Easy Pipe Cleaner Crafts
So school is out and if you have a kid or kiddos in the house, you’re sure to hear “I’M BORED!” in about 3, 2, 1… If you’re looking for some easy ways to keep bored kiddos (or adult-sized kiddos!) entertained over the summer, all you need are some easy craft ideas that can be completed using simple, craft supplies. One of my (and my own kids’) personal favorite art supply is pipe cleaners (also called chenille stems)! They are no-mess, easy to work with, inexpensive and you can spend hours creating fun pipe cleaner art! Today’s tutorial is just going to cover pipe cleaner flowers and dollhouse furniture but the possibilities are really endless here!
- Pipe Cleaners (hot pink, red, deep orange, yellow, kelly green, emerald green, turquoise, purple, lavender)
- Wire cutters (or a pair of kid scissors but those will only be used for cutting wire, as cutting wire dulls the blade over time)
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
- Mini toys, dolls, etc. (to play with the furniture!)
- Glass bottles (to display your lovely flowers!)
- Elmer’s glue
- Fun add-ons like google eyes or plastic beads
How to Make Pipe Cleaner Flowers
It’s really simple to get started. First, we’ll start with the basics: creating the stem. Take a green pipe cleaner and about 3-4” from the bottom, bend it and create a small loop. Pinch the loop at the end to create the tip of the leaf, then use your finger to pull apart and widen the leaf. Twist and then about an inch up, create another leaf.
Now you have a stem ready to attach to a flower! You can create several at once in different shades of green (with different sized or a different number of leaves) to be ready to attach to your flowers or create one at a time. You are ready to start creating pipe cleaner flowers! We’ll start with the easiest to the most difficult.
Simply take a blue or purple pipe cleaner and attach it to the tip of a green stem, wrapping a coil down the stem. Try to wrap it so that there isn’t any green showing. You can create a bouquet of these simple flowers in no time!
To create a pipe cleaner rose, take a chenille stem in any color and create a small, ½” loop at the end--this will be the base of your flower. Continue creating a coil around the base, making sure that the circle is a little wider each time (as if you are creating a coiled cup or bowl shape). Thread the stem through the coiled flower shape and then back down. Twist to secure. Cut a small 1” piece of yellow chenille stem and shape it into a “V.” Loop it through the green pipe cleaner in the center of the flower. Twist to secure.
Start with any color pipe cleaner and create a small, ½” loop. Create a second loop and twist to look like a figure 8. Continue adding petals by creating a loop and twisting to secure as you go until you have 5 petals.
Loop the remaining pipe cleaner end into a coil. This will be the underside of your flower. Press your thumb into the other side of the flower and fold the petals up a bit to round out the shape. Attach the stem to the coil on the other side.
Take a lavender pipe cleaner and create three medium-sized loops. Twist after each loop to secure. You should have about a 1.5” stem left after--point that down away from the loops. Create two of these shapes.
Twist the two shapes together at their stems. Open up the petals. Create the center with a 6” piece of yellow pipe cleaner. Create a simple coil and leave about ½” stem on the end. Stick that into the center of the flower and twist to secure. Attach the green stem to the purple stem of the flower by wrapping it around a few times.
Take four red pipe cleaners and cut them into thirds (about 4” lengths). You should have twelve 4” pieces. Fold each of the pieces in half. These will be your petals. Line them up, six on either side of your stem (the folded half should be pointed up, the two ends pointed down and even with the tip of the stem).
Gather the petals so that they are centered around the stem. Take a 6” pipe cleaner and twist it around the base where the ends and the stem meet. Wrap the coil around tightly to secure the petals to the stem. Fold the petals upward toward the tip of the stem, where the coil started. Press the petals around the coil to form a tulip shape.
Take three yellow pipe cleaners and fold them each in half. Twist two together to make an “X”, then add the third to make a six-pointed star/snowflake. Start at the end of one of the arms and roll into a circle. Repeat for each of the six arms. You may need to adjust them a bit, fold each of the petals over the other so they overlap as you go around the flower.
