A fellow teacher introduced me to this process. It is super cheap and easy and exercises your playful side. If you have a naked white wall in your home, this could dress it up a bit and be a popular discussion piece at your next household gathering.
Materials: 10 paper towel rolls; a pencil; a ruler; a scissor; tacky glue or hot glue and a glue gun; clothespins; a large flat workspace; a playful, open mind.
Press down on the paper towel rolls. It should look like someone sat on it and flattened it a bit. The open circles on either end will now look like a pinched oval.
Measure and mark off the paper towel rolls into 3/4 in slices. Now cut on the 3/4 inch marks starting at the pinched ends.
Once you have a collection of sliced pinched oval shapes, start laying them out on a large, flat surface in a branching pattern of sorts or a giant zinnia shape starting with a design in the picture above. My vine above was made from only 1 paper towel roll. You will have many more ovals to arrange after cutting 10 paper towel rolls (or more if you wish).
Once you are happy with your design, begin to attach them with tacky glue or hot glue. Use the clothespins as a vice to keep your connections together and move on. This will keep your hands free to do the creative busy work of attaching rather than waiting for the glue to dry while you pinch each individual connection.
Mount your finished piece onto a wall will small unobtrusive nails or clear tacks.
RECYCLED BEAUTY Addendum 2/19/2012: This artist created a zinnia pattern with colored paper towel roll slices to create a textural painting.