Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pinterest 7: Toilet paper roll art

Oooohhhhh myyyyyy GOODNESS this one took forever!


I've even made toilet paper wall art before, you'd think I would learned my lesson. There it is, in a bathroom. It seemed appropriate at the time. 
That one too forever too, mostly because I was dumb and painted it by hand with a junky paintbrush after I had glued it all together. There are a lot of nooks and crannies in those things, let me tell you. 

But I wanted something fancier. And as close to free as possible so I bought a few skinny sticks of balsa wood at the craft store and gathered up all the paper towel and toilet paper rolls that I had been stashing in preparation for this. 

I used the balsa as the frame for my art, cutting it with a craft knife thing.
 Then, for the curly parts I cut the toilet paper roll once lengthwise and then cut strips roughly the same depth as the wood width wise. For the straight pieces I cut a paper towel roll into strips length wise and for the pointy ended oval shape I pressed a toilet paper roll flat and cut strips width wise without cutting length wise first. 

Oh gosh. That seemed really confusing.

But... I guess I'm just going to leave it? Go see what Suzy did if you're confused. I think she explained it better. Or you could always ask me of course. No shame in that, we're all friends here. 

Anyway, then I came to the really hard part. 
Coming up with a design.
 I didn't want to copy anyone else's work so I was trying to come up with my own look that wasn't totally lame. 

That was the part that took the longest if I'm being honest. Sometimes the ideas do not flow. 
 But things eventually started to come together and a short million hours later I was about done and hadn't taken any more pictures.

Sorry about that.

By the way, I had plans to use a tacky glue but after 30 seconds I realized I wasn't going to be patient enough to wait for it to dry. So I busted out the glue gun and went with the finger burning method instead. I do think that if you have the patience a different glue would probably hold it better. My project hasn't fallen apart yet but I used hot glue on the ones in the bathroom and I had to re-glue some spots before I even hung them up.

However you choose to do it, eventually you'll be ready to paint.
I used an oil rubbed bronze spray paint that I had heard other bloggers raving about. Plus it was on sale, so yeah, that made it my first choice. 

Da dada da da daaaaaaaaaaaa! Picture me singing that in a triumphant way.

If you try and take a picture, or even look at this straight on, it creates an optical illusion that makes you feel like you have 20/200 vision (bad).

Guess that would be why you always see pictures of this stuff from the side.

 So if you make this I guess I would recommend putting it in a hallway or a place where people can't stand back and take a good look at it head on.

The skinny: If you want to try this I say go for it. But just know that it will take forever and when it's finished it will feel lighter than air and you will be able to crush it with your bare hands. Possibly by accident. Very fragile stuff here. 

It is a nice way to create an original piece of art for your home though, and I am always up for that. I was also surprised that it turned out this well because precision isn't really my thing and this seemed like the kind of project I would need math for. I would recommend using a ruled mat to work on. It helps make sure you do things evenly without have to whip out your ruler every five seconds.

And we're done with pinterest week!

Or are we...?


  1. I think you should keep going with the interest thing. It's very cute.

  2. This is seriously amazing. But, I do not have the time or the patience for that....sorry! :) Oh well. I will find some other use for the TP and PT rolls I'm saving! :)

  3. I have followed you for quite some time now, don't know exactly who pointed me in your direction, but I have read you ever since. Love you sense of humor!

    I don't comment much on blogs. period. But, thought I'd comment tonight on yours to ask you to PLEASE DON'T STOP with the Pinterest. I love it and it's helping me be inspired to tackle MY Pinterest-to-do's. Maybe you could do one a week instead? Or, every other week, er something. I am a homeshooling mom of three rugrats, so I don't have a lot of time to tackle these coveted projects. But, SOMEDAY.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  4. I used to have 20/400 vision. It's steady at 20/70 now though :P

    1. may i ask how that happened? glasses,surgery, MAGIC? :) i have a daughter that's legally blind, and i'd love to know! thanks!

  5. Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, Stopping by to let you know you’ve been featured at

  6. Oh wow, I didn't know that. Thanks for featuring me!

  7. Would you please share the brand of paint you used? :)

    Your version of this is fantastic!

    Amber :)

  8. I used krylon's oil rubbed bronze. Thanks! I like it too :)

  9. this is so gorgeous, I have to try it. Do you know about how many tubes you ended up using? I need to know when I can start:)

  10. Ooh stephanie, good question. I'm not sure how many rolls I used although I know it was less than I thought it was going to be. 12? 15?

  11. I am so going to try this and put my own little twist into it. Thanks so much for these's Idea's

  12. This is so very cool. I am all inspired and want to try some too. New follower of your blog, visiting from Pinterest. You would make my day if you followed me back, I am now sharing free paper dolls.
    Have a very nice weekend

  13. this is just awesome and so creative!it looks like a very expensive metal wall art....difficult to realize it is made from paper rolls! you have inspired me to make one sometime soon....:)thanks for sharing!

  14. These are so great, they look like iron grates. Also saw a blog where a mom went the container store and probably paid a small fortune for something that look like that. I will probably try to make it since it's for my daughter's dorm room.
    Way to go, thanks for sharing.

  15. Beautiful design and construction. Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Hi, I love your ideas, so i linked your bathroom decoration on my recycle-upcycle blog ( I hope you don't mind. Feel free to sniff around "chez moi" as I continue to do so here, in search of other great ideas!

    Have a nice day!

  17. Absolutely amasing !!! Great idea...!!!

  18. wow!!! that looks great!!!! :D

  19. Love it. I am going to try it but I am thinking to use the same balsa for all the straight parts... to give it a little more weight.

  20. I loved it...I will try it as soon as possible :))) Thank you so much...

    I think I may try it after Christmas time right now and of course I recyled all the TP and PT rolls .
    thank you so much for all your crafts that are almost free .

  22. These would look great in my living room, which has wrought iron accents (candle holders, clock, mirror, etc.)

  23. Just wondering How did you stick that to wall ?

    1. I just put some tiny nails in the wall and hung it from those.