Students in after school programs, who are too old to make princess puppets and make-believe binoculars, will grumble if asked to do so. It is best to head off a bad moment by prompting them with useful and creative crafts that they will not only enjoy creating, but also enjoy using and giving as gifts.

Many schools across the nation have wonderfully full chess clubs. Older children will have fun creating their own chess pieces made of cardboard tubing. They can design the pieces and choose the colors. The king can look intimidating and the pawns more than mere round-headed stooges.

Presents for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or even Christmas or Hanukkah mean so much more when they are handmade by the ones we love. Handmade napkin holders are presents that are displayed at every family event and special occasion, making the present that much more special. Proper care taken to make the handmade napkin holders will allow these items to last a very long time.

Cardboard Tubing Home Made Chess Pieces

  1. To make a chess set you will need 24 cardboard tubes or toilet paper rolls, personally chosen decorative paper, glue, scissors, felt, and a piece of paper and pen.
  2. The first action needed is to draw out an idea of how the chess pieces should look. If the student desires to make a themed chess set; dragons, wizards, cats, whatever their hearts desire, it is best that they design it before they start working.
  3. After figuring out the design, the children should gather the supplies needed. This step will save time and in most after school programs time is a limited commodity.
  4. Cut eight toilet paper rolls in half. You will use these as the pawns, eight for each side.
  5. Glue the desired decorative paper to the toilet paper rolls or cardboard tubes.
  6. Adorn the designs and decorations as drawn out on the piece of paper. Make sure to match the opposing pieces’ designs to keep from character confusion. The queens on each team should resemble each other to keep an opponent from claiming they had no clue it was the queen. This rule must adhere to king, pawns, rooks or castles, knights and bishops.
  7. Once the decorations are finished and the pieces have a theme, glue round felt circles to the bottoms for easier movement on the board. Now, the chess set is finished.

Toilet Paper Roll Napkin Holder Craft

  1. To make the napkin holders, you will need four toilet paper rolls, gold or silver foil paper, decoupage, glue, decorative gems or sequins, paint or coloring utensils, ribbon, lace and any other decorating item that can lie flat against the holder. A 4-inch by 4-inch square of plywood will act as the base for the napkin holder. If the idea of using toilet paper rolls for an item that will eventually hold napkins that will touch a person’s face, cardboard tubing can replace the toilet paper rolls
  2. Glue foil paper to a 4-inch by 4-inch square of construction paper.
  3. Glue the foil covered construction paper to the top of the plywood base.
  4. Glue the foil paper to the four toilet paper rolls.
  5. Decorate the rolls with the chosen décor making sure no trace of glue is seeping out from under the decorations.
  6. Once the glue dries, paint over the entire toilet paper roll and decorations to seal the design and harden the cardboard.
  7. Glue the four toilet paper rolls in the corners of the base. The rolls need to be 3/4 inch away from the edges on both sides of the corner. This measurement will make the toilet paper rolls 1/2 inch apart from all four rolls on all sides in the middle. From above, the napkin holder will look like a four dot die. The napkin holder present is finished.

The older students in an after school program will appreciate the more advanced art and craft projects that offer useful items like the chess set pieces and the lovely napkin holder presents. Some of the younger children, Kindergarten and first grade students, probably would some adventure crafts or dramatic arts crafts using toilet paper rolls and cardboard tubing.