11 Easy Crafts with Toilet Paper Rolls to Do with Kids!
Everyone has cardboard toilet paper rolls at home, so why not turn them into something beautiful?
Our roundup of crafts with toilet paper rolls provides some inspiration for at-home crafts and rainy-day activities!
Paper towel rolls and toilet paper tubes are a staple in kid crafts. These little cardboard tubes make the best craft supplies. DIY projects using household objects mean you spend less purchasing craft supplies.
Bonus: These crafts double as a fun way to recycle with kids too!
Recyclable Crafts Are Good for Everyone
DIY arts and crafts projects with recyclable materials like toilet paper rolls can teach your kids how to repurpose and reuse objects rather than waste them. Recycled art is a great way to teach your kids about sustainability and encourage their creativity and critical thinking skills.
So, we have some adorable craft projects that are fun and easy to make, featuring toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls for toddlers and preschoolers!
11 Fun and Easy Toilet Paper Roll Crafts
1. Make Your Own Racecar
If your little one loves cars, you’ll love these cardboard roll racecars! This fun craft from Handimania is perfect year-round and easy for your kid to create and customize!
- Toilet paper rolls
- Hole punch
- Small prong fasteners
- Stickers, sequins, decals, etc.
- Have your child paint each cardboard tube and set it aside to dry.
- Draw or trace circles onto the piece of cardboard and cut them out. You will need four for each car. Draw additional smaller circles for steering wheels.
- Paint the wheels black and white or just black for a simpler step.
- Use scissors or a craft knife to create the seat backs.
- Have your child customize their car with stickers, sequins or other decorations!
- Use prong fasteners to attach the wheels.
2. Grow Your Own Plants
I like this idea because you can use many toilet paper rolls at once! Plus, it requires minimal supplies. Growing plants is a wonderful project for the Spring or Fall to teach about plant lifecycles. We found this idea at The Spruce.
Kids love checking the daily progress of the plants. Once you finish the craft, your child can help by watering the plants as needed, teaching them responsibility and independence!
Extend the activity by having your child keep an observation journal of how the plants change over time. Younger kids can draw pictures if they’re not comfortable writing yet.
- TP Rolls
- Shoebox, study plate or tray
- Make a series of 1 to 1 1/2-inch cuts around one end of the roll about half an inch apart. Then, fold the cut sections toward the center of the roll to create the bottom of your mini pot.
- Place seed pots in your shoebox or tray and use twine to fasten them together and stabilize them.
- Fill each pot with soil and moisten the soil. Your child can use a small eye dropper or watering can.
- Add the seeds, pushing them into the soil.
- Once your seedlings start to sprout, re-pot them or plant them outside!
3. Rocket Ships
These homemade rocket ships are the cutest toys to make and play with. Here is a detailed tutorial from Mombrite that includes a printable template.
- Free toilet paper roll rocket template
- Colored construction papers
- Toilet paper roll
- Craft glue
- Download and print out the rocket template. Cut out all the template patterns.
- Using colored paper, trace and cut out the patterns.
- Trace and cut a rectangular piece of paper that is the length and height of the toilet paper roll; the width should be longer than the circumference.
- Assemble the flames and windows using glue.
- Attach the rectangular piece of paper around the roll.
- Arrange windows and flames and glue on to the tube.
- Add the fins and the cone.
4. Quick and Easy Paint Stamps
This easy-peasy and fun craft is satisfying for little hands. You can make homemade Valentine’s Day cards or Christmas cards with the finished product! This is a perfect craft for young kiddos. For more ideas, check out Balzer Designs.
- TP rolls
- Sturdy sticks, 2 per roll, 6-8 inches long
- Bird seed
- peanut butter (or alternative nut butter)
- String or ribbon
- Hole punch
- Punch two holes in one side of the toilet paper roll, aligning them evenly across from each other.
- Punch four holes into the opposite end of the toilet paper roll and align them evenly. This is for the sticks that the birds will perch; put one set a little higher than the other.
- Insert the two sticks into each hole, going in one side and out of the other. Center each stick; they should cross each other like an intersection and stick out enough for a bird to perch on.
- Spread a light layer of peanut butter on the upper part of the toilet paper roll and cover it in birdseed.
- Cut your string to your desired length. Tie your string to the top of the bird feeder through the two holes you cut in step 1.
- Find a spot and hang it outside!
