How to Make Spiral Wound Paper Tubes

Updated February 21, 2017

From protective packaging to toilet paper to fireworks, paper tubes have useful applications. They can be made in various strengths and sizes, and can be coated for durability and water resistance. They can also be made of very inexpensive material to reduce consumer cost. There are two types of wound tubes: parallel wound and spiral wound. Simply put, spiral wound is how the tube onto which paper towels are wrapped is made, while parallel wound is how the towels are wrapped to the tube. Spiral wound tubes are weaker than well-made parallel wound tubes.

Fold a rectangular piece of paper in half horizontally and then in half vertically.

Unfold the paper. Lay it flat in front of you.

Cut the top and bottom apart by cutting the centre horizontal fold line. Set one piece aside.

Mark the lower left corner "A," the lower centre corner "B," the upper centre "C" and the upper right "D" on the remaining piece of paper.

Make a cut from the lower left corner "A" to the top, centre, fold line point "C."

Cut again from the lower middle fold line "B" to the top right "D," creating a diamond-shaped paper. Set aside.

Lay the remaining piece of paper in front of you. Make the same marks on it as you did on the first piece of paper.

Repeat the cuts on the remaining piece of paper.

Lay one diamond shape flat and spread glue in a half-inch strip down its left side (from point "C" to point "A").

Lay the other diamond shape's right side on top of the glued strip so that its point "D" covers the lower paper's "C," and its point "B" covers the lower paper's "A."

Wait for the glue to dry.

Lay the paper flat vertically, and set the dowel near the top tip.

Hold the tip of the paper firmly against the dowel, and begin rolling toward you.

Brush glue onto the entire remaining flat paper after one revolution around the dowel.

Continue wrapping until all of the paper is rolled up.

Wait for the glue to dry completely.

Slide the tube off the dowel.

Paint the finished tube with glue for a protective finish or leave it plain.


Dowel size will correspond exactly to the diameter of your paper tube. Glue additional lengths of diamond shaped paper to the original pieces to make a thicker, stronger tube.

Things You'll Need

  • Brush-on adhesive
  • Paper
  • Scissors
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Ann LaPan travels exuberantly in body and mind via planes, trains, automobiles and superb literature. A webmaster, website designer, graphic artist, accountant and musician (Jill of all trades, master of a few), she writes Today’s Horoscope for Shooting Star