Fun projects using toilet paper rolls

Green minded families may look over the recycling bin and see one of the most simple of craft supplies; the toilet paper roll. It is also one of the most plentiful. Whether you create a garage of Grand Prix toilet paper roll race cars or a tangle of octopus, a project that reuses empty toilet paper rolls reduces the clutter in your home.

  • Make a set of binoculars from two toilet paper rolls. Paint each roll with tempera or acrylic paints and let them dry.
  • Glue the two rolls together with strong craft glue. When the glue is dry, punch a hole in each side near the top of the binoculars and tie a length of yarn or string from one side to the other so that the binoculars will fit comfortably over a child's head.
  • Paint the toilet paper roll any colour you choose. Flatten it, and then use scissors to cut up from the bottom of one the creases - stopping halfway.
  • Make the same cut on the other side. You will be left with two flaps. Pick up and pinch open the roll to renew the cylinder shape. Make three evenly spaced cuts for the octopus legs.
  • Cut straight up, again stopping at the halfway point. Fan out the "legs." Wind each cardboard leg around a pencil to curl it slightly upward. Glue on wiggle eyes (movable plastic eyes found in craft stores) and draw a mouth beneath them. Use some paper dots from the catch tray in your hole puncher to glue some suckers under each leg.
  • Paint a toilet paper tube with acrylic paint to give a glossy effect for the finish of a toilet paper roll race car. Cut a 5cm long and 2cm wide oval, slightly forward of the centre of the tube, for a cockpit.
  • Cut four 2cm circles from black craft paper, and attach the paper "tires" to the race car with brass fasteners (found where office supplies are sold).
  • Push the fasteners through the centres of each paper tire, and then push them through the race cars where the wheels belong and open both sides of each fastener to secure.
  • Add number stickers and race-car-inspired touches like lightning bolts and racing stripes to the race cars.
  • Old toilet paper roles can be used to make a beautiful sunflower craft. To create the stem of your sunflower, cut a piece of green craft paper the right size to cover the toilet paper roll and secure it with tape.
  • Create the petals of the sunflower by tracing your child's handprints onto yellow craft paper. Repeat this until you have six sets of handprints and cut them out.
  • Then arrange these handprints in a circle (fingers out), on a paper plate, and secure them with tape. Glue a small amount of the sunflower seeds in the middle of your flower, and tape the sunflower to the toilet paper roll stem.
  • Create an amazing craft rocket out of a toilet paper roll. Completely cover a toilet paper tube with craft paper in a colour of your choice, and secure in place with glue.
  • Cut four slits, equally apart (about 4-5cm) on one end of the tube. Cut two triangles out of the craft paper, measuring about 10-12cm long and 8–10cm tall.
  • Then cut a slit in each of the two triangles, halfway through each triangle. For one of the triangles, begin this slit at the point end, and for the other triangle, begin the slit at the base.
  • Slip the triangle with the slit at the bottom into the bottom of the rocket, using two of the slits. Next, slip the other triangle into the remaining slits, and the two triangles should also be able to slip into each other.
  • Cut a circle out of your craft paper, slightly wider than the mouth of your rocket, and cut a slit halfway through the circle. Secure this into a cone, and glue it to your rocket. Now, decorate with markers or paint and stickers.