Faux Metal Wall Art (Including Free Patterns!)

This faux metal wall art project was originally published on The Sitcom in December 2010, and was recently featured in the August issue of Crafts ‘N Things Magazine along with my free patterns.  Who knew that a bunch of toilet paper tubes and an idea would become so big?

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faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

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So let’s make something with toilet paper tubes!

Yep, I said toilet paper tubes.  If you aren’t already familiar with creating from those little rolls that you would normally throw away, then stay tuned!

I mentioned to my family that I’m collecting toilet paper tubes for use on some projects that were bouncing around in my head.  And an odd thing happened.  At every family function, every dinner party, every chance meeting since then, I have been inundated with toilet paper tubes.

faux metal wall art created from recycled tp tubes

They hand them to me when I least expect them, neatly packaged in Kroger bags, fully confident that whatever I have in mind for them is worth the extra effort.

At Christmas, I was given a bag of them along with my Christmas present.  Kinda nice, but apparently when folks look at me right now, they think of toilet paper tubes.  Not sure if that is a good thing or not.

I decided to try my hand at mixing some quilling techniques and toilet paper tubes to come up with some faux metal wall art to spice up my Southwestern theme kitchen. 
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 faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

For this project I used:

A large amount of toilet paper tubes
Several Paper Towel Tubes
Aleenes Tacky Glue
Krylon Spray Paint– Metal look
3/8″ Balsa Wood strips
Click here to go to my free pattern page

faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

I started by cutting the 3/8″ balsa wood strips into 10″ long pieces to form my squares and then glued them together with tacky glue. 

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faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

The paper towel tubes were used for the straight pieces.  I simply cut along the length of the tube, flattened it out and used a scrap of the balsa strips to measure 3/8″ strips cut lengthwise from the tube.

faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

The toilet paper tubes were cut in 3/8″ strips across the width of the tube to keep the curl.  Simply cut along the length of the tube, flatten out and mark 3/8″ strips across the width.  This will result in 3/8″ curls.

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faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

Using some examples that I found on the internet of wrought iron wall art, I created four 10″ squares. I curled the cardboard with the end of a paintbrush where I wanted curls and used the tacky glue to glue it as I went.

faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

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faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

With these squares, I started by dividing it into four equal parts and then creating the same pattern in each part. I simply created as I went and used the end of the paintbrush to make any curls needed.

faux metal wall art with toilet paper tubes

Once they were completed and dry, I then spray painted them with metal-look paint.  Unless you get up close and personal and actually touch them, they look totally like metal.  But didn’t cost nearly the price.

I now have fancy looking wall art and spent next to nothing to make it.  In fact, my toilet paper loving family actually provided most of the materials.  You can’t beat that!

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Faux Metal Wall Art/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #crafts #diy #recycle #wall art

Want more Recycled Toilet Paper Tube Ideas?

I didn’t stop with this project!  How about faux iron gates, frames and clocks?

creating with recycled toilet paper tubes

For even more recycled craft ideas, be sure to check my Recycled Crafts Page!

 

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{ 39 comments… add one }

  • Anonymous February 12, 2016, 1:54 pm

    So clever! They look great – you would never know.

  • Mari February 5, 2016, 11:38 am

    Wow this is awesome just pinned , great idea and share thank you! :)

  • Crystal February 2, 2016, 9:37 pm

    Wow! How creative! I could have never imagined turning toilet paper rolls into such a beautiful work of art. Thanks for sharing!

  • RobyGiup February 2, 2016, 4:25 am

    Wonderful! They really look like metal work!
    Thanks for sharing the tutorial :-)

  • BeckyKay February 1, 2016, 3:06 pm

    That’s incredible! I never would have guessed it was made from TP tubes!

  • Diane O January 31, 2016, 12:48 am

    I saw this on facebook a couple of weeks ago and have been saving all my TP and paper towel rolls for a custom project I want to try. I love your faux garden gate. Where do you buy the balsa wood? I have a Home Depot, Lowes, Michael’s and Joann’s where shop but that is it. Any suggestions would help, thank you. And thanks for the great ideas.

    • Susan Myers February 3, 2016, 11:17 pm

      Hi Diane!

      Thanks so much! You can find the balsa wood at Michaels and possibly Joanne’s also. Usually it is in the section with the models and paint. Would love to see what you come up with !

      suzy

  • Tina L January 24, 2016, 8:48 pm

    Funny how my discovery of these incredible works of art started as a joke. It seemed like I was the only one in my office knew the secret to changing the toilet paper when it was empty so I started saving them as a joke then I found you! So now I am on a mission to save enough rolls to make something fantastic for our drab dreary workplace bathroom !
    Thanks for sharing !:-)

    • Susan Myers January 24, 2016, 9:50 pm

      Hi Tina!

      Would love to see what you come up with! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      suzy

  • Anonymous August 5, 2015, 11:59 pm

    Amazing Creativity

  • Melinda July 19, 2015, 8:33 pm

    Here from Sunday Features.
    I never would have believed someone if they said these were tp rolls. Incredible!!
    I agree with whomever named you Queen of Crafters! (curtesying) Your Majesty!

  • Brittany @ DIY Just Cuz July 19, 2015, 2:49 pm

    It looks great!! Good job :)

  • marylynn. wills September 24, 2014, 11:23 am

    Hi I just found this on fb wow its great .iwent to the site then pined it and like a another person said in the comments I couldn’t belive the wall art painted black wasn’t metal .it was paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls cardbroard wow .!great idea loved it I saw on craft show carol duewell .she had a man on there that made christmas snowflakes out of paper towels toilet paper rols also he cut them srpay them then hang on christmas tree .or on nakins holders .I made some my friends loved them .I’m not sure if I spelled carols last name right so sorry she isn’t on anymore I saw her on thgtvch. Cable .ok well sorry for talking to much .keep it up .marylynnw

    • Susan Myers September 28, 2014, 6:33 pm

      Hi Marylynn!

