Recycling toilet paper rolls to use in crafts is an economical way to save on art supplies. It teaches youngsters the value of recycled goods and how you can turn trash into treasure. Empty toilet paper rolls are just the right size for many crafts or can be cut to work well in smaller craft projects.
One empty toilet paper roll can be used to make a party cracker. Tie one end of an eight-inch string around a miniature toy, individually-wrapped hard candy or another type of treat for each party cracker. There should be about five or six inches of the string left. Insert the treat into the tube so that one end of the string dangles out. Cover the party cracker with brightly coloured foil wrap, tissue or crepe paper. Twist each end to seal the party cracker, making sure to twist the string up in one twist. Instruct the recipient to pull on both ends of the party cracker at the same time to reveal the treat. The treat will pop out of one end when the recipient pulls the two opposite ends.
Gluing one end of a Popsicle stick into the inside end of a toilet paper roll makes a small puppet you can use for a puppet show. The students can decorate the toilet paper roll to resemble a puppet with ear, nose, mouth or other cutouts from felt foam or construction paper. Coloured markers, acrylic paint, glitter glue, scraps of fabric and yarn are useful in creating whiskers, clothing or other decor on the puppets. Allow the glue or paint to dry before putting on a show with the puppets.
A toilet paper roll can be transformed into a Hanukkah candle to help celebrate this Jewish holiday. Cut one piece of plain white paper so you can wrap it fully around the toilet paper roll. The length of the paper needs to extend approximately a half inch longer than each end. Glue the paper onto the roll. When it's dry, fold the ends down inside the tube. Trace around the end of a flat ice cream spoon or a wooden tongue depressor onto a piece of gold foil or paper. Cut out the gold paper and cover the front and back of the ice cream scoop or tongue depressor with the cutouts. Glue the foil in place and allow the stick to dry. This creates the flame on the Hanukkah candle. Use the glue to adhere the wooden stick to the inside of the toilet paper roll. Leave the gold end sticking out to resemble the candle flame. Decorate the white paper around the toilet paper roll with a blue marker. Create the Star of David, triangle shapes or other designs so that it resembles a Hanukkah candle. You can use stencils to make the decorations or do them freehand.
Animal Print Bracelets
Create funky animal print bracelets out of toilet paper rolls. Cut the roll in half or thirds lengthwise, depending on how wide you want your bracelet cuff. Cut a ponytail elastic or rubber band in half to create a three-and-a-half-inch piece of elastic. Staple it onto each end of the open bracelet cuff with the staples facing outward. You do not need to close the bracelet when you staple the elastic. It needs to be open so that it can slide easily over the child's hand to become a bracelet. Cut a piece of animal-print felt into a 2-by-6 inch-strip. Use regular school glue to attach the felt to the outside of the bracelet. Trim the edges as needed and allow it to dry before slipping it onto the wrist.