Gresham and I made this “changing faces” man yesterday!   We got the idea from this post at A Little Learning for Two.  Check out her post – her dolls are much cuter!

To make one, you need:

  • Two sizes of cardboard tubes – one needs to be able to fit inside the other
  • Paper
  • Markers, paint, or colored pencils – we used colored pencils (least mess!)
  • Scissors
  • Strong glue – we used Tacky Glue
  • A sheet of cardboard – we used the side of a cereal box

We used a paper towel roll for our tubes.  In order to make one fit inside the other, I cut it apart, rolled it a little tighter, and taped it shut again.

The inside tube needs a cardboard base.  We cut a circle from our cereal box and glued it to the bottom of the tube with Tacky Glue.

To decorate the outside tube, I covered it with paper and cut a hole for the face.  Gresham wanted a paleontologist (to go with all his dino toys), so I drew a figure for him, and he colored it in.

To decorate the inside tube, I cut out paper faces and gave each of them different expressions – happy, surprised, silly, and mad.  I taped them on and quickly realized that they needed to be down really flat in order to spin the tube and change the faces.  So I covered all four faces with a large piece of packing tape.  This created a smooth surface, and our man turns very easily!

To change the face on your man, simply turn the base!

This project requires a lot of help on the parents’ part, but the end result is a lot of fun!  Gresham had a great time playing with his man! It’s fun to make homemade toys!


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  1. Stranded May 13, 2011

    This is priceless, I am gonna try this. My son is obsessed with facial expressions!

  2. corrina May 24, 2011

    So cute!

  3. My Oatmeal Kisses May 24, 2011

    I love this idea! Who knew you could do so many things with a TP roll!

  4. Marilyn Casey Jul 27, 2022

    I've been saving the toilet paper rolls not knowing what I could do with them. Thanks for this great idea.


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