Feature Friday- Faux Iron Gate Tutorial

by Susan Myers on June 15, 2012

faux iron gate made from toilet paper tubes / suzys artsy craftsy sitcom

And you  have one guess as to what it is made from….

Well, if you are familiar with The Sitcom at all, then you probably already know that you are looking at a whole bunch of toilet paper tubes!  This time I was inspired by a photo of an old rusted iron gate, and I just had to pull out all those toilet paper tubes and recreate it.

Are you new to the Sitcom?  Be sure to check out my Frequently Asked Questions Page!

For this project I used:

Approximately 30 toilet paper tubes
Approximately 10 paper towel tubes
Four lengths of 3/8″ x 21″ balsa wood
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
Brown Textured Krylon Paint
Scrap Cardboard

I was inspired by a photo of an old iron gate, so I wanted to not only try to recreate it, but I wanted it to look rusty and old.  The final project measures 19″ wide, by 28″ tall.

I began by cutting my 3/8″ balsa wood into 4 ea. 21″ long pieces.  These are the main frame of the piece and help to keep it sturdy.  Although once all the cardboard is glued together, you’ll be surprised at how sturdy the whole piece will get.  I used my graph board to line everything up, each gate being 6″ wide.  I cut two pieces of cardboard 6″ wide x 3″ tall for the base of each gate, glueing everything together with tacky glue.

I used tacky glue for this project for two reasons.  It bonds quickly and makes for a super strong finished project, and it does not leave all the messy strings of hot glue.  It is awesome for paper projects such as these.  As for the design of the gate, I just went with what looked good to me, cutting the toilet paper tubes once lengthwise, and then cutting them into 3/8″ strips horizontally.  Those strips can be easily curled with the end of a paintbrush.

The straight pieces and curve at the top of the gate were created by cutting paper towel tubes lengthwise in 3/8″ strips.  Where I needed particularly long strips, I simply glued several strips together.

I chose a textured brown Krylon spray paint to create the look of brown rust.  I placed the finished project outside and simply sprayed it from all angles.  It took entire can of spray paint for this project.

The final project achieved that old rusty look I was going for.

faux iron gate made from toilet paper tubes / suzys artsy craftsy sitcom

For more details on the techniques used to create this project, be sure to check out my other faux metal wall art tutorials.

Crafts-n-things faux iron gate made from toilet paper tubes

My original toilet paper tube project is my Faux Metal Wall Art which was featured in the August issue of Crafts ‘n Things Magazine!

My Metal Filigree Frame and my Faux Brass Wall Clock.  And you would never know these all started off as an innocent little toilet paper tube!

For over 100 tutorials for all ages, be sure to visit my Tutorial Page!

Want to try your hand at quilting?  My newest quilt Pattern- Batiks Gone Wild!

batiks gone wild quilt pattern


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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Martie Rollin March 4, 2015 at 1:52 pm

This project is really terrific! who knew TP rolls could turn into something this beautiful?! Loved seeing all the photos and reading your narrative. Well done!


2 Janet January 8, 2015 at 1:05 pm

wow…really awesome! That is one great project!!


3 Rose Hominick June 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Congratulations on the great quilling project. I have been quilling for many years and have created hundreds of quilling projects like flowers and snowflakes. It really is a great craft, and although it looks intricate, it is one of those things that anyone with a bit of patience can do. Your project however, really takes quilling to a whole another level. You have inspired me. I am going to try to do something with toilet papar and paper towel rolls myself and see what I come up with. Thanks for the inspiration!


4 Susan Myers July 2, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Hi Rose,

Thank you so much! Would love to see what you come up with!!



5 Condo Blues April 4, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Girl. Whoa. Just whoa. I can’t believe your gate started life as dispenser of piddle paper.


6 Parveen March 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Amazing project! Quick question, would it save time (and perhaps paint?) if we sprayed the TP rolls before cutting them. And then maybe just do a quick coat at end? Especially for other TP roll projects that may not require texture finish?


7 Parsimonious Décor Darling February 22, 2014 at 8:00 am

Wow! Just wow! Absolutely fab. Thank you for sharing!


