Pipe Cleaner Projects

Projects with a twist from Spoonful.

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To those of you who have yet to experience the mysterious power of pipe cleaners, I humbly suggest the following three-step exercise:

  • Hand pipe cleaners and this article to your kids.
  • Wonder why they are being so quiet.
  • Check on kids and be amazed at their brilliant creations. Come to think of it, there's a fourth step: Wrestle the last pipe cleaners from your kids and join in the fun!

Over the years, I've developed a deep respect for the pipe cleaner (although I still can't bring myself to call it by its craft-store name, the chenille stem). At the same time, my kids and I have also developed a host of designs and nifty assembly techniques. Here are three of our favorite projects, each of which creates very little mess, costs very little money and provides near-instant gratification--for kids and grown-ups alike.

Here are a few pipe cleaner tips you'll need to create a duckling, a dinosaur (pipe-cleanosaurus) or pipe cleaner people -- whatever you can imagine, the possibilities are endless.

  1. Clip: Cut sections of pipe cleaner with dull fingernail clippers or scissors.
  2. Twist: Tightly wrap two pipe cleaners ends around each other by twisting.
  3. Insert: Tuck a section of one pipe cleaner into the coils of another.
  4. Bundle: Wrap a pipe cleaner around a pencil, overlapping the coils to form a compact ball.
  5. Connect: Attach two pipe cleaners end to end by twisting a short length of one around the other.
  6. Coil: Wrap a pipe cleaner evenly around a pencil to form a springlike shape.

Laura Torres, a frequent contributor, is the co-author of PIPE CLEANERS GONE CRAZY.

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