Growing Grass Heads

AKA how to have fun with old loo rolls. With advice from Ava (and a bit of help from Dawn Isaac)

Words & Pictures: Ava Milne and Dawn Isaac

You will need

  • Coloured paper or thin card
  • Loo roll tube
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Black pen
  • Sticky tape
  • Cotton wool
  • Water
  • Small round yoghurt pot (able to fit in top of loo roll tube)
  • Grass seeds
  • Other optional decoration such as pom poms or sequins.
  1. First of all decide if you want to make a clown, elf or punk. You could, of course, make a grass head of your own creation although remember this invaluable fashion advice - long green hair doesn’t suit everyone.
  2. Cut out a piece of coloured paper the same height as the cardboard tube and wide enough to wrap around it and then attach it using a glue stick – this is the background or body colour for your grass head.
  3. Next cut a smaller piece of coloured paper and wrap it around the bottom of the tube to form the trousers then draw a black line down the lower half to form the two legs.If you are making the clown, remember to make these baggy, (because for some reason loose-fitting trousers are considered hilarious in the circus ring) and use a line of glue at the front and back of the tube to attach it. You will also need to glue on two thin strips of paper to form the clown’s braces. This can be quite fiddly so you may need to ask a grown up to help. Don’t worry though, adults are rarely doing anything important and jump at the chance to get covered in glue.
  4. Next cut out a long, slightly curved piece of paper or card with two mitten-shapes at both ends – this will form the arms.  Attach it with some glue to the middle of your grass head’s back, leaving the arms to move freely at the sides. You could add colourful gloves if you are making the elf, or some studded wrist bands for the punk.
  5. Cut out and decorate the face using pens, imagination and a little artistic flair before sticking it onto the tube. Pointy ears, nose rings and red noses are all good ideas (although perhaps not all on the same face).
  6. Use some card to make the feet – these need an extra long section at the top which can be bent up and stuck to the inside of the tube with sticky tape.
  7. Finish off with your own flourishes.  You could use a hole punch to make polka dots for the clowns trousers, or how about using pom-poms for your elf’s belt buckle?
  8. Finally, take your empty yoghurt pot and fill it with cotton wool to just below the top.  Soak this with water and then sprinkle on the grass seed.  If you slot this into the top of your decorated tube and place it on a sunny windowsill, you should see grass sprouting within a week.  Remember to keep your cotton wool moist and the grass will keep on growing.  You can even give your characters haircuts as the grass will happily re-grow.


You could use other small seeds, such as mustard or cress, to grow different hairstyles.  These won’t grow back when cut but, on the plus side, they will make better sandwich fillings.