8 Teekay July 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm

wow!!! now i must save tp rolls AGAIN :D


9 cindy @ Upcycled Design Lab May 30, 2013 at 11:53 am

All I can say is brilliant! Love it!


10 Linda May 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

How pretty…but that looks like a lot of work!


11 Susan Myers May 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much for stopping by! Yep, it was a lot of work, but I love the results. It is fun to make things out of recycled items that look anything but recycled.


12 Pat March 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I want to make these in quarter scale for my fairy village. I will give you all the credit when I show the steps on my blog.

How exciting that you can provide tuts for miniaturists like me, altho’ you probably didn’t realize you were doing that. Thanks.



13 Laura March 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Thanks so much,is beautiful!


14 Linda Cook February 18, 2013 at 12:15 am

Thanks for another beautiful craft!! and congratulations on having this craft in “Craft” magazine!


15 Twincat January 19, 2013 at 12:53 am

This is amazing! So beautiful and creative!

I am thinking about doing this….but I only saw 3 pcs of woods. Where is the fourth one?


16 Susan Myers January 19, 2013 at 1:32 am


The two doors of the gate have wood on each side. There are two strips of balsa wood going up the very center of the project. Hope that helps. Would love to see what you come up with!


17 Heidi @ Mom's Crafty Space December 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I don’t know how I missed this one the first time around, Suzy! I’d seen the others, but not this one, so I’m really glad I saw it pinned in the round up. This is amazing! Feeling inspired! :)


18 ColoradoCutUp October 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Inspired! You are indeed the Queen of Crafts.


19 karen@somewhatquirky October 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Oh I think I have the perfect spot for a piece like this! I’ll let you know when I get it done. . . but don’t hold your breath because sometimes ideas stay in my que for quite some time!


20 Deborah Townsend August 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

This is inspired! Thanks so much. This will def be on my list (after I save enough rolls of course)!


21 Nadine August 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Seriously!!?? I think you’re my new blogger-crush cause you have so many awesome ideas…now I’m gonna have to save my TP rolls. How can I collect enough without the hubby tossing my cardboard tube stash before it gets used…ROFL.


22 Kathy Haddock June 18, 2012 at 10:23 am

Love this project! I made a tp roll wreath and it was kind of droopy – now I know I need mor support (story of my life…LOL). Congrats on the feature in Crafts n Things too!


23 Natasha June 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

wow this is amazing!!!! can’t believe it’s made from TP rolls!!


24 Brenda Williams June 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Amazing! This is just beautiful. You have more talent than anyone ever. I love this.


25 Kitty Molenaar June 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

You are amazing!!! Thanks for the tutorial!


26 Ellen June 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

Now I see where you hung this! (seen on Craftsy) You are truly talented & patient!


27 Ashton Kenny June 16, 2012 at 8:46 am

I like this beautiful tutorial. By this tutorial i have learned that how can i make a nice iron gate using toilet papers as a nice show piece which i can hang on my wall. Its great. Thanks for this nice tutorial.


28 Debbie Phillips June 16, 2012 at 6:36 am

Wow, that took a lot of work. you may be the one to give me an idea. I need to build a castle front for a cross country course for a horse show in november. it has to be sturdy, weatherproof, and very cheep. Last year we built a tepee for it (theme pioneer days). This year medival times. Also prize ideas for each event if you are interested.


29 Dorothy Kennett June 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

You’re the Queen! I love it! Thanks so much…


30 Anonymous June 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I just love your work! I get all weird about TP rolls that I can’t keep them and my hubby throws out the Paper Towel rolls so i never get to try this stuff.


31 Anonymous August 27, 2014 at 8:15 am

You could use all paper towel rolls or even wrapping paper rolls!


32 Renee A June 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

Shut the front door! Oh my gosh, the only thing i can say is WOW. thanks for sharing =)


33 Lori Dorrington June 15, 2012 at 9:31 am

I love it! I could not tell from the photo that it was toilet paper rolls. What a surprise. You are very talented…
Lori D.


34 norene June 15, 2012 at 8:14 am

It looks fantastic! I think you can make just about anything out of toilet paper tubes.


35 Creative Mind June 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

Awesome..this is another great idea from you my friend..
Thanks for sharing dear!


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