These colourful, spiralled cardboard roll icicles are easy to make using just a toilet roll and paint. Hang your icicles on the Christmas tree or across the top of a window for a pop of whimsy this winter. This simple craft is fun for kids of all ages, and takes about 30 minutes to make.
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We’re big fans of keeping craft-time simple, using materials we already have around the house. Today’s Christmas craft certainly fits the bill because it requires only two supplies: toilet paper rolls and paint.
Fun for all ages!
All age groups will enjoy making this creative and easy icicle craft. Toddlers and preschoolers can paint the cardboard rolls, and older kids can help with the cutting and spiralling.
Related: Older kids will love our Crystalized Borax Icicles.
When painting the toilet rolls, encourage your kids to get creative. Who says icicles have to be boring? Have fun blending some paint colours, and experiment with splatter painting.
Christmas tree, window decor or garland!
We’ll be using our icicles Christmas tree ornaments, but they’d also look great strung across the top of a window or as a garland.
Let me show you how easy they are to make.
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- Toilet paper roll or a paper towel roll (one tp roll yields 2 icicles)
- Paint (we use acrylic craft paint but tempera paint or poster paint will work)
- Craft varnish (optional, but it adds a nice sheen)
- Paint brush
- Scruffy paint brush or old tooth brush for splattering
- Metallic thread for hanging
- Glue gun to attach cord (alternative suggestion in instructions)
Time needed: 30 minutes.
How to Make Cardboard Roll Icicles
- Paint cardboard roll
Note: If using a paper towel roll, cut it in half so you have two smaller rolls.
Paint your cardboard rolls in whatever colours you’d like, blending two or more colours to get a more interesting effect. Swish your paintbrush around the inside of the roll to paint the inside as well.
- Splatter paint
To give your icicles a frosted effect, dip a scruffy brush or a toothbrush into some white paint and gently splatter it over the painted cardboard roll (you can see how we did it here).
Once your paint has dried, brush on a coat of clear craft varnish. This step is optional, but it adds a bit of sheen so your paint colours really pop. It also makes the cardboard roll a little sturdier. Let the varnish dry.
- Cut roll lengthwise
Cut the cardboard roll lengthwise into a spiral, following the seam that runs around the roll. Now cut this piece lengthwise into two spirals.
- Roll and stretch your spiral
Roll each of these spirals up nice and tight. You might want to roll it around a pencil or the handle of a paintbrush. Remove the pencil or paintbrush and gently stretch your spiral out to form your icicle.
- Attach hanging thread
Attach a loop of metallic thread by dabbing a bit of hot glue at the top of the icicle. Alternatively, you could poke a small hole in the top of the icicle to poke your hanging thread through.
Hang your colourful cardboard icicles on your Christmas tree, or string them up in a window to add some colour and whimsy this winter.
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.