Pipe cleaners lend themselves to so many different and fun crafts. These pipe cleaner animals are cute and easy to make. The fact they are also very inexpensive is a crafting win!

We had so much fun one day coming up with things we can do with pipe cleaners. I ALWAYS have a pack or two on hand, because you never know when you might need them….to make glasses or flowers, or whatever takes my girl’s fancy. Like pipe cleaner animals.

We have been on an animal kick lately, asking Google what the animal of the day is, finding out random facts about animals, and especially finding out weird things about their poop (they are 6, what can I say??). So, when they wanted to make something, we took a packet of pipe cleaners and made some cute little animals: spiders, turtles and snakes.

They were easy and they are now being found hidden all around our house – the spiders especially! Though, they keep forgetting that I have no fear of spiders or bugs!

4 pipe cleaner snakes

You will need for these pipe cleaner animals:

Pipe cleaners (chenille stems)

Googly eyes of different sizes

Craft glue or hot glue



(and whatever else takes your fancy)


* * You will need 4 pipe cleaners

  1. Cut 2 pipe cleaners into half and group together
  2. Take the other 2 pipe cleaners and wrap around the middle. This will create the body of the spider. You can do one at a time or both together. 
  3. Bend each of the legs so you have what looks like a knee joint and a foot.
  4. Spread the legs out so you see 4 on each side
  5. Stick on a couple of googly eyes (and yes, spiders do have 8 eyes so you can add 8 if you like)
pipe cleaner spiders


** You will also need a small piece of red fabric or felt

  1. Take 2 pipe cleaners of different colors or contrasting of the same color (example: light green and dark green).
  2. Twist the 2 pipe cleaners together to make a striped body. You can add a drop of craft glue at the ends so they don’t come apart, or do a small extra twist.
  3. Bend about ½ inch (1 cm) of one end to start making a head and then repeat that. 
  4. Twist the head a little to make the head slightly flat. 
  5. Add googly eyes
  6. Make a small tongue out of red fabric or felt. Snips the ends to make it forked.
  7. Glue the tongue into the head of the snake.
3 pipe cleaner snakes


** You will need 2 brown pipe cleaners and 1 green pipe cleaner (if you want to be more realistic – they can honestly be whatever color you like, so 2 of one color and 1 of the other)

  1. Coil a brown pipe cleaner into a circle. Push out the center so that it is slightly raised like a shell. 
  2. Cut the green pipe cleaner into 5 pieces to make the legs, head and tail.
  3. Fold each leg piece into half and twist the ends together.
  4. Twist one piece tightly in half to make the tail.
  5. Curl around one end of the last green piece to make the head.
  6. Glue googly eyes to the head.
  7. Turn the shell over and glue on the head. 
  8. Glue on the legs and tail
  9. Coil another brown pipe cleaner into a circle. Glue this onto the bottom of the shell to cover the heads, legs and tail.
pipe cleaner turtles

So, here you go! A simple and fun craft to keep little hands busy. I hope you enjoy them. And, if you feel so inclined, keep the spiders in mind for Halloween…..how many could you make by then??

pipe cleaner spider

Need some other crafts? Check these out:

Coffee Filter Butterflies
Homemade Musical Instruments
Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

And there are more on this website!

Michayla Best

For over 30 years I have worked with children in a variety of capacities, whether as a teacher or tutor, a babysitter, a camp leader, or family advocate. I have always found a way to connect with children, to help them understand themselves and the world around.

I am Mummy to trinational twincesses who keep me on my toes with their questions, their commentaries, their shenanigans and acts of spontenudity.

Wife, world traveler, musician, crafting queen and self-proclaimed nerd; I love to take what I see, glean, know and help families to find their groove and be successful.

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