Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Toilet Paper Tube Stamping

Today was snow day #3 and this was the second activity we tried since we were trapped indoors. The first one was science experiment. As another aside, just once I wish we would have a "snow day" during which the kids can actually be allowed to go outside and, you know, play in the snow! These insanely cold no-school days are getting quite old.

Happily, the kids were much more enthusiastic about this stamping project than yesterday's potato prints, which we tried kind of late in the afternoon when they were tired and crabby. I was smart enough to introduce this craft earlier in the day before they had a chance to get cranky. This idea (from Pinterest) is super simple and it's a perfect way to use up some of those toilet paper tubes that you have saved up (if you're anything like me you have a large stash of them -- They are such great craft items and they are completely free!) It reminds me a bit of the toilet paper tube octopuses that we made before, but I really love this one even more than those fellows. Plus, this one can be done with any age group from toddlers and up.

{Here are our stamps before paint was added...}

  • empty toilet paper tubes
  • scissors
  • paper (finger print paper works nicely)
  • tempera paint
  • paint trays (or bowls or plates)
  • black Sharpie marker (optional)

  1. Cut notches along one end of a toilet paper tube. They can be any size or shape: rectangles, triangles, rounded "petals," or whatever else you can think of. My cuts were all around 3/4" to 1 1/2" long.
  2. Protect kids' clothing and work surfaces, if desired. My children each have their own paint shirts, which are just old t-shirts that used to belong to me. I use a clothespin to secure Logan's at the back of his neck. For the table, they each had a vinyl place mat to work on.
  3. Pour some paint onto trays. We used six colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, with two colors on each Styrofoam tray. Note: In retrospect, I think this would have worked better if there was more room per color, meaning that I should have only used one color per tray.
  4. Have kids dip the toilet paper tubes into the paint and then press them onto the paper to make impressions. Note: They can also invent their own techniques for painting. For example, Logan liked to swirl the tubes around on the paper and Mia discovered that she could used the tips of the cut-outs to make smaller designs. Both of them figured out that the paint was occasionally drippy so they used that in their paintings, as well.
  5. Let paint dry completely before displaying their artwork. Note: I used a black Sharpie to write their names and ages before they were finished. This is mostly so I won't forget who made each one! Note: Kids may also wish to go back after paint has dried and add more details with markers. I know Mia mentioned adding green stems to the "flowers" and some faces to the ones that reminded her of a lion's mane.

And, if you haven't done so already, please check out the Livingston Parent Journal's crowdfunding page! There are just a couple days left to contribute to a very worthy cause.

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