Pipe cleaners have been a kids’ arts and crafts essential for generations because of their versatility, affordability, and availability. They are bendy, colorful, and easy for children of almost any age and ability level to work with. If you’re ready to take your pipe cleaner crafts above and beyond, check out the 27 projects listed below.

There are fourteen (!!!) animals both mythical and real that you can make out of pipe cleaners, fit for any storytime, lesson, or holiday. Or check out some of the different types of flowers you can shape and keep as beautiful decorations, give away as gifts, or use to create an indoor pipe cleaner garden. There are even pipe cleaner games and dolls you can play with at home or while traveling! Many of these make excellent party activities or take-home gifts for your guests; check out the pipe cleaner crafts you can make and then wear.

Some of these crafts require little more than a few minutes of your time; for others, you’ll need to heat up your glue gun and collect a few other materials as well.

For any season, any holiday, any occasion, you can make a craft out of pipe cleaners with your children or students. They are so easy and fun that you won’t want to choose just one!

1. Egg-Legged Pipe Cleaner Spiders

Egg-Legged Pipe Cleaner Spiders

Image source: Blissful Domestication

Spiders are a great animal to craft any time of the year. They’re so versatile! In the fall, they make wonderful Halloween decorations; in the summer they go well with a backyard adventure; and all year long they are fascinating animals to learn about in classrooms and at home. Click on over to Blissful Domestication to learn how easy it is to put together some friendly and fuzzy little spiders from pipe cleaners. There’s nothing to be scared of here, just cute crafting fun!

2. Ssssslithering Pipe Cleaner Snakes

Ssssslithering Pipe Cleaner Snakes

Image source: Kids Activities Blog

These snakes are a lot of fun to make, and they’re also a good fine motor skill activity for preschoolers or children who need to practice hand-eye coordination. Over at Kids Activities Blog you’ll see how these are made and how your children can practice stringing beads onto pipe cleaners. Using skills like this helps kids develop muscle tone and boosts their confidence. You can also sneak in a math lesson by asking children to make a pattern with alternating colors. When they’re all done, they’ve gone some silly snakes to play with!

3. Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Pipe Cleaner Craft

Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Kid-Friendly Things To Do

If the upcoming Holiday season has you frazzled and stressed out, head over to Kid-Friendly Things To Do for this simple yet adorable reindeer pipe cleaner craft. It’s straightforward enough that kids from first grade on up can probably make this with little to no supervision; younger children can make it with minimal help from you, freeing up some of your time. Since this is a Christmas tree ornament, it’ll instantly become a treasured family keepsake for many years to come. Make this before snuggling on the couch with your family, some hot chocolate, and a big bowl of popcorn for a movie night with the classic, “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

4. Easy Bunny Ears Pipe Cleaner Craft

Easy Bunny Ears Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Cutesy Crafts

Make this pipe cleaner rabbit ears headband for your child’s Easter basket, and watch their little face light up on Easter morning! Better yet, stock up on white and pink pipe cleaners and make this with a big group of children at your next Easter party. Be sure to bookmark Cutesy Crafts‘ page for your inspiration. Fun tip: need a last-minute costume but don’t have time to run to the store to buy one? Bend a few pipe cleaners into this headband, add a pink nose and whiskers to your child’s face, tape on a fluffy cotton ball tail, and you’re all set!

5. Soar Like A Butterfly

Soar Like A Butterfly

Image source: One Little Project

What better way to show off your latest pipe cleaner craft than by wearing it? This butterfly ring from One Little Project is much easier than it may look, so there’s no reason not to give it a try. One of the best parts of this butterfly craft is how children can customize them into any colors they want. Mix and match colors that contrast, go with holiday themes, or just pick your favorites. Or, go monochrome to match a color-blocked outfit! However you do it, this craft will get plenty of attention from kids and adults alike.

