Arts & Crafts Your Trash Is My ________

Your Trash Is My Valentine’s Day Present

I’ve created four step-by-step guides that will show you how to bring these Valentine’s Day Toilet Paper Characters to life with simple things you probably have lying around your house.

I’m fairly confident that if you look up “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” online, you’ll find a few dozen compromising photos of me. You see, I’m a self-proclaimed cheap-ass crafter. Always have been, always will be. I’d say conservatively that about 75% of my crafting projects start with me digging through the recycling bin for inspiration, so it made sense that I would channel my passion for trashin’ (that was lame, but it had to be done) and introduce a new series to the blog called “Your Trash Is My ________”.

Up first, Your Trash Is My Valentine’s Day Present!

Valentine’s Day is RIGHT around the corner, and because I’ve decided to start planning ahead this year when it comes to gifting (last year I made presents and posted a blog post about Valentine’s Day the day of), I wanted to make something cute for the twins to play with.

I’ve been collecting toilet papers rolls for the past year (as you do when you’re a psychotic dumpster diver) in hopes that they would spark some creativity. And look. Here we are!

I’ve created four step-by-step guides that will show you how to bring these very Valentine’s Day Toilet Paper Characters to life with things you have lying around your house. Then at the very end of the post, as a little added value, I’ve made a collection of characters that you can use as inspiration for your own projects. I didn’t make step-by-step guides for those, because, well, I have twins and time is tight. But if you use the steps found below and a little imagination, I’m confident you’ll be able to figure it out!

Okay, let’s get crafting…

#1: BEE MY VALENTINE

I’m obsessed with puns, so I really had no choice but to throw a bee craft in here.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Googly eyes
  • One (1) Toilet paper roll
  • Yellow paint with a brush
  • Black & red construction paper

Step 1: Paint the toilet paper roll yellow. Depending on your paint, you’ll likely need to throw on a few extra coats  to hide the toilet paper color (I used Blick Acrylic Paint and did three coats).

Step 2: Cut three black stripes out of construction paper. Size doesn’t really matter here, but if you’re looking to replicate this craft exactly, then make them 1/3 of an inch.

Step 3: Cut two black hearts for wings using the same construction paper. To make sure they are the right size, start by cutting a square that is the exact height of the toilet paper roll. Use that first square as a template for the second, and then cut two hearts at the same time.

Step 4: Use the scrap paper from the black hearts to cut the antennas. Because the shape of the heart bends in a curved direction, that’s the perfect line to follow. Simply cut along the heart so that you are left with a ¼ inch sliver of black paper.

Step 5: Cut two smaller red hearts out of construction paper. These hearts are going inside the top portion of the black wings, so use one of the black hearts as a guide. I always cut a square before making a heart, so I suggest using that technique here. Then cut two hearts at the same time so that they match!

Step 6: Cut two even smaller red hearts out of construction paper. These will each go atop the antennas, so you those 1/4 inch slices of paper as a guide.

Step 7: Grab some glue and build your bee. The black stripes go on first with spaces between each so the yellow paint is exposed, followed by affixing the larger red hearts to the large black wings. Then glue the black wings on to the bee body. Glue the antennas into the top of the toilet paper roll, and add your googly eyes to finish him off!

#2: YOU MAKE ME FEEL EMOJINAL

What can I say? I love me an emoji craft.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • White coloured pencil
  • Yellow paint with brush
  • Two (2) toilet paper rolls
  • Black & red construction paper


Step 1: Paint the toilet paper roll yellow. Depending on your paint, you’ll likely need to throw on a few extra coats  to hide the toilet paper color (I used Blick Acrylic Paint and did three coats).

Step 2: While the paint dries, cut out black pieces of paper that are the same height as your toilet paper rolls.

Step 3: Using a white coloured pencil, draw out your emoji faces.

Step 4: Cut out the shapes, including the black hearts.

Step 5: Use the black hearts as a template, cutting red hearts out. You can throw the black hearts away now!

Step 6: Grab some glue and assemble your emojis!

