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Pipe cleaner animals – instructions (step by step)

pipe cleaner animals instructions

And ridiculously cute project ideas for you to get inspired

Pipe cleaner animals can be adorable. In this post, you will find easy, clear, step by step instructions to make your own (with lots of pictures). Throughout the page, you will also find plenty of project idea pictures that you can use for inspiration.

pipe cleaner animal decorations ornaments

Best friends: pipe cleaner mouse and cat

patriotic craft ideas pipe cleaner animal ornaments

I used a toothpick to make the flag. 

pipe cleaner animals step by step

 You can use the technique described in this tutorial to create any kind of animals.
Here a monkey, a kitten, and a bunny.

Project materials:

– A few pipe cleaners (chenille). Pipe cleaners come in many different styles: solid color pipe cleaners, glitter pipe cleaners, zebra marking pipe cleaners, “plush” pipe cleaners….You can usually get a variety pack for cheap and experiment with different colors and different styles.

– A pair of round nose pliers. You can do without pliers but you may hurt your fingers trying to twist pipe cleaners by hand. The round nose pliers are helpful to make perfectly round animal ears.

– Golden thread (or any thread) to make the hanging loops.

– A pair of scissors (to cut the thread).

– A ball pen (to draw the faces of your little pipe cleaner animals).

– A few small spun cotton balls to make the heads. They come in many sizes: 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 15mm, 18mm….For this tutorial, I used a 12mm ball. I would not recommend using wood or plastic beads for this craft because they are too hard and slippery.

Step by step instructions:

The basic technique is to loop a pipe cleaner around a spun cotton ball and then secure the ball into place by twisting the pipe cleaner a few times (use pliers to give the pipe cleaner a few good hard twists). What is left of the pipe cleaner is then bent into the legs, the arms, and the tail.

Below you will find a lot more detailed instructions.

Start by gathering your materials. Bend the full length pipe cleaner in half.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 1

Make a loop with the piece of thread. Tie a knot.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 2

Cut off the excess thread to get a clean knot.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 3

Insert the knot in the hole. Push the knot down into the hole with the round pair of pliers. It is not necessary to use any glue. The pipe cleaner will cover the hole.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 4

Use the round pliers to make a loop in the middle of the pipe cleaner strand. Twist the loop a few times so it doesn’t get untied. This is the first ear.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 5

Notice how the ear is in the center of the piece of pipe cleaner. This is important for later.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 6

Following the same technique, create a second loop. Notice how the two strands have different lengths.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 7

Position the ball between the two ears. The hole faces up.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 8

With the pliers, twist the pipe cleaner under the ball. Make it tight.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 9

Shape the arms. Have them go out horizontally and then down in an X pattern.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 10

Start shaping the torso. Grab one of the two strands of pipe cleaner and fold it up and across.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 11
pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 12

Then fold the pipe cleaner strand down and across again, but behind the animal’s back this time. 

Repeat with the other strand. Except this time, go behind the back first and come back in front. When you are done with the torso, the two legs should have different lengths. This is normal.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 13

Shape the first leg by folding back the shortest strand.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 14

Shape the second leg by folding back the other strand of pipe cleaner.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 15

Notice how you have enough pipe cleaner left to make the tail. To make the tail, just bend the end of the pipe cleaner onto itself so the tail ends in a gentle loop. Draw a face.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 16

You are done! Make more animal pipe cleaners! Hang them everywhere throughout the house. Start a mini zoo.

pipe cleaner animals tiger instructions step 17

Let them hang out :)

pipe cleaner animals

More pipe cleaner animal DIY Project ideas to get you inspired

You can click on any of the pictures for a larger view

A few final thoughts

I hope you found these pipe cleaner creations inspiring.

Pipe cleaner animals are great decoration craft ideas: they are fun to make, they look very good, and they are inexpensive.

Of course, you don’t have to twist and bend your pipe cleaners exactly the same way I did. You can create your own style of pipe cleaner animals.

If you have your own way of making pipe cleaner animal ornaments and would like to share, please feel free to use the comment section below. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Until then, happy crafting!

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