Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recycled Art

   My son is really into recycled art! He just loves taking something that would normally be thrown out and turning it into something new! His passion recently inspired me to try my hand at a recycled art project. I took a good look around the house to see what kind of materials I could use. One item that we always have a lot of (but usually just recycle) were paper towel/toilet paper rolls. Back in the day, when I taught preschool, I used to save our rolls for the kids to use for art projects (they make great binoculars!). But I wanted to find a more adult project that I could use the rolls for. Now where, you might ask, is a good place to look for a plethora of ideas on what one can make out of paper towel rolls? Pinterest, of coarse! Within minutes I found some pretty unbelievable creations that people had made simply by cutting and hot gluing the rolls together.

   One design I really liked was a star. I'm quite fond of stars and I had been looking for something to hang on our bedroom wall. I saved our rolls for a couple of weeks and got to work on my creation. First, I cut the rolls into about 1 1/2 inch sections. This smashed the rolls to give them their flattened oval shape. Then I tried out a couple of different designs by arranging the rolls on the table. Once I found a design I liked, I started hot gluing them together. 

     I wanted my star to be white (to go with my bedroom colors), so once the rolls were all glued together, I attempted to spray paint them. The paint didn't turn out as white as I wanted it to be and didn't seem to be spreading as evenly as I had hoped, so I decided to hand paint every single roll with acrylic paint (talk about time consuming!). After a couple of days and when the acrylic paint was completely dried, I then went back over the whole thing with another coat of spray paint. This was the only way I could accomplish the bright white look I was going for. Here's the end result!

   I was VERY pleased at the way it turned out! A few things I wanted to mention though, if I were to do this project again, is that there were a couple of things I would have done differently. The first is I would have made the star/design bigger. It feels big once you start gluing it all together, but once I got it on the wall I realized that it really wasn't as big as I thought it was going to be. I would have continued gluing rolls until it took up more wall space. Second, I would have spray painted (or hand painted) the rolls BEFORE I glued them together. Because I painted them after they were already glued, you can see little shadows from the brown parts of the rolls where I couldn't reach with the paint brush. Painting the rolls prior to gluing would have made the finished product even brighter. 

   Anyhow, thank you Pinterest for giving me a successful project idea! Did you know that you can follow Musings in Mass on Pinterest? Just hop on over here. Happy pinning and recycled art making!

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