#3: SNAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

I saw a “Will You Be My Palligator?” card at the corner store yesterday, so knew I had to figure out a cute way to bring it to life in toilet paper roll- form.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Googly Eyes
  • Green paint with brush
  • One(1) large paper towel roll

Step 1: Draw jagged teeth onto both sides of one end of the paper towel roll with a pen or pencil. If free-hand drawing isn’t a strength of yours, start by drawing an acute triangle with the long sides running to the middle of the roll. Your goal is to create an alligator that looks like it has opened its mouth nice and wide, so start your lines wide and narrow them into towards each other. About and inch and a half. Once you have drawn the triangle, sketch a continuous zig zag line along the triangle to create the teeth (use the above image for guidance). You’ll need to do this two time, one on either side of the same end of the roll.

Step 2: Draw a tail on the opposite side of the roll. Hold the alligator in the exact position you imagine it will stand and draw a small acute triangle along the top – this time in the opposite direction to the tip of the triangle meets the bottom of the roll (see photo). You then need to draw a line connecting the base of the triangle, dropping under the belly of the alligator.   

Step 3: Cut the jagged teeth and tail using a pair of scissors. To save time, try cutting the teeth in one continuous line. You’ll see why in the next step!

Step 4: Using the excess paper you’ve just cut off from your roll, it’s time to cut feet and scales. Hopefully you were able to complete Step 3 as recommended. If that’s the case, you’ll see triangles that look like scales and that are already to be cut off. Cut them so that you have three tiny triangles to put atop of the alligator.

Step 5: Cut squares out of the excess roll left over from the tail. These squares should match in size, so use your first square as a template. Once completed, cut two very small triangles out of one end of each square. This will leave three little toes!

Step 6: Paint all of the pieces (body, feet and scales) green.

Step 7: While the paint is drying, cut a large heart out of red construction paper. This is a bit tricky, because you’ll want this to fit directly inside the alligators mouth. My suggestion is to first measure the toilet paper roll width. Use that measurement to draw one edge of a square. Then draw out a perfect square and a cut a heart out of that.

Step 8: Attached the legs to the bottom of the body with and the scales to the top using glue.

Step 9: Glue googly eyes to either side of the body above the mouth.

Step 10: Place the heart into the open mouth.

#4: FAMILY IS FOREVER

I had this grand vision of creating an adorable replica of my rainbow family to go above our fireplace for Valentine’s Day, but then I got so excited about “designing” an outfit for a mum, so I scrapped that idea and went all heterosexual on you. 😉

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Two (2) toilet paper rolls
  • Two (2) paper towel rolls
  • Paint that matches the color of your skin

Step 1: Paint all four rolls the color of your skin. Depending on your paint, you’ll likely need to toss on a few extra coats (I needed to paint mine twice).

Step 2: Draw faces, hair and clothing using a pencil – you can erase parts if you mess up. Once you’re happy with your character’s faces, trace over those lines with a black or brown marker.

Step 3: Using colored markers, fill in all the accents using pops of color.

BONUS INSPIRATION: Octopus, Dog, Rocket Ship and Butterfly

That’s it! Each project will take you about an hour in total (20 minutes if you don’t count waiting for the paint to dry), and can be used for various things to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Add a note to the wings of the bee that reads “You’re BEEautiful” and you have yourself a Valentine’s Day card. Stuff the alligator with candies and you have yourself a little goodie bag. Place your fabulous family above the fireplace for Valentine’s Day decorations. Or give your kids the emojis to play with as Valentine’s Day toys!

The options are literally endless – both for creating them and gifting them – so if you already have most of this stuff lying around the house, what have you got to lose?

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. And as always, stay crafty!

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6 comments on “Your Trash Is My Valentine’s Day Present

  1. Adorable Sean! Very clever

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are all fantastic I especially love the snappy valentines and bonus ones! Will done thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. millie tonarely

    My name is Milli and I live in Miami. My mother and your grandmother are first cousins. I follow your blog and I think you’re AMAZING!

    Liked by 1 person

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