Things to make out of pipe cleaners

Make a variety of useful, fun and decorative items from pipe cleaners. Create items such as ornaments and play creatures for children, as well as useful items like small cleaning tools and package fasteners. Use pipe cleaners as a language or fine motor teaching aide as well. Adults and children alike can create many fun and useful items with pipe cleaners.

Use pipe cleaners to fasten or decorate packages. Punch two holes in the top of a lunch-sized paper bag, insert a pipe cleaner and twist to fasten the gift bag shut. Create a simple flower, heart, star or initial letter from pipe cleaners and hot glue it to the bag for gift bag decoration.

Let children use their imagination to create simple animals, people, bugs, plants and homes. Challenge them to create a distinct habitat--a jungle, for example--and make all the creatures that might live there. Alternatively, have them create their own imaginary habitat and creatures.

Make small cleaning instruments from pipe cleaners. Bend the end of the pipe cleaner over to form a softer end. Use two pipe cleaners twisted together side-by-side to create a thicker cleaning head. Twist two pipe cleaners together end-to-end for a longer cleaning instrument. Use these to clean keyboards, remove dust from computer fan vents, unplug small squirt bottles or reach any difficult-to-clean corner or crevice.

Use pipe cleaners to create holiday ornaments. Twist several green pipe cleaners together then join ends to create a wreath circle. Twist a pipe cleaner into a cone shape and stand on end to create a Christmas tree. Using a pencil or marker, create a spiral shape by wrapping a pipe cleaner around it. Use this as the body for snowmen, Santa, reindeer and other Christmas characters. Decorate each of these with other pipe cleaner accents to create detail.

Cover desk items with pipe cleaners for comfort and decoration. Wrap pencils and pens with pipe cleaners for soft grips. Cover small cans or jars with pipe cleaners to create pen and pencil cups.

Have children create letters from pipe cleaners and practice spelling. Use the letters in crafts to create personalised signs or door hangers when glued onto fun foam. Use pipe cleaners in beading activities: Have young children practice fine motor skills by placing beads on pipe cleaners and creating bead jewellery from them.

Things You'll Need

  • Large package of assorted pipe cleaners
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small paper bags
  • Hole punch
  • Pens, pencils
  • Small jars or cans
  • Fun foam
  • Beads
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About the Author

Elizabeth Stover, an 18 year veteran teacher and author, has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Maryland with a minor in sociology/writing. Stover earned a masters degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas, Arlington and continues to work on a masters in Educational Leadership from University of North Texas. Stover was published by Creative Teaching Press with the books "Science Tub Topics" and "Math Tub Topics."