Make Your Own Movie

Akron Art Museum
3 min readJun 24, 2020


If your at-home film fest leaves you inspired, jump in, and make your own animated show using just supplies you have around the house. Curator of Education, Gina Thomas McGee shows you how here:

If your house is anything like mine, there has been a lot more screen time than normal. With this project, you’ll create your own no-tech moving picture show using supplies you have around the house (or recently thrown into the recycle bin). Here’s how:

Cereal box
Two paper towel tubes
Paper (small enough to fit in the box, see below)
Markers, crayons, or any drawing supplies you have
Photo of someone in your family (or a drawing instead)

How To:
Trim your paper to fit inside your box. I had to cut a little bit off of the top and bottom of standard 8.5x11” printer paper to fit inside the cereal box when laid horizontally.

Draw your scenes! Create as many background scenes as you like using your drawing tools. My four year old and I collaborated on ours. Train stations, the beach, anything goes!

Tape all of the scenes together (tape on the short side of the paper).

Cut a square out of the front of your cereal box slightly smaller than the dimensions of your paper. Cut holes for your paper towel tubes. You’ll need a top and bottom hole for each tube on either side of the box. See photos.

Slide your tubes into the holes. After they’re in, you may want to secure the box opening with tape, so it is a bit stronger.

Tape one end of your now taped-together scenes onto one of the paper towel rolls.

Roll the drawings onto the tube by spinning it around until you get to the other end of your drawings.

Secure the other end of your drawings to the other tube.

Finally, cut out a photo or drawing of someone in your family. Give it some extra support with a little cardboard or a plastic straw on the back so it stands upright.

Tape the photo to the bottom of your ‘screen’ opening, so it looks like the person is in the scene.

Decorate the outside of the box if you wish.


Move the scenery by rotating one of the paper towel tubes. You’re essentially wrapping your drawings around the tube like a roll of paper towels. When you get to the end, go backwards by rotating the other tube.

Narrate the story, film your creation, share with friends, make more characters, have fun!


Studio Hours are made possible with support from PNC, the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, the Alan and Janice Woll Family Fund, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Peg’s Foundation, Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, Charles E. and Mabel M. Richie Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Considine.



Akron Art Museum

Enriching lives through modern and contemporary art