Recycled wall art for the whole family!

by Molly Saunders, Digital Bear

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for unique and useful ways to breathe new life into recyclables. Recycling things is great, but reusing is the best way to recycle. It doesn’t take any extra energy, other than your own elbow grease and creativity, to create something new from something that’s already been used.  Toilet paper rolls are perfect for lots of different kid-friendly crafts. But if you’re looking for something to satisfy your more sophisticated tastes, follow along with me to find out how to make your very own wall sculpture. Anyone can do this!

Recycled Wall Art the entire family can make

Let’s get started!


Toilet paper/paper towel rolls (about 6 to start with, more for bigger projects)


Hot glue gun

Hot glue sticks

Cardboard or newspaper to protect work area


Get out all of your supplies. Protect your work area and turn on your glue gun.

supplies for recycled wall art

1. Flatten a few rolls and cut them into 1 inch strips. I cut mine in different widths and diagonally to create more varied depth in my sculpture.

cut paper towel rolls for craft

2. Pop out a few pieces so they look like leaves. Without gluing them yet, place them together to create a design you like.

start with a design for your tp craft3. Then, put dots of glue wherever you want them to stick together. A little dot of hot glue goes a long way.

a little dot of hot glue connects each piece

the design starts to take shape

I decided to add some depth to my design by cutting one of the leaf edges and gluing the cut edges into the middle. This created a half-size set of leaves, and really made the design more original.

4. Keep building on your design until you love it!

additional views of designYou can go outside and spray paint this, or have the kids use brushes to make it really colorful. (I would have done brushes, but I was really excited to see what this looked like raw on the wall. I just didn’t have the patience this time!)

toilet paper roll craft recycled wall art

Each of your kids could create something special for their room. I would suggest using tacky craft glue for this project with children. It isn’t dangerous, like hot glue, and they don’t have to hold the pieces together as long as they would if using regular white school glue, which should prevent some frustration. To make it even easier for little ones, use paper clips to help temporarily hold the pieces together while they continue to create their designs.

Also, for the children’s workspace, I find it easiest to tape (using masking tape) a bunch of long strips of waxed paper over the work surface to protect it from any glue (or paint). With waxed paper, there aren’t any smudgy fingers to worry about after the craft is complete. Plus, waxed paper is relatively inexpensive at discount grocery stores and depending on the surface, it can be left on for multiple rounds of crafts before throwing away.

Happy crafting!

Got any tips? What do you think about this craft?

About Molly Saunders

I am a bear in the Digital Dept at Build-A-Bear Workshop. I work at World Bearquarters in St. Louis, Mo. View all posts by Molly Saunders

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