      Thank you so much for the kind words! And thank you for stopping by the Sitcom! I will be bringing a whole lot more Christmas crafts to the website soon, so stay tuned!

      suzy

  • Nima May 2, 2014, 10:21 am

    They are great and don’t like faux..:) I can’t wait to try and if they are in a shape to share I would love to show how my turned out..:)

  • Teekay June 14, 2013, 12:41 pm

    i am now going to start this project, finally have enough toilet paper rolls after i finished my last stash on a desk organizer..

    i wanted to make the Quilled Monogram Tutorial but the page cannot be found :(

    thanks a lot for these amazing ideas!! they will help me decorate my rented apartment and these decorations will be taken with me wherever i go :)

  • Mervi May 8, 2013, 4:45 pm

    You’re such an artist! I’d like to try these but there were no patterns to find anymore. I’ll surely try some of these gorgeous projects. Thanks a lot!

  • lisa March 1, 2013, 11:52 am

    These are great. Thank you very much for the idea and patterns. I can’t wait to try this myself.. Thank you again and keep on crafting.

  • Molly January 4, 2013, 6:43 pm

    I had fun with this project! Thank you for posting it! You can see my attempt at faux metal wall art at this link: http://happilyahomemaker.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/faux-metal-wall-art/

  • Debra December 29, 2012, 11:04 am

    I made some of these.. it was funny, my son walked in the room and said “mom, how long did it take you to solder those?!!” haha.. Of course I feigned exhaustion, then laughed. I have a few family members drooling over mine and are saving up rolls now. Caution: You will now covet any and all cardboard paper rolls. You will find yourself eyeballing full toilet paper rolls and raiding them. Its so fun. I used flat black paint. I made quite a few of these, tried different colors, but black works the best for the wrought iron affect.

  • Kristin Koehler December 12, 2012, 11:35 am

    Ok, so just to make sure I understand you correctly… to make all four squares you guesstimate ~40 empty rolls? Or are you dividing each square into fourths so that would be 40 rolls per finished square?

    Also, on the Balsa strips that you used…I am finding all different sizes 1/4″ x 3/8″, etc.

    And I can’t get the link to the filigree frame to work. Could you provide a working link if it is still active?

    Sorry for all of the questions. I can’t wait to do this project. It makes me wanna go to the bathroom more. :-)

    • Suzy December 12, 2012, 11:44 am

      Yes, 40 empty rolls total. You might have some leftover, but that is good for errors, etc. I used 3/8″ balsa strips and cut the width of the TP strips the same. If you use 1/4″ balsa, you can always cut the strips a bit wider to match.

      The link seems to be working on this end. I’ll go ahead and email the patterns to you.

      Would love to see your project once it is completed!

  • Kristin Koehler December 12, 2012, 11:16 am

    Can you define “large amount of toilet paper rolls”? I mean how many should I look to collect? lol.

    • Suzy December 12, 2012, 11:23 am

      Yep, I should go back in there and be a bit more specific, shouldn’t I? :) Sorry. For each section of the wall art, I would have on hand about 10 tubes. In my house, that takes no time to accumulate. Ha!

  • Whitney December 6, 2012, 1:21 pm

    So I copied your idea of toilet paper rolls (thanks for the idea!) and I am having trouble spry painting them… do you have any suggestions? My paint seems to just pass by the cardboard and stick to the ground (it gets a little better when I angle the spray, but still not much better.) What kid of paint do you use?

    • Suzy December 6, 2012, 1:48 pm

      Hi Whitney,

      I used Krylon metallic look spray paint. You definitely have to angle from the sides. To spray mine, I placed newspapers over a small table in the yard so that I could crouch down and get all the sides. You have to walk around it and get all four sides too.

    • Kristin Koehler December 12, 2012, 11:36 am

      Whitney, did you ever get these spray painted? How did they turn out? I am wanting to do mine a copper color.

  • Anonymous October 7, 2012, 9:20 am

    Maravilhoso esse trabalho com os rolinhos! Parabéns!!!

  • Divanil Lopes October 4, 2012, 8:08 am

    muito legal esses trabalhos, e tenha certeza que sempre tem alguem que vai dar valor a tudo isso, muito legal e bonito, bjs

  • sonia mendes October 3, 2012, 6:31 pm

    PARABÉNS, ADOREI SEU TRABALHO. A CRIATIVIDADE HUMANA NÃO TEM LIMITES.

  • vilman October 2, 2012, 9:56 pm

    as vezes tenho a sensação que nasci para ser artesã , sou completamente apaixonada.seu trabalho e lindooooooooo.

  • Debra September 20, 2012, 1:42 am

    If you hadn’t said faux I would not have known. Brilliant!

  • jody w September 15, 2012, 6:35 pm

    It is official to me: YOU are the queen of crafting. I have never seen such talent, I worship you.

  • Laura / Pet Scribbles September 5, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I can’t believe these are made out of toilet paper rolls! Simply amazing! :)

  • Carolyn September 1, 2012, 2:13 pm

    I LOVE this so much! I have everything I need to make them…I need to clean off my craft table for space and get started. I don’t know if you had the patterns here before, (I don’t remember seeing them) but having them is going to be such a BIG help. THANK YOU!!!

  • katie September 1, 2012, 11:32 am

    these are great!!!

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