Cardboard Tube Minibeasts : Red Ted Art's Blog

Cardboard Tube Minibeasts

| May 29, 2013 | 16 Comments

Cardboard Tube Mini Beasts

I have challenged the kids and myself to work with cardboard tubes again more – yes, the humble loo roll, is such a great (virtually free) and versatile craft material it would seem rude not to! Much to my dismay the UK have started manufacturing NARROW tubes. Can you believe it?! I guess it is good for the environment and we should applaud that. But it does mean, that our crafts are changing slightly.. sigh. I ramble and digress. I wanted to share our Minibeasts Craft with you today! The idea came from Red Ted’s teacher – she wanted me to come into class next month and make some with the kids. Clearly we had to try them out first.

The version here today, is DIFFERENT to the class version, as you need to think more pragmatic about the drying times etc.  But I will indicate the differences as we go along!

The Minibeasts Craft

Materials: Cardboard Tubes or TP Rolls, acrylic paint, pipecleaners, googly eyes, masking tape, acetate sheets (or similar, we used old subject dividers – acetate would be stiffer, so a case of preference or what you have at home), glitter (remember our Tinkerbell? Same wings!!)

1) To make our Minibeasts craft, we decided to shape the front of our TP Roll, just to make it a bit more interesting and then taped it down with masking tape – masking tape can be painted over easily. You could glue it down too and hold it place with pegs. (Follow the sequence of the 4 loo rolls above).

TP Crafts Mini Bugs

2) The kids got painting their bugs in different colours. We do prefer acrylics as they stand out better, but try the paints you have at home and see what works for you! Or wrap them in paper and colour it in with a pencil. 

Mini Beasts crafts

3) Whilst the minibeasts were drying we set to work on the wings. I drew some wings onto paper. Using a glue with a fine nozzle, we the traced the wings with the glue. I met a set for the kids (they asked me too) and then they made their own set. It was great for them to have a go at using the glue and learn about “controlling it”.

4) Cover in glitter… and then shake the excess glitter off, onto a sheet of paper to pour bag into your glitter container (see our Tinkerbell wings for more photos). If you are doing these in class.. do not use the glitter/ glue approach, but colour your wings with sharpies. I think they will look just as fun!

5) Whilst they are drying and if your TP Rolls are ready – get your pipe cleaners. We used 1.5 standard length pipe cleaner per minibeast. We cut 3 pieces and then poked them through the TP Roll – leaving the ends hanging out to make 6 legs for the minibeasts. The kids did need help – it was a little fiddly and I am think about what the best approach for class will be (I wonder if 6 legs are better, glued into the sides of the mini beasts? I shall see).

Mini Beast Crafts for kids

6) Finally – add googly eyes (1 – 100!) and glue on your wings. We actually used my hot glue gun, as it dries clear. I have noticed that PVA (or white glue), stays white against the acetate (must be because it doesn’t try fully?). This was fine on Tinkerbell, as it was on her “back”, but the Mini Beasts, I didn’t want the white showing. I don’t think it really is a problem if you do use PVA. Just be warned that it will “show”. If you don’t have a hot glue gun you may want to tape them on. Done.

 Bug Hunt Craft

Go on a bug hunt!

UPDATE: 2-3 weeks later, we went into school and made these:

mini beast

We did these in 3 sessions: I prepped the loo rolls as per the above to give the mini beast shape. The kids then painted them on the second day. On the third day we added pipecleaner legs, eyes and wings. The legs were easier to cut into 6 (rather than 3) and glued in each individually (we found threading them through as we did with ours in such volume a but fiddly). Instead of glitter (which would have to dry too long) the kids got to use my rainbow permanent marker pens. They did such a lovely job!!

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What are your favourite TP Roll Crafts?



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Category: Kids Craft, Loo Rolls, Recycling, Summer

Comments (16)

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  1. These are wonderful! Love the sparkly wings. We’ve been doing more loo roll craft too :)

  2. Bella says:

    Love your Minibeasts! TP rolls are so great to work with. You can never run out of ideas.

  3. Mum of One says:

    I LOVE the mini beasts, have pinned :) What paper did you use for the wings?

    • Red Ted Art says:

      I used acetate for the Tinkerbell wings – you know like you get for overhead projectors at school? And plastic subject dividers for the minibeast wings. You could also use those “plastic folders” that people use for paper work?

  4. These are ADORABLE!!! I love the metallic paint. =)

  5. oh fab Maggy. I love the wings. x

  6. Jade Pirard says:

    Aw so sweet! Popped over from

    My Rainbows would love to make these but ‘the law’ says we cant use toilet roll tubes for children…rubbish rule as we miss out on so many activities but wrapping paper doesnt come on tubes anymore either! Rant over :) lovely activity! x

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Can you use Kitchen Paper Towel Rolls and cut them in half? Those are my over “cardtube rolls” go toos..

  7. artsy_momma says:

    So cute… love the wings!!!

  8. Fran says:

    Tried these with my kids over the weekend and they turned out really well. Only problem was that I used glitter glue for the wings and once it was dry it lifted off the acetate. I just glued it back down with clear glue but it does open up some new opportunities if you could somehow strengthen they a bit???

  9. Linda Jones says:

    These are SO adorable!! You have the best craft ideas ever!

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