To create the center of the daffodil, cut an orange pipe cleaner in half and coil it around your finger or a pencil. Smash down the coil so it is a bit flattened. Attach the end by looping it through the center of the daffodil. You can also use a hot glue gun to affix. Let an adult do this step, as the hot glue can burn little kiddos fingers. Older kids can use the glue gun with adult supervision. Attach the stem to the base of the flower by looping the stem through the back of one of the coils. Twist to secure.
Pipe Cleaner Art: Doll Furniture
Using craft pipe cleaners to create furniture for your toys and dolls can be so fun! Here are a few ideas, from easiest to hardest. Kids may need an adults help, but I would also encourage them to just try to come up with designs of their own!
To create a table, start with the red pipe cleaner and make a tight coil. Add an orange chenille stem to the end by twisting the ends together and continuing the coil. Secure the two pieces together with smaller 1” pieces of scrap pipe cleaners as you go. Continue with all of the colors of the rainbow until you have a table about 3” in diameter.
Take two halves of a lavender pipe cleaner and create a V shape. Thread them through the underside of the table and twist to secure. Coil the ends and arrange until the legs are the same length. It may take a little while to get the balance correct--try spacing the legs out as evenly as possible.
To create a baby’s crib (or playpen) start by creating a cube shape. You will need to use several pipe cleaners to complete the shape, it’s ok to just connect a new one as you go until the shape is complete.
Once you have the basic cube, take a different color (in this case, turquoise) and attaching it to the bottom of the cube. Wrap it around the top of the cube (coiling around about 2-3 times) and then wrap around the bottom again. Complete this step until you have the bars or railing around the entire crib/playpen. To create the base, simply thread a few pipe cleaners back and forth from one end to the other to create a tight-knit surface.
To create a rocking chair, start with two halves of a yellow pipe cleaner, rounded in a slight arch shape and curled on either end. Take two 3” pieces and attach to create a square shape. This will be the base of the rocking chair. Take two 6” pieces and attach to either side on the back of the chair, coiling the ends. This will be the sides of the back of the chair. Take two more 3” pieces and connect those two pieces together. This will be the back to the chair.
Make a seat by creating a pink square. Attach the front of the pink seat to the base of the chair with two 2” pieces of yellow chenille stem. Weave a pink pipe cleaner back and forth to create the seat, much like you did with the base of the crib/playpen.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on easy pipe cleaner crafts for adults and kids! There are so many things you can make! I like to just lay out a rainbow of arts and crafts pipe cleaners for my kids to go through. Often, we’ll take tv/computer/phone breaks and it’s one of the first things they’ll go to. It helps to keep the pipe cleaners out on a craft table, maybe with some kid scissors, googly eyes, glue, pom poms and plastic beads.
Store them in recycled coffee cans, or a plastic caddy from the dollar store. You can create your own art station that is simple, easy to clean, inexpensive and supplies hours of fun throughout the week! Have fun and enjoy!
Tools & Materials
Hot Pink Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Red Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Deep Orange Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Yellow Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Kelly Green Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Emerald Green Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Turquoise Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Purple Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Lavender Pipe Cleaners$3.99 / box of 100
Nipper Pliers Sturdy Cut$12.99
Mini Glue Gun$4.99
Mini Hot Glue Sticks$4.99 / 40 pack
Bundle of Babies figures$11.99
Pets animal figures$11.99
Friendly Fairies Super Toob$19.99
Dino Babies dinosaur figures$11.99
Elmer's Glue-All - 1.25 oz$1.99
Elmer's Glue-All - 4 oz$2.79
Elmer's Glue-All - 7.625 oz$4.69
Elmer's Glue-All - 16 oz$8.49
Elmer's Glue-All 1 qt$8.99
Elmer's Glue-All (1 gallon)$32.49
4mm Colored Google Eyes$0.49
4mm Classic Google Eyes$0.49