Save Those Tissue Tubes!

I don’t know about you, but I hate having to throw things away. I have an entire room dedicated to the you’ll-never-know-when-you’ll-need-it thingymajigs. These include cardboard tissue tubes.

froggy side

With just some glue, newspapers, cheap tissue, paint, and cardboard scraps, you can make fun pencil holders. This is a simple project that I’ve taught at summer craft workshops for kids. Since it’s papier mâché, it requires a lot of drying time.

The tissue tube acts as the main receptacle for holding the pencils. First, cut a base—I tried flower shapes, others just plain round ones—from heavy cardboard (old boxes from grocery stores are what I used.) After attaching the tissue tube to your base shape with masking tape, start the papier mâché process. If you’re like me and you don’t want to cook up the traditional paste, just mix one part water with two parts white glue. I achieved the wrinkly texture by adding a final tissue paper coat—just slap on the tissue and with a thick paintbrush, dab the water-glue mixture until you have a pulpy texture all around.

froggy frontThe embellishments glued to the front were done the same way—cardboard shapes that were paper mâchéd. You can experiment with 2D designs like the frog, which was composed of pieces taped on top of each other (like you would with paper tole), before I started gluing layers of newspaper.

You can make all sorts of designs for this craft. My favorite ones were ladybugs with spread wings and pipe cleaner antenna. Those were the first to be filched by friends. I also made a purple spider with pipe cleaner legs that my sister placed on her desk at work. Her boss saw it and asked if he wasn’t paying her enough to buy a real pencil holder. Some people just don’t have any imagination…

tissue holders