Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Kids Craft Cardboard Tubescapes from Tracey Radford

9th August 2017


This craft is all about making a scene with a cardboard tube!

They’re easy to do and we’ve a few different tubescape ideas here for you to try.

You will need:

Toilet paper or kitchen paper tube





Craft glue or glue stick

Coloured or plain paper

Fine black felt-tip or gel pen

Hole punch (optional)

Silver metallic pen (optional)

1. CitscapeS

a) For a daytime cityscape, flatten your cardboard tube with your hand (shorten to about 10cm/4in if you're using a kitchen paper roll). Draw a pencil line across your tube, a few cms (about 1in.) up from the bottom edge. This will be the road. Use a ruler and pencil to draw skyscrapers - make them different sizes.

Draw your city scape on your tube

b) Cut down the creases, either side to the first rooftop. To make it easier to cut around the outline, cut down to the other side of the roof of the first building, bend this flap of card out and cut it off.

Cut out the first building and bend back

c) Paint the background blue, the road dark grey and the buildings a lighter grey.

d) Once that's dry, add short downward strokes, or dots with the black pen for the windows - this takes a bit of time, but it's worth it! Then add any detail you want with paint and a fine brush. We added a sun, trees and little cars on the road (just a dab of paint for the cars. When dry, draw on wheels with the black pen), but it's really up to you. Instead of painting the sun, you could cut out a yellow circle, as we did for the desert island scene.

e) For the night cityscape - follow the same instructions, but paint the whole of the front part with the skyscrapers yellow, and the background black.

f) Once the paint's dry, use a black pen (and a ruler if you want) to color in the high-rise buildings leaving little rectangles of yellow. (again, time-consuming, but worth it). Colour some windows in though, so it doesn't look like all the lights are on...

On the road, for headlight beams, you could draw long triangles, then colour around them with the black pen. Cut a moon out of plain paper and if you have a metallic pen, dot on stars. If not, you could dot on yellow paint.

2. Desert Island

a) For the desert island, flatten the tube and draw a line across, about half way up. Draw your island above this. Cut down the creases to the pencil line and cut around the outline of your island. Draw and cut a small palm tree from the leftover card.

Desert Island Cityscape flatten tube

b) Paint the sky and sea blue and the island yellow. Paint the palm tree too. Once dry you could paint on the sun, but we cut ours out of yellow paper and drew an orange spiral on it with a felt tip pen. Add some painted white lines to your sea to make it look more wavy if you want. We also drew a shark's fin… and added birds. Glue or use sticky tape to attach the palm tree to the back of the island.

Desert Island tubescape

3. Pretty meadow 

a) For a pretty meadow scene - paint your tube green. While it's drying, draw simple butterfly shapes and bugs on coloured paper and cut them out (or draw them on plain paper and colour-in or paint before cutting out).

Add any detail with the black pen.

For the daisies - cut a thin strip of plain paper and cut four similar length pieces from it (all about 2cm/3/4in. long). Cross them over each other to make a daisy shape, and use a glue stick to glue them together in the middle. For the centre, either use a hole punch-to-punch circles from a piece of yellow paper and glue in place - or paint the centres with yellow paint.

Pretty Meadow sick on daisies

b) When the tube is dry, cut zig-zaggy grass - make the strands different heights and widths and keep them lower on one side, so you can see through to the back. This is great scissor cutting practice! Use a glue stick to attach your flowers and insects.

Pretty Meadow Scene finished
Book pages Placeholder Book

Make Your Own Farm Animals and More: 35 Projects for Kids Using Everyday Cardboard Packaging by Tracey Radford

Project by Tracey Radford, author of Make Your Own Farm Animals and More and Make Your Own Zoo.

Find more projects on Tracey’s blog:


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