Crafty Fun for (Nearly) Free: Pipe Cleaners


Crafty Fun for (Nearly) Free, is a series that explores budget friendly craft activities for kiddos of all ages.  We will show you  how to maximize a few bucks and simple supplies for hours of fun and entertainment!

This edition of Crafty Fun is all pipe cleaners!  I had everything I needed for these projects in my house, but if you don’t have anything on hand, you could easily find everything at the dollar store, except the Styrofoam ball, for under $5.00

Silly Puppets

Good for: Older Toddlers, Preschoolers, School Age Kids

puppetWhat you need: Pipe cleaners, Googly eyes, Styrofoam bowl, Straws or Popsicle sticks to use as a handle, and anything else you have lying around that you want to use.

What you do: Use the pipe cleaners to create fun and crazy hair for your puppet.  The wire on the pipe cleaner can be easily slipped through the Styrofoam bowl and bent over on the other side to secure.  Then use your other items to create a face.  For my handle, I used two straws bounds together with another pipe cleaner, taped to the inside of the bowl. You could use a Popsicle stick or anything else you have on hand.





Good for: Preschoolers, School Age Kids

JellyWhat you need: Styrofoam balls (I had these on hand from the ornament edition of crafty fun.), Googly eyes, Pipe cleaners, Paint

What you do: My kids insisted on coloring the Styrofoam balls with markers, but paint really would work better.  So, first cut your ball in half and paint them whatever color you want the jellyfish body to be.  Once dry, glue on googly eyes.  Wrap pipe cleaners around a pencil to make them curly and then insert into the flat bottom of the jellyfish body. Use one more pipe cleaner to make a hook for hanging.



Good for: Preschoolers, School Age Kids

butterflyWhat you need: Pipe cleaners

What you do: Simply bend the pipe cleaners into the shape of the wings of the butterfly, twisting to secure.  I used other colors of pipe cleaners to make a design, but for slightly older kids, weaving beads or buttons onto the pipe cleaners would add a very cool extra 3D component to the project.  Twist on some antenna and there you have it.


Ninja Men

Good for: Older Preschoolers and School Age Kids

personWhat you need: Pipe cleaners, Straws, Scissors

What you do: Create a pipe cleaner body.  Cut the drinking straws into pieces to create the segments of the arms, legs and body.  You can also use pipe cleaners to give the ninja men a weapon if you so desire.  We didn’t end up making the ninja men I originally set out to make, but they were really cool.  You can see that project here. However, I was surprised by how into this project my 5 year old was.  She was really intent on cutting her straw pieces and configuring the body.  She chose to draw the paper face and glue it on like you see in our picture.  So, while this project could technically be called a “pinterest fail” in my book, it was a craft success for my daughter.  And for that it makes my list.


Googly Eye Hand Puppets

Good for: Preschoolers, School Age Kids

googleWhat you need: The smallest size Styrofoam ball.  I used ones I had on hand, but they really were a little too big for this project. Pipe cleaners, Googly eyes.

What you do: Glue googly eyes onto the Styrofoam balls.  Use pipe cleaners to create eye lashes or other silly additions to your face.  Use a pipe cleaner to connect the two balls to each other, creating a half ring which will allow you to hold your little face like a puppet.  It’s that simple.

Happy Crafting!




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