Anyone who works with children on a daily basis has probably looked at toilet paper rolls before throwing them away and decided to save them to be used for a craft. Plentiful, inexpensive and easy to use, toilet paper rolls are great to have on hand when making creations for the holiday season. Here are some simple crafts that kids of all ages can create from this versatile craft material.
Cut a toilet paper roll into thirds and use one section to make one drum. Cover one open end of the tube with white or beige felt cut in a circle a little bigger than the opening itself. Glue the circle onto the end of the tube with hot glue. Next, cut a rectangle shape of 1 1/3 inches by 5 1/2 inches out of colourful felt. Glue the felt with hot glue to cover the surface of the tube covering any of the white or beige felt that overlaps the side of the drum. Use ribbon and glitter to decorate the outside of the drum in a zig-zag pattern. Make a loop with ribbon and glue the ends of the loop onto the side of the drum to create a hanger on the ornament.
Use the toilet paper roll as a base to create a stand-up Santa, angel, or reindeer character. Print either a colour or black and white template and cut out the shape. Glue the cut out character using white glue onto the toilet paper roll. If using a black and white template, the child will need to colour the character before gluing it on to the toilet paper roll. Put more detail on the character using ribbon, pom-poms, glitter and material. The when grouped together the characters make great table centre pieces or can be used to mark place settings.
Napkin Rings and Candles
Cut into thirds, toilet paper rolls are the perfect size for napkin rings. Cover the sections of the rolls with construction paper using glue and tape, and then decorate the rings using stickers, stamps, beads, ribbon and glitter. To create Advent and Kwanzaa candles, wrap construction paper around whole toilet paper tubes and glue a paper flame to the top of the covered candle. Decorate several candles using traditional symbols and colours to be used as part of a holiday display.
For simple Christmas crackers, fill toilet paper rolls with inexpensive trinkets, toys and candy. To keep the treats inside the roll, stuff each end of the cracker with a cotton ball. Wrap tissue paper around the roll, leaving about an inch and a half at either end to gather with ribbon and then glue the edge down. Decorate the cracker with stickers, glitter and ribbon, and use as favours over the holiday season.
Snowman Table Decoration
A snowman decoration can easily be made by cutting a white toilet paper roll into thirds and gluing the three sections sideways on top of each other using hot glue. Once the snowman body is dry, decorate the snowman using pipe cleaners for arms, an egg carton section painted black for a hat and googly eyes.
Variations of these crafts can be made to suit any season, theme or occasion with minimal preparation. All it takes is a little glue, some construction paper and a lot of imagination to turn empty toilet paper rolls into something kids enjoy creating.