I am almost bouncing out of my seat not only to show you my pinterest recreation but to see everyone else’s projects as well. Not quite clued in yet? Well then let me give you a brief history lesson. Pinterest is a website that allows you to create hundreds of inspiration boards, you can “pin” any picture on the web that you like, and about 3 months ago Sherry from Younghouselove along with some other great bloggers came up with a challenge (read about Sherry’s bff’s that participated in the challenge as well, Katie’s project, Ana’s project, and Erin’s project). The pinterest challenge as it’s formally known, and our great community of design bloggers come together to pick a project or a picture seen on pinterest and actually try to recreate the project (hopefully with some of our own personal flair). Read more on this post about my previous pinterest challenge.

This go-round I chose these as my inspiration photos:

and this one:

If you can’t tell these are toilet paper rolls that someone has cut up and glued together. Originally from here and here. How fantastic is that!?!?!?! I’m in love.

So I collected toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls for months on end. I probably started back in July (it’s now November), with only a half-intention of actually creating this. I collected them from my office, I made my Mom and Dad save them, I even had a giant bag in my laundry room that I would stuff them into. It was insane. So when the Pinterest Challenge came along for the second time I knew I had this project in the bag, literally.

I began by cutting up each roll, kinda like slicing a loaf of bread. I had a plan to add a little more dimension to my project by starting the circles big and gradually having them get small as my project expanded. The first few cuts were about 2″ in length and gradually shrank down to 1/4″ in length. After I had made all my cuts I worked on a creating a couple different formations.

All had just slightly different formations and would have had different outcomes.

I landed on starting with a four point “star” and literally worked out from there.

For adjoining the ends I used a hot-glue gun and I worked merrily along for about three hours.

After I finished all of the hot-gluing and sustaining only one burn on my finger I took it outside to spray paint. Always make sure you spray paint in a well ventilated area. (Forgive me for being a bad blogger and forgetting to take an after of just the toilet paper rolls without the painted finish.)

You may not be able to tell in this photo because the piece is laying flat in the first picture, but the middle comes out further than the rest of the piece. I let this dry for a couple hours to make sure the paint set well and then I wanted to add a bit of greenish-yellow accents to it like one of the pictures from pinterest. I’ll show you again so you don’t have to scroll up.

You see how they have yellow accents inside some of the rolls? I took a paint brush and carefully painted the inside of a couple random spots so as to tie in other colors from my home. I ended up with this:

What do you think? It doesn’t look like toilet paper rolls does it? I’m not sure if this wall is the permanent home for it but I do know that I lurve it! I may play interior designer sometime soon and go home and rearrange my whole home and I’m sure this will find a new home on another wall. Here’s some more afters:

Here’s a breakdown of the charges:

  • Toilet paper rolls: free, I used about 40 small toilet paper roll and maybe 10 paper towel rolls
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue: free, I already owned it
  • Spray Paint: free, I already had the colors in my shed that I was planning on using
  • Scissors, Pencil and Ruler: again all free because honestly I already had them


Total Cost: Free!!!!

I love a good free project! Hope you all enjoyed this season’s pinterest challenge! I know I did.

94 Responses to The Pinterest Challenge Fall 2011: Toilet Paper or Art?

  1. Emily says:

    Cute! I’ve been saving my paper towel rolls for something great like this; yours turned out wonderfully!

      • Moira says:

         Very clever how you used different sized pieces so it is higher in the middle and the ‘rays’ splay back towards the wall. Thank you for sharing. You have inspired me to make something too. Bit weird how I get a little kick of excitement now each time the family finishes a loo roll  😛
        I have now enlisted the TR contributions of a family with 5 daughters…that’ll speed up the collection!

  2. Oh my gosh it’s HUGE!  That must have taken a long time to put together right?  Oh but it’s so pretty!  Love the color!

  3. Hometown Perch says:

    Amazing! I love the way your project turned out. Okay, this is definitely going on my must-try list.

    Stacie @ hometownperch

  4. Courtney Walker says:

    It looks awesome – great job!

    Here is my project from this challenge – http://courtneywalker.blogspot.com/2011/11/pinterest-challenge-autumn-edition.html

  5. Molly Broman says:

    Super cool project! I love how you added some contract with the green rolls, too. Thinking this would be easy for my Girl Scout troop to tackle… Thanks for the idea!

  6. Wow, this is AMAZING!!!! You did such an amazing job and I love the colors you picked! 

  7. Elena says:

    This is insane.  I can’t wait to try it!

  8. Kerrims Sew What says:

    Love how it turned out!  It’s on my to-do-PIN list too!  I’m already saving up rolls!

  9. Tina says:

    This is awesome!!  I really want to try it now.  I love the color you chose, too.

