I'm building a pyramid made out of empty toiler paper rolls. I'm creating the pyramid as a bunch of rows, with the first row being a singe tube, the second one has two tubes connected, etc. (When it falls over this makes it a lot easier to reassemble, and makes it more portable (although at 36 rows it's sort of impossible to move.).)

Image of Tubes
Click link in first sentence for full-sized image.

But I need something good to keep the rows together. I've tried using

  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Staples

Each of these was insufficient in some way.


Tape application

This was easily the worst, and also my first. I took two rolls, and a length of tape, and put the tape on the ends, the thin part. Sort of like [/][\]. On both sides.
This didn't work well, as the tape didn't always stick. It also got dirty and fell off. And when the pyramid fell, the tape would often fall off, defeating the purpose.


Glue Application

This was okay (my second try). I glued the rolls to each other by the sides, sort of like []|[].
This worked... meh. The glue took a long time to dry. When the pyramid fell over, the rows would sometimes snap. Not often, but as the glue got older, it started to break more often. And it was very, very, hard to move the position after it dried.


Staples Application

This might be the best so far. I staple them twice, like


(that's two tubes, not four)

They don't take that much effort, and they usually hold. But they tend to fall out/bend if I leave the row bent for any length of time.

Is there something else that I can use that

  • will hold if the row is bent
  • is easy to apply
  • is readily available
  • won't make a mess?
  • Curious, what is the purpose of this? It doesn't really matter in the end but I wonder what you use it for. :D
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 23:15
  • @Catija does there have to be a reason for everything? :P
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 8:38
  • 2
    That response is making me more curious :)
    – Matt
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 11:52

4 Answers 4


Paperclips (even if just from behind, though from both front and behind would be sturdier; each tube would be clipped to all the tubes adjacent to it).

[Edit: oh, btw, the ends of the paperclips should penetrate through the adjacent walls of the tubes for greater stability of the lower rows as the pyramid gets taller]

  • This also allows for partial disassembly making the bigger (36 rows) pyramid portable again. Heavy-duty, higher quality paperclips will hold better for the thicker materials under load, and the non-skid variety will hold stronger still. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 16:05
  • My first thought, and what I use to make "binoculars"
    – user24
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 18:30
  • Just to clarify: The rows aren't attached to the rows above/below, they're just stacked on top of each other. (Except for the top 16 rows, which are glued together.)
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 20:41
  • ok, that just makes using the paperclips that much easier as you're only needing to prevent lateral (left to right) separation. Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 21:16
  • Could you please provide a picture of this method of connecting them?
    – Mithical
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 14:25

Hot Glue

I would think a hot glue gun should work fairly easy for this. It would be simple and quick to apply to the tubes. Dries fairly fast e.i. minutes instead of hours compared to the time the white glue would have taken. You wouldn't need to apply too much.

You can get a gun and sticks easily from craft stores and even dollar stores for cheaper. Even the cheap ones should be fine for this. There are better glue stick out there so depending on how permanent you want this structure to be you might want to opt for better glues.

The only downside to this would be that some glue guns tend to leave glue wisps or tails after applying. I could see this being annoying but it would not change the outcome of the project.

If I have time in the near future I will try an make a smaller scale model of what you are going for there in case there is any trepidation.

  • My problem with the glue is that it breaks when I don't want it to, when the row is bent.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 8:20
  • Is the row getting bent when you are positioning it?
    – Matt
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 11:51
  • Yes, because they've gotten so large that I bend them while putting it up.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 12:01
  • @Mithrandir Have you used hot glue? The picture in your question shows white craft glue which has some different properties after drying (e.g. the joint will break easily if stressed).
    – Erica
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 12:12
  • @Erica not yet. Maybe I'll give it a try.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 12:27

You can tie them by using thread.

Just like:

  • Could you please explain what you mean by [--][--]... ? I don't really understand that.
    – margalo
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 15:33
  • @margalo Refer to the diagram method used in the original question. The answer replicates the Questioner representation of toilet tubes.
    – BeaglesEnd
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 16:09
  • 3
    Pradnya, perhaps expand a little on the method. What sort of thread would be best, the type of needle or threading device, and the best way of tying off the ends (either as most secure, or be able to untie quickly).
    – BeaglesEnd
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 16:12
  • The image shows that the tubes are being used side-by-side, not end-to-end. I don't know that this method will work in securing the tubes together as depicted in the image.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 23:15

A Brass fastener / split pin might do the job. Probably similar to staples, but as they're thicker, maybe they're less likely to bend and fall out.
And of course, you can combine any of the mentioned methods.

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