Did you know that toilet paper rolls in Hong Kong are white, not cardboard brown like they are in the U.S.?! This is a game changer for a crafter like me because the rolls are essentially perfectly primed canvases.
I had a half a dozen toilet paper rolls saved up that were itching for a second life as pieces of art. A quick Google search for “toilet paper roll Halloween crafts” returned hundreds of great ideas—using these as my starting point, I turned my paper roll crafts into lanterns so they are cute creatures during the day, but spooky monsters at night!
Additional materials depending on the creature
- White masking tape (mummy)
- Bubble wrap cut into approximately 4″ x 4″ (zombie)
- Brass fasteners (zombie)
- Pipe cleaners (cat)
- Push pin/tack/needle—optional
For All Toilet Paper Roll Creatures
Draw the eyes, noses, and/or mouths on the toilet paper rolls with a pencil and cut the shapes out with an X-Acto knife. The basic premise is to create openings so that light from the candle can shine through. To add additional designs, puncture small holes on the roll with a push pin—they can be anywhere, but a safe approach would be to follow the shapes of the eyes, mouths, etc.
Color in each creature (where applicable). The Dumpling and I used both watercolor and craft paint, but I found that watercolor latched onto our rolls better and didn’t flake off as much once they dried.
Because my paper roll was already white, I pretty much left the ghost as is. The little ones can opt to glue on cotton balls or strips of white tissue paper as additional decoration.
Cutting this was the closest as I’ll get to carving a pumpkin this year. Mine is just as cute as any real jack-o-lantern, but without the mess!
I don’t know what it is with toddlers and tape. The Dumpling could spend 30 minutes peeling, cutting, and sticking tape on anything!
Peel masking tape and stick it onto the toilet paper roll. There’s really no wrong way to go about this—it doesn’t matter which direction the tape goes on, how uniformed the tape is ripped, or how much tape is used—all these “imperfections” give the mummy character. The Dumping ended up putting on so much tape, she blinded our mummy so I had to cut out the eyes again!
Puncture a small hole on each side of the head (roughly where the temples are located) to insert the brass fasteners.
Paint the bubble wrap pink, roll it roughly into an ovoid with the bubbles facing outward, and insert it on top of the toilet paper roll where the zombie’s brain would be. Have extra bubble wrap on the side because the Dumpling and I couldn’t stop popping them! Warning: The craft paint flaked off everywhere once it dried. Unless you’re coloring with something that is more permanent, the brain is mostly for decorative purposes and less for play.
Fold the top halves of the toilet paper roll inward to create the ears. This should preferably be done prior to coloring the cat.
Cut two pieces of pipe cleaner and fold them in half. The length depends on how long you want the whiskers. Mine were approximately 2 inches before they were folded in halves.
Puncture a small hole on each cheek where the whiskers would be and insert the pipe cleaner with the “v” side going into the toilet paper roll.
Fold the top halves of the toilet paper roll inward to create the ears. This step should preferable be done prior to painting the owl.
I found a color changing LED candle (from the Dumping’s old Mickey balloon we got at Disney) and tucked it inside one of the creatures. Doesn’t my toilet paper roll gang look like they’re having an awesome party?