  10. stephanie@cre8tive says:

    OH wow, this is so beautiful!  No it doesn’t look like toilet paper rolls, it looks like real art.  Great job.  {saw the link on YHL link party}

  11. Carole says:

    Looks nice Shannon!

  12. Hometown Perch says:

    I  loved this one so much it’s in my top 10! Check it out! Thanks for the inspiration.


  13. katie says:

    wow.  i would never have guessed that this was made of paper tubes!

  14. I’m so glad you did this!  I almost did this as my pinterest project challenge!  It’s amazing what we can use to repurpose stuff and create new art!

  15. Night Garden Design says:

    Nice work! I think this is one of the nicest ones of these I’ve seen. Love it!

  16. I like yours even more than your inspiration!!  Love the colours with the pop of green inside.  Looks so chic, I’d never guess it was tp rolls.

  17. Erin Souder says:

    looks fabulous!!!  I’ve been wanting to try that!

  18. Lolongneck says:

    how did you hang it on the wall while still having it keep it’s shape and not fall apart?

  19. Janieb says:

    OMG!! Love it!  How will you dust it?  Air?  So creative!

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  21. Ballroomblitzz says:

    How pretty! I’m so trying this for my new home! Can you please tell what’s the best way to hang it on the wall?

  22. […] © http://www.compartmentlife.com/2011/11/the-pinterest-challenge-fall-2011-toilet-paper-or-art/; […]

  23. Peggyabanks says:


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  24. OwningSingle says:

    I love that!  I think I’m gonna try it but I’ll probably be impatient about saving toilet paper rolls.  G

  25. Aleporangaba says:


  26. zozo says:

    i have made something for our home with toilet paper rolls. here it is 

  27. Tamlvsdan says:

    I love this but I have to say I love the picture frame around your peephole… Friends inspired??? Lol I just love it…

    • Hahaha how did you know? I’m such a Friends Fan!


      Shannon Summers
      Author of Compartment Life
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  28. Jordanhall526 says:

    Hi- love this!  about to move into a new apartment and i will def consider trying this!   How did you hang it?  i feel like it will flop over time? 

    • Thanks so much! I put one small nail on the wall and hung it from the center. Believe it or not, all the cardboard and glue really made the whole piece much more stiff than you would think. It’s stayed pretty sturdy to this day and it’s been almost a year.


  29. Hi. I have made 2 of these art pieces before I found your page here. I tried spray paint first and it ran off of the roll and did not stick so I have hand painted every single piece. I see that you used spray paint and I am wondering what kind or brand you used because I can tell it worked well. Thank you!

  30. Marsbert says:

    I saw a similar project on Pinterest a few weeks ago and made my own as well….


  31. Red, gold star says:

    I love it, can’t wait to do mine

  32. Where did you get the ” friends” frame? I have been searching for one!

  33. erin says:

    Um…where did you get that yellow Friends frame on your door??? I need one!

  34. Athena at Minerva's Garden says:

    This is such a cool and frugal idea–I just love it! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    • Athena,
      Thanks so much! I wish I could take all the credit for the idea. This is why I love pinterest challenges, it makes me feel creative. If you get a chance please stop by the original creator of the project and leave her some love as well! Thanks for the sweet comment!


  35. karen@somewhatquirky says:

    so I’ve been working on one of these for months! it’s freaking me out because of the randomness of the connections as it gets bigger. This motivates me to go ahead and finish up to see what happens!

  36. Brenda says:

    I love that

  37. Johanna says:

    Greetings from Finland!
    I saw the project through Johnnie’s blog: Nice job! A big piece like this makes a statement! Thank you for sharing!

  38. Lynn says:

    this is a really WOW project…. I’m saving as we speak. Very nice.

    • Karen,
      thanks so much. I just used a simple nail that I hammered into the wall and hung the wall flower from the center of it. All the paint and hot glue made the piece really solid so it did not sag thankfully.
      -S —– Original Message —–

  39. I’m curious as to what brand of paint you used? I just made this (LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!) but my paint didn’t stick, and just dripped off the rolls :(

  40. Sheona says:

    How big is it?

  41. Taylor Wachtel says:

    Fantastic idea!

  42. Nikole says:

    How many times did you cut it on on toilet paper roll?

    • Well it was different for each roll. I wanted this sloping effect to come from the middle so I made the middle tp rolls wider which would mean I only cut about 2-3 from each roll. The further I went out the slimmer I would make each cut so I might cut about 5-7 times on a roll. It’s really up to you on the thickness.Hope that helps!

  43. lillk says:

    how thick does the carbored have to be or should i jst live the paper toilet roll at it is

  44. Peach says:

    What did you cut the TP rolls with?

  45. punky dhummy says:

    thank you for sharing your ideas. it’s very cool. i should try this at home for a change… hehehe :)

  46. This is very resourceful and creative. I would have never thought creating such exquisite work with toilet paper rolls.