Hands On: Recycled Elf Gift Tube

Olivera Bratich
The craft project also provides a cute decoration for the recipient.

Holidays are the perfect time to practice crafting skills, and this project lets you get creative with your gift packaging! Cardboard tubes are classic kids craft staples, and with this project you can make a decorative item that serves a function as well.


  • Empty cardboard tube (paper towel or toilet paper roll)
  • Small piece of cardboard or heavy construction paper
  • Colored construction paper
  • Pompom
  • Double-stick tape
  • Tacky glue
  • Markers


  1. Trace the bottom of the roll onto a piece of cardboard or heavy construction paper. Cut out and tape the circle to the roll, creating a bottom.
  2. Measure and cut a 3-inch-wide strip of green construction paper.
  3. Wrap the green paper around the bottom of the roll, using double-stick tape to keep it in place. Cut off any excess.
  4. Cut two small triangles and tape them to the top on either side of the tube for ears.
  5. Measure and cut a 2-inch-wide strip of construction paper for the elf's face. Repeat step three.
  6. Form a cone from colored paper and fit it to the top of the tube for a hat. When you have found the right size, use double-stick tape to hold the cone together.
  7. Glue a pompom to the top of the cone and fit it into the top of the roll.
  8. Cut out a collar and belt from coordinating construction paper or ribbon and secure them with tape or glue.
  9. Use markers to draw a face with a red nose.
  10. Remove the hat and fill with holiday gifts or treats.


OLIVERA BRATICH owns Wholly Craft, 3515 N. High St. The Clintonville shop features handmade goods from more than 200 crafters and artists, including clothing, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, home décor and more. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, go towhollycraft.com or call 614-447-3445.