Don’t go Loo-py

So as the UK and we’ll most of the world goes into shut down, we all getting used to a very different way of life. I never thought I’d ever see something like this in my life time but for now this is how it is and I’m determined to try see the positives, I get to spend more time with my daughter who has just started school so I’ve missed those extra days spent crafting together, I’ve had massive mum guilt having recently gone back to work about the lack of time I feel I have with my one year old son too and I get to see my husband more too, so any extra time is a bonus.

I am lucky to be with my family to have each other. but lets face it this is a routine that although with its good point come equally hard parts and i know that after just two short weeks isolated at home im starting to feel I’m going a little loopy! juggling life, home schooling and coping with the house looking like we’ve been burgled is challenging but I’ve found that ‘craft time’ has become a great way for me and my children to take some time out, let our imaginations take over and for those few hours forget the worries of the day and just enjoy getting crafty together.

Well look back in years to come at the craziness that has taken place and how toilet rolls have became a daily commodity which is almost impossible to get, anywhere!. But usually there are plenty of loo rolls available in our house hold, well empty ones anyway. I often think my family eats it at the rate it gets used, thats now on rationing too, but with this endless supply of cardboard tubes of course they have been crafted into all sorts of creations so we thought we’d share some tried and test projects with you, to keep little humans busy, if just for a few minutes to help keep us sane and less loo-py!

ALL craft activities should be supervised by and adult and some help will needed for tricky cutting and sticking, get involved and get the glitter out!!!


IMAGINATION – Colourful creatures that are really simple to make but provide lots of under the sea fun, the only limitations is their imaginations! if you don’t have a hole punch you can still use tape or glue to decorate to create the tentacles!!

What you need:

  • x1 Toilet roll tube or more if your making a family of squids!
  • paints or tissue paper or coloured paper
  • black pen
  • hole puncher
  • string, ribbon or shredded paper
  • sticky tape, double sided table or glue
  • scissors
Step 1. paint or decorate your tubes, the more colourful the better
Step 2. make eye and glue, then draw a happy squid face
Step 3. cut opposite slits in the head of your squid and place a cone like card shape
Step 4. punch holes along the bottom edge of your squid equal distance apart or if you don’t have a hole punch you can fix glue or tape to the inside of the tube
Step 5. thread ribbon through the holes and tie them or stick your ribbon, tissue paper to the tape you fixed
Step 6. decorate till your hearts content, happy squidding

Castle pencil holder

ADVENTURE – Perfect for girls or boys who seek adventure and great way to keep desks tidy. One of our favourite places to go in the holidays is Leeds Castle and not matter how many times we visit the adventure is always different, what child doesn’t dream of being a knight, king, queen or princess!

What you need:

  • x6 toilet roll tubes (more or less depending on your design)
  • cardboard, strong variety is better we used an old cake board
  • paints, coloured tissue paper or paper
  • Glue or glue gun
  • scissors
  • cocktail stick (for the flags)
  • some adult help for cutting!!
Step 1: cut your base and draw around to create your grass area, you can paint this or Papier-mâché tissue paper also all work to add colour to your castle.
Step 2: cut/shape and arrange your castle layout, remember to measure your pencils will fit too!
step 3: draw a circle and shape into cones to create roofs for some of your towers, leave some open for your pencils
Step 4: get an adult to help cut out some ramparts (castle tops on towers) and windows or you can stick on window and door shapes once painted/decorated
Step 5: once all parts are ready you can either paint sections now before assembly or as we did assembly and then paint.
Step 6:add your finishing touches like little brick details and grass tower trim
Step 7: we added some flag to the top using cocktail sticks and paper wrapped over them

There are so many designs that could be made, we made ours small enough to still sit on a desk but you do not have to use as a pencil holder you can create a castle model for figures.

Character tube puppets

STORY TELLING – Have you ever listened in on children’s play and been fasciated by how wonderful the characters are and how crazy the storyline becomes, keep this imagination alive and create some tube puppets and ask for a theatre show afterwards.

What you need:

  • Toilet rolls, as many as you need
  • coloured paper, fabric, sparkly things, pom poms, wool, ribbon anything you can decorate with
  • glue, double sided tape, glue gun
  • Pen, colouring pencils

I used a glue gun for some of the heavier decorations to ensure they stuck, but PVA would work just as well would just take longer to dry.

*Adult help is required to use the hot glue gun as its extremely hot and not suitable for young children*

There are no real steps, just let your imagination take over! but some handy tips might help: of course my daughter was going to create a ballerina first and the tutu is really easy and looks effective, you make it the same way you make a life sized one, but obviously in miniature. Use a ribbon or string which is double the dimeter of the tube, then cut 10cm x 5cm net rectangles or fabric pieces and lop them and thread through to create a knot, the repeat until the skirt is bigger enough for the tube then bow tie it off ! ta dah its done and you’ll be wondering about creating a real size one now its that simple!!
Each roll starts with wrapping a skin colour around the tube and fixing. If you don’t have any wool don’t worry you can still create cool hair with paper or card simply cut several long cuts and hand curl them to create a long beard or long curly hair its really effective and easy.

Im very lucky to have a weird collection of things for projects just like this from my university years studying art and graphic design, but you can use lots of things to add life to your characters from old clothing to wrapping paper and old buttons and tin foil.
The best part of this project was watching her imagination create an unlikely bunch of characters (including her self in her school uniform) who all live happily on the moon and who enjoy picnics and dance classes of course! there really are no limitations to what you can create but for sure there will be hours of fun!!
You’ll find it hard just to make one and you’ll be up-cycling bits and piece from around the home , you’ll never look at a toilet roll the same way plus your children will be so excited every time another empty one is available to transform!!


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