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Uncle Sam: Paper Towel Roll Craft Project

Updated on October 24, 2016

How to Make a Patriotic Decoration

With the Fourth of July holiday coming up, why not make an Uncle Sam decoration? He is all decked out in red, white and blue, including stars! This craft is inexpensive and fun to make. It uses few supplies, recycles a paper towel tube, and can be a craft for all ages. The Uncle Sam pictured is made with felt, but it could be made with construction paper or white paper that is colored with crayons, markers, or colored pencils. See the suggested pattern at the bottom of the page.


(All photos by SharpLee on HubPages.)

Gather Supplies

1 sheet of red felt

1 sheet of white felt

1 sheet of blue felt

1 sheet of beige felt (optional)

gold or silver star stickers

cotton (cotton strip from a vitamin bottle works well)

1 small pair of google eyes

cardboard (idea: use the back of a paper tablet)

1 cardboard tube from a paper towel roll

tacky glue

scissors, marker, ruler

Photo by C-Sharp
Photo by C-Sharp

Steps 1 and 2

Cut a paper towel roll to about 7 1/2 inches in length. Optional: Use one toilet paper roll tube for the body, and another for the hat.

Cut a hat brim out of cardboard by tracing around the end of the paper towel tube. Then find a jar or glass that will work for the outer circle or brim of the hat.

Steps 3 and 4

Cut one blue felt circle the size of the tube end (for the hat top to use later) and two blue felt rings the size of the brim.

Glue (tacky glue) the felt ring to the top and bottom of the cardboard ring. Also glue the blue felt to the hat top circle.

Step 5

Divide the tube into thirds. Cut, wrap, and glue a strip of blue felt around the bottom third and white felt around the middle section. Cut out the red belt and glue it around the blue felt, about 1/4 inch down. Slide the brim of the hat just to the top of the white felt.

Step 6

Cut out white stripes, and glue them to the red felt. Let dry, then glue the red felt to the top of the tube right next to the hat brim. Glue on the blue top of the hat.

Uncle Sam's Hat - Patriotic red, white, and blue including stars!

Uncle Sam's hat can be decorated with stars. You can add a little bit of tacky glue to make sure the stars adhere to the felt.

Steps 7 and 8

Cut out 2 arms, 2 legs, and 4 shoes out of blue felt. Cut out white hands (4). Glue the hands onto each side of the arms and the shoes onto each side of the legs.

Glue on the legs to the inside front of the tube. Glue the arms to each side at the top. Add stars to the brim and one on the top of the hat.

Step 9

Glue hair (from cotton) on each side of the head just under the hat. Glue the google eyes and oval nose. Form cotton into a pointy beard and glue it on.

Use for Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or Flag Day!

Uncle Sam can decorate your mantle, windowsill, book shelf, or be used as a centerpiece!

Uncle Sam Pattern

Pattern by C-Sharp
Pattern by C-Sharp

Here is a rough pattern to give you an idea on the sizes for each part. It is based on the paper towel tube that I used, but might need to be adjusted to the size that you have.

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    • SharpLee profile image

      SharpLee 5 years ago

      @TanoCalvenoa: That would be a good idea!

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 5 years ago

      Make it green and he's a leprechaun. You can do different variations for different purposes.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      What an adorable version of Uncle Sam :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very creative work!

    • howdoyouspellst profile image

      howdoyouspellst 5 years ago

      GREAT lens!! I love this craft. Such fun for kiddies!!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      I just had a funny idea. How about making Uncle Sam as a gift package and hiding a little present (a bag of M&Ms, a necklace?) inside the tube? I would want to make a flip-up hat lid for that idea. ha ha.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Just in time for 4th July

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      What fun! I love this Uncle Sam Paper Towel Roll Craft.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a fun craft for all ages. So colorful and patriotic. Even the little tikes could help make Uncle Sam. Great pics and directions too. Love it.

    • Mandy Stradley profile image

      Mandy Stradley 5 years ago

      Aw how cute! I love this craft!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      This is SO cute and fun! Super original, awesome photos, great directions. Uncle Sam would be fun sitting on a picnic table on the 4th of July or on someone's desk at work - gosh, so many place. Kids and adults will love making this patriotic craft. Thanks for sharing and you good work!