Creativity with Toilet Paper Rolls

Whenever I decide to contact a Community TV station for a science demo or put together a few easy experiments to do with kids, they all involve three things:

  • Science
  • Art
  • Easily found objects from my home or dollar store

Toilet paper rolls are plentiful in my house, especially when all the girls are home.  I save every empty roll.  Every. Last. One.

Although there are some really fun science experiments that can be done with toilet paper rolls, I would like to focus on art in this post.

Even though I consider myself to be an artist, I am not proficient at painting or drawing real life objects.  Fortunately, I have carried over my finger-painting skills from when I was a child.

As a kid, painting with your whole hands is fun mostly because its messy.  As an adult, finger-painting makes us feel like a kid again!  It is essentially play.

Play is one of the best things we can do for our brain.  It’s really difficult to think about anything other than the paper when your fingers are coated in brightly coloured paint. Play makes the time fly and we feel a certain sense of accomplishment or exhilaration when we are done.

If you are one of the finger-painting squeamish, you could use a toilet paper roll and some watercolour paper.

For the picture below, I cut the bottom half of a roll into a hula fringe, with each piece being about a centimetre wide.  After fanning the hula skirt out 90 degrees from the roll, I dipped the fringe into paint that I had poured onto wax paper.

Swirling the fringe around on a piece of paper creates a pretty circular pattern. Once I was I happy with the affect, I dipped the toilet roll paint brush into another colour of paint for more swirls.

I added  blue, green, and purple swirls but I wanted more shapes.  Dipping the end of the paper tube into black paint allowed me to stamp circles all over my paper; that was the start of some serious black paint improv.

Several  finger swirls, dots and circles added some interest to the paper.  Afterward, I grabbed a white gel pen and grease marker and decorated the black shapes.  Some final loops and crossed with a black pen and I was done!

This piece of painted watercolour paper met with the sharp edge of a paper trimmer and became the background for a greeting card. I love creating art out of everyday objects like toilet paper rolls. They are like snowflakes.  Each one is different and equally as beautiful.




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