Toilet paper rolls craft: Unicorn Puppet

toilet paper rolls craft unicorn marionette
Our cute little unicorn puppet crafted out of toilet paper rolls

As we are always looking for some fun crafts with my crafty little daughter, we saw a super cute toilet paper rolls craft idea that caught our attention: a paper roll puppet!  There were so many cool ideas out there… my girl first wanted to make a horse, so we began having that in mind. While making the toilet paper rolls puppet, she changed her mind, like she does so often (creativity is strong in her!), and decided to make a unicorn instead. After all, we love unicorns, even as a unicorn pinata!!! But that was not the end of the story…

Materials to make a toilet paper roll unicorn puppet

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How to make our toilet paper rolls craft unicorn puppet

Please keep in mind that a little kid can make a lot by itself for this craft, but some things have to be done by an adult, in my opinion, especially the ones that involve making holes and tying knots!

Step 1. Preparing the toilet paper rolls for our craft

The first of the two toilet paper rolls can be kept as it is. This one will become the unicorn’s body. For the second one, you will have to cut off app. 1/3rd of it, but it’s up to you, how big of a head your unicorn will have. I think the 2/3rd length piece is ideal for that. Put the smaller 1/3rd piece aside, you won’t need it for this craft.

toilet paper roll for head
The second paper roll, cut into two uneven pieces. We will use the bigger piece for the head

Lay the crepe paper out and put the first paper roll on it. Cut out a piece that will be able to cover the paper roll with some excess on both sides, for at least three times. Glue the crepe paper onto the paper roll by rolling it around it. Set aside and do the same with the second paper roll.

Step 2. Making the holes

Now it’s time to make the holes. You can use a scissor for that, but I found it to be easier using the crafting knife. Please be very careful when doing this! You could easily pierce yourself.

Your will need to make four holes on the downside of the unicorn’s body; they will be for the legs. So you will need to make two holes at the front and to holes at the end of the body’s paper roll.

unicorn marionette 4 holes
Four legs, four holes!

Lastly, you will need to make two holes on the upper side of the body, for the puppet strings to go through. On hole goes at the front of the upper side of the body and the other at the end.

For the head, you will need to make two holes, one on the downside of the body and one on the upper side. I would suggest making the holes in the middle, but if you want your unicorn to look up or down, you can make the holes more to the front of the end respectively.

Step 3. Adding the strings to the toilet paper roll puppet

This part can be a little tricky. It’s better to cut bigger than needed pieces of embroidery yarn to be sure, as you always can cut off the excess.

First, begin by making the legs. Cut four pieces of about 10 cm. Take one of them and fiddle one end through one of the holes. Make one or as many knots needed at this end, to secure the yarn. You could also add a drop of glue, but I found it to be too difficult for us. Do the same with the other three pieces for the legs. Don’t adjust the length just yet!

unicorn marionette body and head (2)
The know inside of the paper roll, so the marionette won’t fall apart

Step 4. Deciding the length of the control strings

Now you will need to decide how you or your kid wants to play the puppet. If you want to be able to play it on the floor with you standing up than you will need two very long pieces of yarn, depending on your size. The same goes for your kid, but with shorter pieces. We wanted to be able to play the puppeton a table, so the strings needed to be even shorter, especially for my daughter to be able to play with it (you can’t play the marionette for long if the strings force you to hold them over your head!).

When you have made your decision, cut two even length pieces of yarn, like in the next picture. Fiddle one end of the first one through the hole at the end of the unicorn’s body. Tie knots to secure it.

unicorn marionette on pencil
This is how your toilet paper roll unicorn should be held, so you will have to adjust the length of the strings

Now fiddle one end of the last piece of yarn through the hole in the front of the unicorn’s body and tie knots to secure it. Fiddle the other end of the same piece of yarn through the hole at the downside of the head and make knots to secure it, so the head won’t fall onto the body. Fiddle the same end through the hole on the upper part of the head.

Lift your puppet up, holding both of the strings, you are almost there!!! Tie both ends to the pencil, so it will stand up correctly (the piece that holds the head will need to be shortened).

Your puppet is now ready for the fun part!!

Step 5. Decorating the paper roll unicorn

Your unicorn will need some rainbow hair made out of the rainbow yarn for the head and its tail, googly eyes, and beads for the legs. After securing the beads, adjust and cut the length of the leg strings if needed. You could add whatever you like to it, stickers, ears, glitter, gems; your imagination, and that of your kids is the limit!

little toilet paper rolls unicorn marionette
Isn’t this unicorn marionette cute? But something seems to be missing!

Now you would assume that a unicorn needs, well, a horn! Ha, not at our house! My girl decided it would not need one, because it’s just an extraordinary, maybe even magical horse!

But then again, no, it’s a sad little unicorn without a horn, that’s being teased by the all the other little – perfect of course with horns and all –unicorns. 

And so, the story of the little hornless unicorn’s quest to find its destiny begins….!!!

Other toilet paper rolls animal puppets

This technique is perfect to let the imagination fly! You can make almost any animal out of toilet paper rolls! Just add ears, tails, different colors and shapes to make a dog, a horse, a cat and whatever else you can think of to make a farm or zoo!!!

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