Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Trash to Treasure

I have seen several different ideas floating around Pinterest about using toilet paper rolls to make art. When I started this project, I couldn't seem to find any tutorials on how to do it. So I decided to dip my hands in and give it try on my own. Now I think there are some tutorials. A little too late for my project. Ah well.

1. First thing you need to do is collect toilet paper rolls and/or paper towel rolls. You could even use wrapping paper rolls if they aren't too thick. 

2. Once you have collected several you are ready to get started. I really don't know how many I had, maybe 40-50. But you can always get more if needed, right? For us, it was a pretty fast process: 5 TP users everyday, several times a day, equals quick gathering of materials.

3. Then you can decide how wide you want to cut the rolls. Mine were an inch. You want to make sure that you are consistent in the width of all your pieces. I got four pieces out of one toilet paper roll. 

4. To make the cut, you should lightly push down on the roll, measure out the desired width, and snip away. If you are going to change the color of your rolls (highly suggested), you can easily mark the rolls before you cut them to ensure even thickness throughout the art project. 

5. After cutting, you will begin piecing the toilet paper into a design that you like best. I started by making flowers. Each whole flower had 6 pieces. I glued them together using regular craft glue. Once I had my flowers, I added little curly q's to connect the flowers. To make the curly things I just cut the roll so it was one long open piece of cardboard. I used my fingers to add curl as desired.

This picture is not the greatest, but you can get an idea of what to do.

6. Once you get the design you like, you can begin glueing all the pieces together. 

7. I wanted a frame around mine. Because this was a gift for my mother-in-law, I was able to convince my hubby that this could be his contribution to the project. I got inexpensive wood from a hardware store/lumber yard. I found it in the wood molding section. He cut it and glued it together with Gorilla Glue. To cover the seams of the corners, we added pieces of triangles to the font corners of the frames.

8. Once the frame was finished, I put my glued together TP roll pattern inside. I had to add more flourishes and a few more flowers and such to the frame to make it just how I wanted it. I attached the cardboard to the frame using the same craft glue. 

9. When the glue is all dry and you are completely happy with the pattern, you can paint it. I chose a black iron looking spray paint. It took about three coats to get everything covered. 

But it turned out great! Don't you think?

I made two of these for a gift. I can't tell you how long it takes to make one because I took my time starting this about 6 months before my mother-in-law's birthday. 

My husband and I set these in her house behind a small coffee table with a tag tied to it and just waited for her to find them. When she did, my father-in-law said, "Wow, those things are expensive!" Then they lifted them and realized they really weren't heavy iron art, but a less expensive version. They have them hanging in their house proudly displayed. Yay!

Have fun with these, the possibilities are endless with all kinds of creative patterns just waiting for you.

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