6. Five Little Pipe Cleaner Monkeys

Five Little Pipe Cleaner Monkeys

Image source: Frugal Fun 4 Boys

Do you have a house full of little monkeys who are always making mischief? Then click over to Frugal Fun 4 Boys to learn how to make these silly pipe cleaner monkeys! With their beaded bodies and flat feet, then can stand up on their own to brighten any desk, nightstand, or homework nook. Encourage your child to take one to school to wrap around their pen or pencil while they work. How can anyone not smile while looking at this happy and delightful little monkey!

7. This Dragon Can Fly

This Dragon Can Fly

Image source: One Little Project

Dragonflies are popular partly because their bodies look kind of like fairies…or maybe it’s because they have the word “dragon” in their names. Over at One Little Project you’ll learn how to make these cool flying insects with pipe cleaners and beads. They look amazing when they are finished, especially if you use shiny foil pipe cleaners in a rainbow of colors. Speaking of rainbows, why stick with just one color for your dragonflies? Get playful with colors!

8. The Very Hungry Pipe Cleaner Craft

The Very Hungry Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Messy Little Monster

If your household copy of Eric Carle’s classic book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” is quite worn and torn from love, then make sure you bookmark this matching craft from Messy Little Monster. This is definitely not your ordinary pipe cleaner caterpillar craft. This one is specially designed to look just like the one in the book so that your child can hold it and play with it while you snuggle up and read together. Make sure you read through the entire blog page: this craft is more than just twisting pipe cleaners together.

9. Gators & Crocs

Gators & Crocs

Image source: Easy Peasy And Fun

Although there are specific differences between alligators and crocodiles, those don’t matter when you make this harmless reptilian pipe cleaner craft. Thanks to Easy Peasy And Fun, you can make an alligator OR a crocodile that’s ready to mosey its way into your heart. Those little furry bits on the ends of pipe cleaners make natural claws on the gators’/crocs’ feet so that they are ready to move. With a few finished products, your child is ready to go exploring any swamp!

10. Pink Flamingoes Pipe Cleaner Craft

Pink Flamingoes Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Artsy Craftsy Mom

Forget plastic flamingoes on your front lawn and head over to Artsy Craftsy Mom for these pipe cleaner flamingoes that you can make with your child. If you are having any kind of beach- or tropical-themed party, these are a must-make, whether as decorations, guest gifts, or party activity. Don’t forget to add a little googly eye and a real (crafting) feather for that special touch! And if you really want to impress kids, tell them how flamingoes are actually white, and only turn pink from eating so much shrimp.

11. Hopping Along Pipe Cleaner Craft

Hopping Along Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Rhythms Of Play

If you love the pipe cleaner bunny craft above at #4, you’ll want to make this one to go along with it. Rhythms Of Play uses both pipe cleaners and crafting beads to assemble these darling rabbits with great big feet. Don’t have colorful wooden beads just laying around your house? The blogger has you covered with affiliate links you can click on to buy them online. This craft is just so cute and sweet that everyone will love them as table decorations for an Easter party, prizes for Easter egg hunts, or as a little pick-me-up in your child’s lunchbox.

12. Upcycled Pipe Cleaner Snail

Upcycled Pipe Cleaner Snail

Image source: Creative Little Explorers

Slow and steady may win the race, but this squee-worthy snail craft from Creative Little Explorers can be made in a jiffy! And it is a total blast to make with young children, as they will need to provide their own fingers for wrapping the pipe cleaners into a spiral. Expect plenty of squirms and giggles during this part! The upcycled material of this project comes from using the top of a food pouch as the snail’s shell. Make these for your preschooler’s birthday party and watch how cute the kids can get with their very own snail rings!

13. Fire-Free Pipe Cleaner Dragon Craft

Fire-Free Pipe Cleaner Dragon Craft

Image source: Frugal Fun 4 Boys

Your child will let out a mighty ROAR when they make this incredible pipe cleaner dragon from Frugal Fun 4 Boys! These mythical beasts are ready to fly and ignite your child’s imagination. The sky’s the limit for the number of ways this craft can be played with and enjoyed, and they make a great addition to storytime at home. If your child is scared of the dark, making a few of these fierce creatures for them to hold in bed might be just the thing to help them feel protected and safe.

