A bouquet of paper towel roses
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Give A Bouquet Of Paper Towel Roses This Valentine’s Day

Feb 13, 2018



If you’re looking for an easy, last-minute Valentine's craft for the kids to make, you’ll love these paper towel roses. They’re so beautiful and life-like, you’d never know at a glance they were made from paper towels.

Usually at Valentine’s, the hooligans and I are all about heart crafts here in my daycare, but this year we decided to try something a little different.

A bouquet of paper towel roses

When my boys were in kindergarten, they had a teacher who would send a single red rose home with them on Valentine’s Day. I’ll always remember how proud they were and how special I felt when they handed me that rose. After all, nothing says love like a red rose, right? The trouble with real roses, though, is that they never last for long. Before long, my rose would be dried up and tucked away as a keepsake in my jewelry box.


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Well, I’ve found a way for your kids to make roses that will last forever this Valentine’s Day. And because they don’t cost a penny to make, your kids can make a whole bouquet to give to someone special.

Originally, I thought we would make our roses out of tissue paper or crepe paper, and then it occurred to me that if we used paper towels, we could dye our roses, turning our Valentine’s craft into an art activity as well.

Dyeing paper towels with liquid watercolours is one of the hooligans’ favourite creative activities. The process is great for developing fine motor skills, a wonderful absorption experiment and watching the vibrant colours blend together is always delightful.

Let me show you how easy it is to make these roses.

Everything you'll need to make paper towel roses

You Will Need:

  • paper towel
  • liquid watercolours
  • medicine droppers
  • glue stick
  • green straws or pipe cleaners
  • clear tape
  • ice cube tray for your watercolours
  • baking sheet
  • cookie cooling rack (for drying your paper towels)

Before you get started, protect your work surface with a plastic table cloth or give your child a cookie sheet to work on. This will prevent any possible staining.

To begin making your roses, pour your liquid watercolours into the sections of an ice cube tray. We used three different colours: pink, red and purple. If you’d like, you can dilute your watercolours with a few drops of water to make them a little less intense.

Dropping watercolours onto paper towel

Have the kids drip the watercolours all over a piece of paper towel until it’s completely saturated in colour.

Transfer your coloured paper towel to a cookie rack and allow it to dry thoroughly. To speed up the drying process, you can give it a blast with a hairdryer.

Colourful paper towel and a pile of green straws

When the paper towel is dry, cut it in half to get two long strips. Both strips will be used to make one rose.

Run a glue stick along one long edge of each strip of paper towel, then fold it over and stick it down. Don’t aim for perfection here — if your fold is a bit wavy and bumpy, that’s OK. This folded edge will be the top of your rose.

A collage of the process of rolling the paper towel roses

Next, to give your roses texture and volume, crumple your strips and smooth them back out.

Angle a green straw (or pipe cleaner) across the end of one of your strips, and roll the straw to trap the end of the paper towel under it. 

Lift it up and start twisting the straw, while pinching the bottom of the rose to hold it in place.


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Continue to twist the straw, winding the paper towel around it. Because the straw was placed at an angle, you’ll have to pinch and adjust the paper towel as you roll, to keep the top edges of your rose somewhat even. When you reach the end of the strip, add the second strip, and continue twisting and wrapping until your rose is all rolled up.

Completed paper towel roses beside paper towel strips still to be rolled

To finish, wrap a piece of clear tape around the base of the rose to secure it to the straw.

Finally, gently fluff the petals of your rose until you have it looking just the way you want it.

A bouquet of paper towel roses

Continue making roses until you have enough for a bouquet to give to a loved one, or to display in a vase.

Gorgeous, aren’t they? Happy Valentine’s Day!

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Read more from Jackie here.

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.

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