Toilet Roll Snake Craft for Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year in 2025 will be the Year of the Snake! And oh my.. can you believe it, 12 years ago, back in the early days of Red Ted Art, we had a go at making a fabulous little Toilet Roll Snake Craft! And now… all these years later, it is time to dust off our fun Toilet Roll Snake DIY and shared it you again! Such a cute and easy snake craft for kids! That said – though this is a Chinese New Year Craft, snake lovers can of course make this “whenever” it takes their fancy.

I say 12 years ago, but looking at the little faces in this post, we probably made this in around 2011 (I think it was a guest post for a friend). So yeah.. this craft can be made with your toddlers and preschoolers for Chinese New Year. Though I did help a bit with the cutting.

We are making a red snake – perfect to share with you for Chinese New Year’s which will be the Year of the Snake! This year the Chinese New Year falls on Wednesday 29th January2025.

The snake craft is super simple! Hopefully you will like it too!

Supplies needed to make your cardboard tube snakes

  • per snake on toilet paper roll (or cut a kitchen paper roll in half – though you can make one extra long one)
  • paints in desired colours. For Chinese New Year red, is always great though the snake’s Lucky colours: black, red, and yellow – and you may wish to include these too!
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes (optional! I now like adding paper eyes more!)
  • Glue stick (for the eyes, though you can also draw them on)
  • OPTIONAL: we also made an unpained toilet roll snake and used stickers/ cut some shapes to decorate!

How to make your toilet roll snake

Ok, as mentioned, this is an old old post from many moons ago. And I bet some of you see this paint splatted photo of my son when he was very little and get the heebee geebies. OMG.. all that paint. Ha. Well, remember, you simply need to use some washable paints and get your work area ready accordingly. I just loved all the layers of paint.. so didn’t mind. But preparation, as always is key and will make for a less “stressful” craft session.

Alternatively – scroll down and see how you can make these snakes using paper shapes instead!

painting toilet rolls yellow for snakes

Paint the paper roll in lucky colours for the year of the snake

Paint your cardfboard tube. Our snake is a little multi coloured. Make it red, black and yellow, and you have an auspicious colour for the Chines new year! If you do horizontal stripes (unlike our loo rolls in the photos), you will get a stripy snake.

Cut the toilet roll into a coil and shape the head

Using a small pair of scissors start cutting diagonally into the roll cutting a spiral all the way round. So you have a spirale of toilet roll.

Next shape the head (see photo).

Glue (or paint) or eyes. And you are done!

Paper Roll Snake – extension ideas and learning opportunities for playgroups or preschool

We made a paint version at home and a sticky shape version at playgroup (pictured below) where there isn’t time for the paint to dry. So these really are very versatile and can be enjoyed by different age groups. Also – if you use the shapes – this is a great way to discuss things like triangles, squares, circles and rectangles, as well as different colours, giving you an opportunity to add extra learning opportunities.

Enjoy your Chinese New Year Crafting! Hope you like our auspicious snake craft!

As mentioned we have MANY more fabulous Chinese New Year AND Year of the Snake crafts for you to explore with us. You can find these here:

And because I can’t resist.. here are some more images from out Toilet Roll Snake craft!

Toilet roll snakes

We had great fun with both versions of this snake craft!

versatile toilet roll snake

I love the open mouth of concentration as little Red Ted paints his toilet roll in lucky red and yellow!

year of the snake craft