Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Crafty Tuesday: Pipe Cleaner Creatures

0206_kids_pipechamelon.jpgThis type of animal fits comfortably into a pocket or pencil case, won't make a peep during class, and is easy to take care of: It doesn't need food or water, and it never gets fleas. All the creatures were made by forming the head out of one pipe cleaner, then slipping a coiled pipe cleaner over it to create the body.
For features -- ears, eyes, a bushy tail -- you can use snippets of other pipe cleaners or of felt. Pipe cleaners were invented to clean the inside of tobacco pipes but, naturally, they'd rather avoid that sooty career, so they're extra loyal when given the opportunity to serve as pets.

Tips and Tools

Each animal starts with a looped pipe cleaner for a head and a coiled one for a body. You'll also need short pieces for limbs; a marker; felt; glue; and small scissors to cut pipe cleaners and felt, and to trim fur-to make a pointy nose, for instance.

Basic Head How-To

Make a loop in the middle of a pipe cleaner. The size and shape of the loop determine the size and shape of the head. Wrap head from neck to nose.

Basic Body How-To

Coil pipe cleaner around a marker (the thicker the marker, the fatter the animal) and slide off.


How does a tiger get its stripes? From a permanent marker, naturally.

Tiger How-To

1. Slide his body over the backbone.
2. Slip back legs over the tail, and twist to secure.
3. Slip front legs behind the first coil, and twist.
4. Unfold one ear, slide through the top of the head, and reshape. Bend tip of tail; bend paws; cut face from felt.
5. Use scissors to trim fur on face and ears. Add stripes with a permanent marker.


This squirrel likes to wave his tail around, which really cracks up the nut.

Squirrel How-To

1. At the end of the backbone, make a hook.
2. Hook a fluffy pipe cleaner onto it; Make a short body.
3. Shape ear. Slip through top of head. Cut felt eyes.
4. Place legs over front and back coils, and twist.
5. Curl tail.


This lizard began his life as a few skinny pipe cleaners. With help from the kid who shaped him, he grew into a lovable pet.

Chamelon How-To

1. Leave his tail extra long for curling.
2. Slip legs between coils, and twist.
3. Bend knees and feet.
4. Cut a skinny pipe cleaner for tongue.
5. Cut felt eyes. Glue on.
6. Draw pupils with a permanent marker. Slide tongue into the face, and curl end.


It's a monkey swinging from pigtail to pigtail as he chomps on a fuzzy yellow banana! Instead of giving him a wrapped pipe-cleaner head, we left it open, for a more outgoing look.

Monkey How-To

1. Bend tail up
2. Form a short body.
3. Leave his face loop unwrapped; Slip long legs in front and back of coils, and twist.
4. Curl tail; Twist ends of ears onto head; cut a short, yellow piece for a banana.
5. Curl his paw around the banana.

Deer and Fawn

A quiet woodland clearing is a wonderful place for a mother-daughter outing. Here, Mom keeps watch while the felt-spotted fawn stretches her hind legs.

Deer and Fawn How-To

1. Hook a tan pipe cleaner tail onto the backbone.
2. Create a medium-size coil for a body.
3. Make long legs.
4. Use black felt for face, white felt for fawn's spots.
5. Turn up tail. Bend ears back, and trim into points. Trim face fur with scissors.

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