6. Cardboard Tube Bowling
Cardboard tube bowling is a great way to recycle and stay active on a rainy day. It also makes a fun birthday party game for toddlers! While this idea from Craftualte is more of a game than a craft idea, it’s still a great way to reuse empty toilet paper rolls.
- 10 toilet paper rolls
- White contact paper
- Red painter’s or washi tape
- A small ball
- Measure and cut a piece of contact paper big enough to cover each tube.
- Peel the backing off the paper and cover the tubes.
- Use red tape to create the stripes at the top of your pins.
- Teach your child how to set up a 10-pin formation and start bowling!
7. Toilet Paper Roll Castle
Calling all fans of Elsa and Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen!” This paper castle idea from Red Ted Art is the ultimate toilet paper roll craft! It’s a fun way to engage older kids, especially those who love art and building.
Making a toilet paper roll castle is a little more labor intensive than some crafts, but it is something your kid can keep and play with for a long time afterward.
- Paper towel rolls and toilet paper tubes
- Old CDs
- Cone drinking cups
- Square tissue box
- Cardstock paper
- Metallic markers
- Spray or craft paint
- A large piece of foam board
- Break up old CDs and glue the pieces onto the foam board to create an icy base.
- Spray paint the tissue box
- Wrap the tubes in cardstock
- Cover the cones in glue, then coat them in glitter.
- Once dry, attach the cones to the tubes.
- Use metallic markers to add doors, windows, snowflakes and other details.
- Glue all the pieces to the base.
- For a bonus craft, check out this adorable toilet paper roll snowman!
8. Toilet Paper Tube Cats
This cute craft from Molly Moo Crafts is the cat’s meow! Fun and easy to personalize, your kid can make several cute kitties to play with!
- Toilet paper rolls
- White paint
- Fold down the top of each tube to create ears.
- Have your child paint each tube white (or whatever color cat they’d like, but lighter colors work best).
- Once dry, your child can use markers to create their kitty faces and clothes.
9. Paper Roll Turkeys
Holiday crafts are always fun! Get your family in the Thanksgiving mood with these adorable turkeys from The Resourceful Mama. These toilet paper roll turkeys will make an adorable Thanksgiving centerpiece or decoration for years to come!
- Toilet paper rolls
- Googly eyes
- Colored construction paper
- Trace and cut feathers from your colored paper.
- Cut a gobbler and beak.
- Have your child glue the feathers to the back of the roll.
- Let your child glue on the gobble, beak and eyes.
Halloween Toilet Paper Roll Characters
- Yellow hoodie
- Yellow construction paper
- Toilet paper rolls
- Hot glue gun
- Round laundry basket
- Blue poster board
- Peel and stick letters
- Thick yellow ribbon
- Wrap each tube in yellow construction paper.
- Glue the tubes onto a yellow hoodie using hot glue.
- Cut out the bottom of a round laundry basket.
- Cover the basket with blue poster board.
- Attach peel-and-stick letters.
- Attach two strips of yellow ribbon to the basket to create shoulder straps.
Pencil Holder or Vase
This vase craft idea from Karen Monica is cute and practical. She lists the craft as a vase, but you could also use it as a pencil holder, making it a great holiday gift for teachers!
- Toilet paper tube
- Colorful paper straws
- Card stock
- Box knife
- Measure and cut the straws according to your desired length.
- Cut a circle from the cardstock slightly bigger than the bottom of the toilet paper tube and attach it with glue.
- Glue the straws one at a time around the tube.
- Add a pretty piece of ribbon to complete the look.
- Fill with silk flowers, candy, pencils, etc.
Tips for Making Toilet Paper Crafts with Kids
Encourage Imagination, Not Perfection
When kids craft or engage in art, the process should be open-ended and open to interpretation. Many of these projects come with templates and guides. However, avoid showing your child a picture of the finished project.
You want your child to feel free to create their own designs and versions of projects, So if they make a rocketship and put the flames on the roof or a face and add three eyes, that’s OK!
Pick Developmentally Appropriate Crafts
Crafts should also meet your child at their developmental level or just above. They'll become bored if it is too easy, but it will be frustrating if there are too many challenges.
If your kid struggles with cutting, avoid crafts that involve cutting a lot of small pieces or pre-cut the pieces for them. If they don’t like dirty hands, stay away from messy paint projects or offer gloves.
The goal is for your little crafter to have fun while fine-tuning their fine motor skills and developing their creativity and imagination!
For more fun DIY crafts you can do with kids, check out: How to Make Clay: 5 Easy Homemade Clay Recipes!
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