14. Fishing For Pipe Cleaner Crafts

Fishing For Pipe Cleaner Crafts

Image source: Artsy Craftsy Mom

Turn simple pipe cleaner crafts into an entire game you can play with your children! Artsy Craftsy Mom goes above and beyond with an entire sea’s worth of creatures that can be scattered in a small tray or dish as the start of a fishing game. For teachers, each of these animals can easily be glued onto a piece of blue cardstock that’s been decorated by your students to look like water. Whatever you decide to do with these little guys, they are bound to inspire your children or students to explore the wonders of the undersea world. If you liked this, make sure to check out more of our fish crafts here!

15. Pipe Cleaner Flowers Three Ways

Pipe Cleaner Flowers Three Ways

Image source: One Little Project

Grow an entire garden in a single afternoon with these pipe cleaner flowers from One Little Project. In a single blog page, you have three types of flowers to choose from: tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. Make this craft for Mother’s Day, someone’s birthday, or just because it’s spring. As a bonus, the clever blogger shows you how to “plant” these in a pot as shown in the photo. Use them to decorate any spot in your house that could use a little bit of colorful cheer, or give them away as a gift to someone special in your child’s life.

16. Summertime Pipe Cleaner Treats

Summertime Pipe Cleaner Treats

Image source: Glued To My Crafts

Because pipe cleaners come in a vast assortment of colors, children can make up their own flavors for this pipe cleaner Popsicle craft. The project is super easy to do, making this ideal for camps, daycares, and summer days at home. Glued To My Crafts shows you how it’s done so that you can get started right away with only a few craft sticks and pipe cleaners. Best of all, your kids won’t get a sugar high from these Popsicles and there’s no sticky mess to clean up!

17. Little Monsters

Little Monsters

Image source: The Soccer Mom

In addition to the pipe cleaner snail finger puppets (see #12, above), you and your children or students can easily make these monster finger puppets out of pipe cleaners. The lovely creatives at The Soccer Mom show you how easy it is to whip up a few of these in a matter of minutes, making this a craft to bookmark for sick days at home when your poor little one needs some cheering up. This craft is also an excellent non-scary way for very young children to make something spooky for Halloween that they can wear home from preschool or daycare.

18. Really No-Water Cactus Garden

Really No-Water Cactus Garden

Image source: Handmade Charlotte

If the flowers from #15 have inspired you to create an entire multi-habitat garden in your home, then click on over to Handmade Charlotte for these clever pipe cleaner cacti. These are absolutely stunning and so very original! Making a cactus craft is a great way to start teaching your child about different ecosystems and habitats in the world (if you don’t live in a desert), or to celebrate the biodiversity that exists in desert areas. And these cacti are definitely more snuggly than prickly!

19. Pipe Cleaner Valentine Critters

Pipe Cleaner Valentine Critters

Image source: Inspiring Savings

Avoid those generic, supermarket valentines this year by helping your child craft their very own love bugs out of pom-poms and pipe cleaners. These adorable little guys come from Inspiring Savings, who want to help you make memorable valentines for your child to share, without spending tons of money. Mix and match any combination of red, pink, white, and purple materials to make each little bug unique; your child can write their name on the bottom of the heart feet so that their classmates know who loves them. And when the other students bring these home, you’ll be the envy of all the other class parents!

20. Super Kids To The Rescue!

Super Kids To The Rescue!

Image source: Frugal Fun 4 Boys

From Batman to The Incredibles, kids just love superheroes! And with this craft from Frugal Fun 4 Boys, kids of all ages can easily and affordably make whatever superheroes they like. Here’s a chance for your children to get “super” creative in inventing a whole world of high-flying adventure. Straws, beads, stickers, felt, and, of course, pipe cleaners, lay the foundation for all kinds of clever creations. Watch your child stretch their imaginations, soar in a world of their own making, and fight evil boredom super villains!

