3 Things You Can Make From Caulking Tubes




About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

If you like to fix things yourself, there is a big chance that you have come across a caulking tube or a caulk tube.

Fillet with a silicone, glue, wall filler and other materials, its simple yet ingenious design is perfect for many DIY jobs.

In this Instructable, we'll have a look at 3 thing you can make from empty caulk tubes.

We'll make a:

  • Water Gun
  • Secret Safe
  • Confetti Launcher

If you are Interested in the video version of this Instructable and the embedded video does not appear on your mobile device, here is an alternative link

Step 1: Water Gun

I used a wooden stick to get out the plunger.

Alternatively you can get it out with a pump.

I only reuse caulking tubes that were filled with a water based product as it's much easier to wash them out.

Step 2: Water Gun

I drilled a hole in the plunger and swapped it with the one in the caulk gun.

Step 3: Water Gun

I tied the tube to the gun with cable ties.

The only thing left was put on the nozzle and fill the tube with water.

Step 4: Water Gun

We have made a powerful water gun.

Step 5: Secret Safe

I drilled a hole in the plunger and put in an eye bolt.

That's it!

Step 6: Secret Safe

We have made a secret safe in a caulk tube.

Step 7: Confetti Luncher

I pushed the plunger into the tube.

Step 8: Confetti Luncher

Then I covered it with confetti.

Step 9: Confetti Luncher

I glued a very thin napkin (1 ply of the napkin) on top of the tube to close it.

Step 10: Confetti Luncher

Now all we need is a pump.

A little bit of air and the plunger will shoot out with a "bang" and a confetti cloud.



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    24 Discussions


    : D


    2 years ago

    Fill with concrete add inner rod and you may use them as pillars, reinforced concrete or fire proofing walls afyer te core tube is removed

    Rietha Crafford

    3 years ago

    I use the old tubes for bat one-way chutes. all you need to do is tape a piece of clear plastic to the one end after cutting the very top with the plunger off to create a tube, squash it little down and install it where the bats are entering and exiting in your houses roof at 45 degrees pointing down, seal the rest of the roof to the walls and walla, bats will exiting, but cant re entering. you end up with a bat free roof cavity

    2 replies
    Nate5bRietha Crafford

    Reply 2 years ago

    Nice, I recently had a bat try to move into my house... thanks for the tip

    CatleyRietha Crafford

    Reply 3 years ago

    Great idea! I bet it would also have worked to help us get rid of rats in the garage several years ago, too. They were climbing up a bush to get on the roof and coming in through a hole the builders (why, oh why?) had left at a juncture between two different levels of roofing, which we didn't discover till $1300 of damage had been done under the hoods of our cars.

    But to use it for bats, as you said, is the "pointing down" on the inside or the outside of the house? And I don't understand about taping the clear plastic on one end. Is that to be taped on the outside like a hinge, so that it flaps up to let a bat go out, but then falls back down over the entry hole?

    dieter demeyere

    2 years ago

    Nice hidden compartment option!

    Nobody is gonna break in and steal a tube like that!

    On the other hand I was thinking if somebody else is cleaning up, finding an useless tube, maybe they throw it away :D but maybe I live with stupid people ;)

    thx for the tips! Now I finally can do something with those tubes!


    3 years ago

    Big syringe for all those tricky washing jobs.

    I push the plunger out from the nozzle end then using a short length of say 5-mm threaded rod, fix the plunger to the rod so you have a means of refilling the tube. One use is injecting inhibitor into central heating systems and surpringly, you can get nozzles and tubing adaptors to fit on the cartridge nozzle - brake bleeding, emptying all come to mind.

    What is really needed is some means of stopping the wretched silicone going off once you've opened the tube - these must be the wasteful containers going. I've tried everything from aluminium tape to old nozzles heat sealed to form a cap. Unfortunately, once a sniff of moisture gets in, the polymerisation process starts, and in about a year, you have a nice silicone sausage.

    How many hours must be spent trying to clear a blocked nozzle, if you're tight like me and reuse them.

    A use for all those nozzles is in tile grouting. Cut the pointy end to suit your tile gap and use the end with the flange to get a nice sharp edge to the grout-line.

    Also great for guiding cables down tight ducts or conduit.

    5 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    I use my drill and a drill bit the size of the opening I cut in the nozzle, works a treat. Sometimes I have to cut the nozzle a little shorter and use bit to fit new opening.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Depends on the contents, but I know exactly what you mean.
    Cured silicone can come out in a satisfying plug - there must be a use for it - solvent free grab adhesives are the worst with drill bits, clags up the bit, screwdriver, woodscrew, anything to hand. Sometimes, it's easier just to put a new nozzle on. If you can clear one in use, you can build up a collection of spares. You know you are on a loser when the contents come out of the plunger end.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi PhilS43: The way to keep the silicone from going off is: Once you have finished using it, find some strong plastic, eg, like you get in ziplock bags, and as you take the nozzle off the tube, put the plastic straight over it, and screw the nozzle back on over the plastic. The caulk in the nozzle will go off, but it is usually fairly easy to get that out. If you are using it again, say the next day, just some insulation tape over the nozzle will keep it for a few hours. I have used this technique very successfully for months at a time.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for that.
    I have tried the plastic over the nozzle thing as well.
    Some silicones, neutral cure, will keep for a long time, but others, as soon as you cut that top off, that's it.
    You've probably noticed that on warm humid days, you have to work fast to tool it off. I wonder if the stuff would ever go off in very dry desert air?
    I guess you just have to use it for the job in hand and if it keeps, it's a bonus.
    I gone over now to what they describe as modified silicones, Dow Corning "The Works" is an example. Messy, keep well and are paintable, plus great adhesive, and work well on worktop joints.


    3 years ago

    Thanks for your sharing your ideas! Since the time I discovered Oogoo (https://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/) I am worried about what to do with the empty tubes. There are also some great suggestions in the comments.


    3 years ago

    I use a bit of hose and my compressor to remove the plunger, clean and fill the tube with drywall joint compound to get into tight spaces and large gap filling using my cordless caulk gun. And as mentioned, grouting.

    Have used it for other things but won't mention them because the self proclaimed instructable safety police will have a field day citing why you can't . . . because. . .

    2 replies

    3 years ago

    I was thinking you could use a rubber band instead of glue. And maybe a piece of plastic from a grocery bag if you wanted to increase the pressure before the bang a little bit. I'll have to try this one!