Pipe cleaner crafts are a fun and inexpensive way to entertain young children. Crafts can be completed alone or in a group, making pipe cleaner projects perfect for rainy day fun as well as birthday party crafts and classroom activities.
Pipe Cleaner Flowers
Pipe cleaner flowers can be displayed in a vase made from a recycled tin can to make a special homemade gift for Mom, Grandma, a favorite teacher, or a daycare provider.
For each flower you will need:
- One colored pipe cleaner
- One green pipe cleaner
- One large button
- Choose a color for your pipe cleaner flower. Twist this pipe cleaner into a bow shape.
- Bend the ends of the bow back to the middle to form a flower with four petals.
- Thread a large button through a green pipe cleaner to make the center and stem of your flower. Wrap this portion around the middle of the flower petals to secure the design.
- Twist the ends of the green pipe cleaner around each other to make a sturdy stem for your flower.
- Repeat the process as needed until you have an entire bouquet of flowers to fill your vase.
Pipe Cleaner Crown
A pipe cleaner crown is a fun dress up prop for young children to make.
- Six to nine pipe cleaners in your choice of color
- Beads (optional)
- Use one to three pipe cleaners to make a circle the same size as the crown recipient's head. Cut the pipe cleaners if needed to make an exact fit.
- Use pipe cleaners in matching colors to make the points for your crown. Twist in half and make a small loop in the middle. Twist the ends on to the crown circle and adjust as needed to make a point. You will need five or six points, depending upon the size of crown you are making.
- If desired, you can adapt this simple crown design by adding beads to the points or by forming hearts with the pipe cleaners before attaching them to the crown. Using metallic pipe cleaners is also a fun way to add an interesting element to this project.
Pipe Cleaner Finger Puppets
Pipe cleaner monster finger puppets will keep young crafters entertained for hours and are a fun variation on the traditional pipe cleaner people craft. However, to avoid injury, you should not allow children to use a hot glue gun without adult supervision.
- One pipe cleaner
- One pom pom in a color that matches the pipe cleaner
- Two wiggle eyes
- Glue gun and glue stick
- Twist half of one pipe cleaner around your finger in a spiral shape.
- Bend the remaining portion of the pipe cleaner into two ears.
- Use a hot glue gun to attach a pom pom in a matching color between the spiral and the ears. This creates a head for your puppet. If you don't have pom poms in the right color, simply wind a second pipe cleaner into a tight ball and glue it in place.
- Add wiggle eyes to complete your puppet.
Pipe Cleaner Spider
Pipe cleaner spiders are most often considered a Halloween craft, but could easily be used to accompany a lesson about the Itsy Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme.
- Three black pipe cleaners
- Black construction paper
- 1-inch hole punch
- Wiggle eyes
- Craft glue
- Cut three black pipe cleaners in half so you have six equal-sized pieces.
- Arrange four of the pieces to make your spider's legs. Wrap the fifth piece tightly around the middle of the bundle. Set the sixth piece aside for another project. Fan out the pipe cleaner pieces so you have four bent legs on each side.
- Punch three circles from black construction paper using a 1-inch hole punch.
- Glue the circles together so they are overlapping.
- Add two wiggle eyes to the spider's face.
- Glue the face and body on top of the spider's legs to complete the project.
Where to Buy Pipe Cleaners
Pipe cleaners can be found at any major craft store, as well as discount stores that sell children's craft supplies. Pipe cleaners are sometimes called chenille stems or chenille sticks. They are most often 12 inches long, but can sometimes be purchased in 6-inch lengths. For the projects outlined here, 12 inch pipe cleaners are ideal.
A multi pack that provides a wide range of colors, such as the pipe cleaner assortment from Dick Blick Art Materials, is perfect for encouraging a young child's creativity.
Crafting Special Memories
Crafting with pipe cleaners can encourage a child to develop a lifelong love of art. Once you've tried the projects featured here, consider letting your child develop his or her own unique pipe cleaner craft project.