Today I was looking for some long skinny tubes to package my Oversized Tatting Needles. I basically just want something to protect them in a bubble mailer and make them a bit more resistant to being bent by reckless mail handling. I actually found some nice Kraft crimp tubes, but to have them sent to my house was more than the cost of the tubes themselves. This is how I came to be sitting on the floor of my studio making tubes today. They turned out much cuter than a plain old brown tube and they are strong enough to offer some protection in the mail. Here's what I did...
I gathered the following materials:
pretty wrapping paper (nothing too flimsy), scissors, tape, cover stock, paper cutter, a dowel or something the size you want your finished tube to be, and a stapler which I forgot to put in the photo.
I'm making tubes to hold 12" by 3/16" needles, so in other words, long and skinny. I'm using 8 1/2" by 11" cover stock, but you might need larger paper for a larger tube.
I cut my paper in half lengthwise. Have enough paper so that when you roll it up, it will be two or three layers thick. The thicker the tube, the stronger the tube, so consider what you want and need in a finished product. I'm rolling mine up around a half inch dowel, so 4 inches is plenty.
Then I tape the edge of my cover stock to the edge of my decorative wrapping paper. I've cut the wrapping paper with a two inch allowance on either end to give me the extra room I need for my needles (they're 12" and my paper is 11 1/2") and for closing up the tube.
I cut the wrapping paper half an inch to an inch beyond the opposite edge of my cover stock. If you are making a thick tube and do not wish to waste wrapping paper, you may want to wait until after you have rolled your tube and then over it with the wrap. Since I'm making a small tube, I'm rolling the papers together. I'm also happy for the extra bit of thickness that the wrapping paper provides.
Now you can roll up your tube starting at the taped edge. Do your best to avoid rolling at an angle so that all of your edges are straight. It's nice to have a little piece of tape affixed to the opposite edge. Then you can roll right over it and have your tube held in place while you finish taping.
Tape down the rest of your long edge. You may need a pencil or something skinnier than your tube to push out what ever you have used to gauge the size of your tube.
Flatten your tube about 1" from one end and fold over about half an inch.
Staple the end closed and leave the other end open for now. When it comes time to use your tube, you can fill it and then close the other end in the same way.
There you have it; tubular packaging.
It's pretty and it gets the job done!