Kids can make these colourful paper towel roses with paper towels, drinking straws and tape. They’re easy, they’re gorgeous, and they look just like real roses. Tie them together with a ribbon, or display them in a vase. Either way, they’re a fun way for kids to give roses that will last forever for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and birthdays.
This is such a great flower craft for kids to make. In fact, of all the flower crafts we’ve made here in my daycare, this rose craft is my favourite. Paper towel roses are easy to make and they’re absolutely gorgeous.
The first time we made paper towel roses was this past Valentine’s Day. We made red roses for the hooligans to give to their moms.
I thought it would be fun to make our roses again for Mother’s Day, but to dye them all different colours this time.
We just so happened to be doing it for these Mother’s Day cards the other day, so while we had our supplies out, we dyed some extra paper towels for our roses.
For a lot of our liquid watercolour and paper towel projects, the kids drip many colours onto their paper towel. For this project though, because we wanted our paper towel roses to look realistic, we stuck to just two colours per paper towel.
This is a great time to talk to your kids about colour families. The hooligans were able to figure out which colours to put together for our roses so the colours would blend nicely.
- For our pink roses, we used red and magenta liquid watercolours
- For our purple roses, we used blue and purple liquid watercolours
- For our yellow roses, we used yellow and orange liquid watercolours
Let’s round up our supplies, and I’ll show you how to make them.
Paper Towel Rose Supplies
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- paper towels
- liquid watercolours
- paintbrushes or medicine droppers
- ice cube tray
- transparent tape
- plastic tablecloth to protect your table
How To Make Paper Towel Roses
Start by pouring your liquid watercolours into an ice cube tray.
We diluted ours slightly with water and tested the colours on a piece of paper towel. We added a little more colour or a little more water until we were happy with the intensity of our colours.
Next, cut your paper towels in half. If you have the paper towels that are perforated for half-sheets, you’re already there. For each rose, you’ll need one half-sheet, which you’ll cut in two again after you’ve dyed it.
Now the fun part! Dyeing your paper towels.
As I said earlier, colouring paper towels with liquid watercolours is one of the hooligans’ favourite art activities. Toddlers, preschoolers and elementary kids all love it. It doesn’t matter how many times we do it, they find it mesmerizing every time.
You can use paint brushes or medicine droppers to apply the colour to your paper towels. We used both for this project. If you have preschoolers at the craft table, the droppers are great for strengthening fine-motor skills and co-ordination.
Have the kids drip 2 complimentary colours all over their paper towel until it’s completely covered and saturated.
To dry your paper towels, set them beside the fireplace, or outside in a sunny, sheltered area, or dry them gently with the heat of a hair dryer.
Be sure to protect the surface you’re drying them on. And if you’re drying them outside, make sure they don’t blow away or you’ll be chasing colourful paper towels all over the neighbourhood.
When you’re paper towels are completely dry, cut them in half again so you have two narrow strips of paper towel for each rose.
Next, crumple your paper towels and then pat them back out. This will give the paper towels some volume and make your roses more fluffy and natural looking.
Next, for each strip of paper towel, you’ll fold one edge toward its most vibrant side and glue it in place. You can use a glue stick or liquid glue. We used a paintbrush to apply white glue to ours.
Don’t be perfect with your folding and gluing here. You want the edge to be wobbly and wonky. It will make your rose look more real.
Now it’s time to roll your roses.
Take a straw and place it at a bit of an angle (pointing in) near the end of one of your strips. Pinch the paper towel in place around the straw, and start twisting the straw, pinching the paper towel as you roll it up around the straw.
This takes a bit of practice, but you’ll get the hang of it.
When you reach the end of the strip, add your second strip and keep twisting and pinching.
When you get to the end of the second strip, wrap some tape around the bottom of your rose to secure it to the straw.
Do a little fluffing, and that’s it! A perfect paper towel rose.
Now, just repeat the process for as many roses as you want to make.
To present your homemade roses to someone, cut your straws at staggered lengths to form a bouquet, and tie them with a ribbon or place them in a vase.
I have a bunch sitting in a jar on my windowsill right now and I can’t believe how beautiful they look.
More Flower Crafts For Kids
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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. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.