I was walking to Chester Public School in Toronto, part of what is commonly known by most Torontonians as Greektown. My family lived in a two-bedroom apartment and there were five of us. My Mom and Dad were in one room and my brother, sister and I had the other room. Three single beds all stacked up side-by-side – wow…did we ever have fun having easy access to our siblings as play partners. I do not remember there being a lot of room for toys. We did get very creative though. Finished toilet paper rolls became puppet dolls. You see, there is an art form to making puppet dolls with finished toilet paper rolls.
The art comes in making sure you can get the brown and white ones. This way you can have a more colourful puppet show. If you get some yarn – any colour you want for the hair will do – you cut it into strips and this way you can make the hair around the top. How do you attach it you may be asking? Well…make sure you use either scotch tape or glue. If you use glue, make sure you do not make a mess – if you are making them for your children “sticking to them like glue” takes on a whole new meaning. If you are a child or young person making the puppets – you do not want to get your parent/s angry. Keep the peace.
OK…instructions continued…use crayons – I think they are the best to make the faces on the puppets. Again, you have an array of colours to choose from. Now adays, different from the days I grew up in – you could even make the eyes purple and the hair green if you want to. Anything goes and be as creative or conservative or anywhere in between as you wish. I am not telling you what to make, just how to make them.
Using construction paper, you can cut out the hands for the arms. You do not even need to choose a colour that matches the body – you could consider it part of the clothing. You can even draw clothes on your puppet with crayon, or glue it on or tape it on with construction paper. You could use felt paper too. This would add some great texture. Try different things. Clothe your toilet paper puppet doll in silk if you have the budget. Fabric stores would have it. Once you have made enough of them you will become a toilet paper puppet-maker artiste.
I have found making these puppets to be a lot of fun and in 20/20 hindsight realize how good they are for the environment. You are not throwing out all those toilet paper rolls that everyone – absolutely everyone needs to use. You are reusing them – which is one of the three R’s.
Just as another note – this article is geared towards children, or to your child within. Based on what you think – you may not ever be too old to make toilet paper puppet dolls.
Check out my main website at http://www.donnakakonge.com for books that I have written and please feel free to check them out of a college library system near you. Most of them are also available in the National Archives. Times are rough – I will not do the hard sell J.