learning family names with pics etc…thanks for the great idea.

  10. Hey you can buy those colored tabs and stick them on regular tagboard – less waste than cutting up a whole divider page. They come about 100 to a bag and are relatively inexpensive. Just a thought!

  11. Very creative. As a second grade teacher, I instantly thought of synonyms. On the front of the roll could be a common word used in writing: good. ON the tab, students write synonyms: great, wonderful, magnificant. THis could be used to help them improve their writing.

  12. This is the cutest thing. I love it and think that a lot of mom's would love this too!The home school coach

  13. I'm going to use this with the kids I nanny. They are just learning English and this will be a great activity to do together :)

  14. I am going to try this using old paint swatches as the insert. Thanks for the idea – looks like lots of fun!

  15. I love these ideas. Words do not express how creative, simple, easy, and fun I have
    with my grandchildren. Especially the balloon terrarium.

  16. Thanks for your excellent ideas. I’m making the color tp tube book for my 2 year old. Can’t wait to see her reaction. Thanks for sharing!

  17. This is a fantastic idea that can be used in so many ways. I’d like to make one with names and photos of family members. I’ve pinned this to share the idea with others. Thanks!

  18. Hi there! I’m new to your site and I have loved looking around so far. Definitely bookmarking your page for more ideas! We have a very busy 19 month old and your activities are great. I have been wanting to make him a book that has photos of our family members – I think this toilet paper version might be perfect.

  19. Such a good way to make use of toilet paper rolls rather than just being dumped. This is recycling at its best and you did such an excellent job with it. Thanks a lot for the idea. It somehow gave me inspiration to do the same even to other used products. Hope other people will also do the same to save the environment even in little ways.

  20. I love this idea. I make lapbooks for 5th grade homeschoolers and I’m always looking for new ways to present the information.

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