21. Crown Jewels Pipe Cleaner Craft

Crown Jewels Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Stylish Cravings

Dramatic play with little ones will almost certainly involve royalty at some point. Kings, queens, princes, and definitely princesses dominate children’s imaginations from preschool through most of elementary school. Over at Stylish Cravings, you’ll find instructions for making an easy (and inexpensive) crown for all the royalty in your home or classroom. Silver and gold pipe cleaners rule the day with this craft, as well as jewel stickers for decoration. Have the materials on hand ahead of an afterschool playdate for a fun friend activity, or have guests make these at your child’s next party for a take-home gift that’s sure to be a hit!

22. Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Pipe Cleaner Craft

Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: DIY Adulation

Adding to your pipe cleaner flower garden (see #15 and #18, above) are these daisies from DIY Adulation. They are so easy to make and add a lovely pop of color to any pipe cleaner bouquet or display. The color combinations are limited only by your child’s sense of wonder and imagination. Add pipe cleaner stems to each of your flowers, tie them together with ribbon, and you have an instant gift for teachers and babysitters. For parties, make bunches of these pipe cleaner flowers ahead of time and scatter them around snack tables for a lovely touch that will impress your guests.

23. Christmas Tree Pipe Cleaner Craft

Christmas Tree Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Play Trains

Play Trains has a delightful Christmas craft that looks absolutely amazing. These Christmas trees can be made in vivid colors, all-green, all-white, or any other colors that will bring you holiday cheer. They can even be decorated with tiny ornaments and lights! Kids will adore this craft because it’s small enough for them to hold in their hands and incorporate into imagination play with toy trains, cars, or little Christmas villages. This craft is one to bookmark and create every winter for as long as your children believe in the spirit of Christmas.

24. Xs and Os Pipe Cleaner Craft

Xs and Os Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Make And Takes

Here’s a two-in-one craft that will keep kids nice and busy (and screen-free) on sick days, rainy days, or on long car rides. Thanks to Make And Takes, you can quite easily create a sensory tic-tac-toe game that is as fun to play as it is to assemble. Be sure to craft some extra Xs and Os in case the originals (inevitably) get lost. Once you have this ready, it can be stored in a plastic Zip-Loc bag for easy transport in purses, diaper bags, or even in pockets. Want to send your party guests home with something other than the usual plastic dollar store toys? Give them a pipe cleaner tic-tac-toe set!

25. Spring Has Sprung

Spring Has Sprung

Image source: Glued To My Crafts

Need even more pipe cleaner flowers and plants to add to your collection? (See #15, #18, and #22, above.) Click on over to Glued To My Crafts for this wonderful spring flower craft card! These are a beautiful way to celebrate the coming of the season and make a work of art that children will love. Hang these up around your classroom to welcome spring, or have your students write their names on the front of the cards for a sweet Mother’s Day gift. At home, these are instant fridge-worthy works of art that will make your child feel special.

26. Ballerina Pipe Cleaner Craft

Ballerina Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: Blue Bear Wood

This pipe cleaner craft from Blue Bear Wood is so elegant and stunning you won’t believe how simple it is to create. As a result, you and your children can easily and quickly make enough to perform the entire Nutcracker Ballet in your living room! Because the bodies are made with pipe cleaners, they are infinitely poseable. These make perfect little dolls for when you have store-bought-toy fatigue and need your children to understand the value of homegrown playtime. This project also keeps kids busy and entertained during playdates, as everyone can come up with lives and stories for their own pipe cleaner dolls.

27. Bubbly Pipe Cleaner Craft

Bubbly Pipe Cleaner Craft

Image source: My Home-Based Life

What child doesn’t love to make and pop bubbles? With this pipe cleaner bubble wand from the clever minds at My Home-Based Life, you and your kids can make all the bubbles you want without spending money on store-bought bottles. It’s a simple enough craft for even toddlers to help out with and results in hours of magical fun. And yes, the pipe cleaners really make bubbles! The blog even has a DIY bubble solution recipe (hint: it’s super easy) so that you can put together as soon as your wands are ready.

Dan Wiener
Hey there! I'm Dan, the founder behind Kids Love WHAT. I started this blog as a way to document all of the things that my 4 kids love: crafting, science experiments, good food, fun games and of course lots of toys! When I'm not busy chasing them all around, you can find me scouring the web to find the next best thing to keep them busy and out of my hair!