Summer is here and beautiful flowers are at bloom all over the world! While the kids are out of school this summer there is no better way to keep them entertained than with some fun crafts! Here is a new super cute upcycled toilet paper roll (or paper towel roll) craft project where we recycle and repurpose!
Figure 9 Completed
All you need is a toilet paper roll, a small piece of cardboard, an egg carton, and a bit of creativity, to make an amazing vase with flowers. It’s fun to make, pretty to look at, fun for the kids (crafty moms too), and very earth-friendly too!
This craft project will be using papier mache’ing – a french word that means “chewed or pulped paper”. I love to papier mache – it’s easy, inexpensive, a little bit messy, and a lot of FUN! For the vase, we will use a paper roll and cardboard for the form, and strips of newspaper and a flour/water mixture for the paste; and for the flowers, we will need an egg carton and a few pipe cleaners.
When it’s done, you will have your own unique vase (shown to the left) that you will be able to display proudly – or give it as a great gift to someone special, to enjoy year-round!
Materials needed to make 1 Vase:
- 1 Toilet Paper Roll or Paper Towel Roll
- 1 Cardboard Square – 3″x3″
- Small container
- Flour – approx 1/4 cup
- Warm Water – approx 1/4 cup
- Approx 30 Newspaper Strips – approx 1″x2″
- Acrylic Paint
Materials needed for Flowers:
- 1 Egg Carton
- Pipe Cleaners (depends how many flowers in your bouquet)
How to make the Vase and Flowers
1- Cover your workspace with a plastic covering and put on a smock, this is going to be messy! 2- Put a little dab of glue around the tip of the paper roll (figure 1). Then place the roll onto the center of the cardboard square. This is the form for your vase (figure 2). If you decide to use a paper towel roll for a taller vase, you can add some dimension by cutting the top of the tube in aprrox. 8 spots and folding the edges down (figure 3). 3- While the glue is drying, let’s make our papier mache paste. In a bowl, add the flour into the warm water. Mix well with a spoon, making sure it’s not too runny and not too lumpy. You want your paste to be a good, smooth consistency (figure 4). 4- Taking one strip of newspaper at a time, dip your finger into the papier mache paste and spread it on to the strip. Starting at the top, put the strip on the tube, folding the piece over the top edge (figure 5). Be sure to smooth down the strip on all edges. Continue adding strips of newspaper covered with the paste, one at a time, overlapping them. Cover the entire vase and the base with strips. Continue smoothing. Make sure you cover the edges of the base with the newspaper strips, as well (figure 6). 5- If you are using the paper towel roll and made some cuts at the top, attach the fold-over pieces 2 by 2 with newspaper strips, then connect them, covering and smoothing the whole piece. 6- Once the vase is completely covered with newspaper strips (figure 7), it will need to dry for about 24 hours. 7- Cut the egg carton apart into its individual cups. Decide how many flowers you want for your bouquet. Trim off the excess so you have smooth edges on each cup. 8- You can leave the cups as is (for tulips and roses) or cut petal shapes into points (for daisies) or rectangular (for daffodils) – (figure 8). 9- Poke a hole in the center of each flower. 10- Once the vase is completely dry, it will be hard – it is then time to paint and decorate your vase and flowers. Acrylic paints work best. You can sponge paint, splatter paint, add puffy paints for more dimension, or beads and trimmings. It is up to you, whatever you want – remember, you are the artist, you decide! 11- Once the flowers are dry, push a pipe cleaner through the hole, and fold over the top of the pipe cleaner to keep it in place.
12- Put the bouquet of flowers in the vase (figure 9). You are now ready to give it as a gift, or display it proudly!
Upcycled craft project by Laurie Rivlin Caspert, a Cornell graduate and Creative Arts Director at Camp Romaca, a popular summer sleepaway camp in Hinsdale, MA. Laurie successfully ran her own graphic design studio for sixteen years before discovering an even greater passion – teaching art to children. She’s taught hundreds of kids in the ten-plus years she’s been teaching after-school art classes in her studio in Bergen County, NJ. She calls her approach “fun art” (as opposed to “fine art”), a roll-up-your-sleeves, messy kind of art kids love. The emphasis is on fun and the creative process.
With her new idea, YouGottaHaveArt@Home, she has come up with an innovative approach to bringing fun and creativity to children everywhere. Laurie’s dream is to have her own craft show for kids. She would love the opportunity to spread her passion and enthusiasm – to empower kids to express themselves and help bring out the innate creativity in every child. Remember, YOU GOTTA HAVE ART!