I did not have the fancy “paper cutting machine” mentioned in the blog, so I pinned the site on Pinterest to work on it another day. Just looking at the cute little owl made me want to attempt to make one, and after looking around the net a little bit, it turns out that toilet paper rolls can be made into the “pillboxes” that the original website called out for.
‘The rest’ they say, ‘is history’ as shown in this instructable.
These little guys took me and my children a good three-hours total – at the end of the day after work, waiting for paint to dry during dinner, me punching out hearts and circles and waiting for the glue to dry. They were also free-to-me as I had all the materials and tools shown in my craft stash.
I did a total of five, and I’m sure many more could be done in two solid hours with this tutorial.
I also wanted to do these with my children, ages 6, 2-1/2 and just over one year old. There were some hiccups along the way, but for the most part, this project can be done with children.
I could see these being made for treat containers at a birthday party, for Halloween, for Christmas Ornaments, added to lunch boxes with treats and notes – the ideas are numerous.
I hope you let me know what you’ve made them for!
Materials & Tools:
Painting Supplies -
- Toilet Paper (TP) roll(s)
- Acrylic paint(s)
- Sponge brush(es)
- Paper or newspaper to cover your work space
- Bowls or plates to place the paint in
- Smock or other coverings if you are working with children
- Coordinating Colors of printed paper that goes with the paint color of your choice
- Black, white, and either orange or yellow colored paper
- Heart punches, 1-1/4” and 1-1/2” sizes – mine is an old one made by Creative Memories
- Circle punches, 1-1/4” and 1-1/2” sizes– mine is made by Creative Memories
- Side note: I think smaller sized punches would also work. This is just what I had on hand.
- Glue – we used stick glue, but I got frustrated with waiting for it to dry on the painted surface. It still worked, it just took a while holding the paper to the painted roll for it to dry.
- Optional: Glitter Paint or sticky white raised dot for the sparkle in the eye.
Step 1: Use a Clean TP Roll
Clean the toilet paper roll of any excess or left over paper. The glue residue will be covered by the paint.
Step 2: Paint the Toliet Paper Roll
This is pretty self-explanatory. Using the paint, bowls, sponge brushes and a covered work space, my kids and I painted two rolls each. My oldest son did not use one of the rolls he painted, so we ended up making only five owls.
One thing to note is that I taught my children to stick their fingers or hand in one end so that they would not get their fingers as painted on (as they might have) with the acrylic paints we used.
I wasn’t overly concerned with the coverage of the toilet paper roll, as I knew the paper would be covering the majority of the front of the owls.
Let dry completely. We waited at least an hour.
I have written an additional instructable if you are making this craft with young (under 7-years old) children that you can check out here: How to Paint Crafts with Young Kids.
Step 3: Make the Heart and Circle Punches
- 1-each 1-1/4” heart (yellow) for the beak
- 1-each 1-1/2” heart (yellow) for the feet
- 4-each 1-1/2” hearts for the wings
- 6-each 1-1/2” circles for the feathers
- 2-each 1-1/4” circles (black) for the eye centers
- 2-each 1-1/2” circles (white) for the outside of the eyes
My kids had a hard time using the punches so I ended up punching the various pieces myself. They picked out the paper used as feathers on their respective owls.
Step 4: Make the Body Parts
Fold the beak using one small heart – fold the heart in half and then with it opened up again, fold the top two round flaps down as shown in the photo.
Glue the wings together – uses 2 large hearts.
Glue the eyes together – uses one small black circle and one large white circle per eye.
Optionally add a “glitter-dot” to the top of the eyes for a sparkle in the eye. Make sure you give it enough time to dry so the sparkle doesn't drip.
Step 5: Cut One Side of the TP Roll
I made the owls sit up by themselves and still be able to hold something by cutting about ½” long slits in the quarter-sections of the tube. You want to do this now rather than waiting for later so you can have a reference of where to place the feathers and feet.
Try making the cuts as even as possible and across each other as best as you can.
You may notice by now that I didn't have a pattern to do this, so I just winged it.
Get it? Winged it? =D
Step 6: Glue...
Start out by gluing the feet (large heart) so that if you folded them, it would be in line with the top of one of the cuts. This also means that I had my daughter put glue on what would be the base part of the heart.
Next I glued a row of three feathers (color coordinating circles), and a row of three feathers on top of that.
Keeping in mind that the top of the roll will be folded down, I glued the beak flaps to the tube directly above the second row of circles.
Finally, we placed glue on the bottom half of the eyes, due to the top eventually being folded down.
One thing I mentioned earlier was that the glue stick worked great but we (my children and I) had to hold down the components of the owl’s body parts in order for it to dry enough to stick to the painted roll. Spending more than 15-minutes doing anything can make my children unfortunately impatient and after the first owl being complete, I ended up doing the remaining four myself.
Perhaps in the future I will try to use tacky glue or scrapbooking adhesive to save some time.
If someone tries that, please let me know how it works.
Step 7: Fold the Ends
For the bottom of the tube container, begin by folding one side at a time, rotating in the same direction as you fold.
For the last fold, tuck the end of the last folded side under the first folded side.
Fold the feet up a little bit so that the tube sits on its new flat bottom.
For the top, press the back side of the tube towards the front side of the owl’s face.
Complete the “pillbox” look by pressing the opposite side (behind the eyes) down to meet the back folded side. The top should now look like it has pointy ears on each side of the eyes.
Step 8: Fill and Enjoy!
Those old toilet paper rolls are now cute little owl containers.
I filled them with candy so that the next morning, my children were surprised with these little treats in the owls they helped create. The folds were surprisingly sturdy and I still have a couple owls sitting on my window sill.
They’re just so stinkin' cute.
Have fun crafting folks!