DIY kids crafts: a fun way to recycle your leftover toilet paper rolls

Leftover toilet paper rolls are a great supply to use for kids crafting. Here we'll share two fun projects for you to do with your little ones: some super cool super hero arm cuffs, and a magical unicorn. 

Every parent can put “party planner” on their resume. From large family gatherings to the ever chaotic elementary-aged bashes; we all release a sigh of relief when we can finally put away the balloons for another year. 

It’s not just the time commitment needed to plan a party, that can put a strain on parents. From a financial standpoint, these celebrations can be expensive. And if you have multiples, you will be strapped even more so. 

But alas, there is hope. Why not save your money and the planet at the same time? By repurposing toilet paper rolls, you can plan a cost-effective activity for your child and their guests. These three listed toilet paper roll activities could serve as your guest’s take home favor as well, replacing gift bags if you so choose. 

Regardless of your child’s party theme, explore these three crafts to use at your next birthday bash.

Materials needed:

  • Toilet paper rolls, cleaned of residual toilet paper
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Card stock
  • Paint; variety of colors of your choosing
  • Paint brushes (for paint and glue application)
  • Printer
  • News paper
  • Craft knife
  • Clear tape and thick tape (masking or painters)
  • White glue and hot glue gun
  • Loose glitter
  • Colourful tissue paper
  • Decorations of your choosing (plastic jewels, stickers, crayons, markers, ribbon, pomp oms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes)

Super hero bracelets
What child doesn’t enjoy a little bit of make believe on a rainy day? With these DIY super hero bracelets, your child and their guests will have a great time saving the universe, one living room at a time. A simple craft which can be suitable for both boys and girls, ages six and up. 

Here’s how you do it:

Before the party begins
Cut your toilet paper roll clean down the middle. Next, cut evenly in half. 
Using your painters or masking tape, attach the two pieces together taping on the inside to make a large, circular tube which is large enough to fit on your child’s wrist.

Stuff your tube with newspaper. This helps to prevent your super hero bracelet from getting too soggy during the painting stage. 

Paint your toilet paper rolls, whichever colour you think would go best with your party theme. By paining in advance of the party, your party guests will enjoy the decorating stage of the super hero bracelet’s, while avoiding unnecessary party-attire paint-sabotage.

During the party
Now that your guests have arrived and your super hero bracelets are dry, it’s time to decorate!

Using an equal mixture of water and white glue, paint a thin layer over the super hero bracelets. Next, have your guests cover their bracelets in loose glitter. Your super hero’s in the making can then glue on additional jewels, stickers, ribbons or pompoms to create their unique super hero look. 

Once crafts have dried, remove newspaper and tape. Now your guests are capable of defending your house from any ‘bad guy’ that may come their way.

For a more elegant toilet paper craft session, why not try your hand at a unicorn?

This craft might be too advanced for younger kids, and is more suitable for ages eight and up. 

Unicorn Paper Roll craft

Photo: Cut Out and Keep

Before the party
Print out enough of these unicorn heads for each party guest. Glue, tape or staple to your toilet paper roll. There are a variety of colors available.
Cut strips of different colored tissue paper so that your guests can make their unicorn manes.

During the party

  1. Have your guests make their unicorn mane by picking strips of previously cut tissue paper and sticking to a strip of tape. Next, close the loop and staple to the head of the unicorn.
  2. Cut out the unicorn horn and fold. Glue to your unicorn head. Your mythical creature should be almost done at this point.
  3. Have your guests make their unicorns unique using stickers, glitter, markers, crayons or pompoms.

Your guests will be thrilled with the result of their crafting. 

If this craft is too advanced for your party goers, try your hand a simpler butterfly doll.

Butterfly dolls

This craft is best suited for a younger crowd, say kindergarten-aged. 

Before the party
To organize a smooth craft session, paint your tubes a variety of colors before the party, and allow to dry. Additionally, using your cardstock, pre-cut the butterfly wings and squares of tissue paper. Scissors and five-year-olds don’t mix. 

During the party

  1. Have your party guests choose their butterfly body. Next, distribute the butterfly wings to each child.
  2. Help the children apply watered-down glue (equal parts of each) onto their cardstock. Next, they can begin adding pieces of tissue paper onto their cardstock to create the colorful butterfly wings.
  3. While the wings are drying, the antennas can be crafted. Have each child pick two sticks of pipe cleaner and two pompoms. Using your hot glue gun, glue one pompom to the top of each pipe cleaner and let dry, (additional helping hands would be useful).

**Break for birthday cake**

While the kiddos are distracted with plates of cake, have your helper glue the wings, antennas and googly eyes to each child’s butterfly body.
Once cake has finished, invite the children back to the craft area to add a mouth to their butter fly using crayons or markers. Finish by encouraging their creative side, to add some ‘pizzazz’. Glitter, markers, crayons or stickers are all great ideas to enable each child to produce their own unique butterfly doll.

You are now ready to wow your birthday girl or boy and their guests with your DIY toilet paper roll crafts. With the basics under your belt, you can try different craft themes that may be better suited for your party theme or age of children. For even more success on the day of you event, have one of your toilet paper roll crafts already made to show the kids the fun that they are in for. Enjoy!