How to Make a Pipe Cleaner Turtle

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You can create an entire menagerie out of pipe cleaners, and turtles are some of the simplest animals to make. This craft is easy and safe enough — no scissors or other dangerous implements — to be appropriate for young kids. It's a great way to teach children about turtles, or create cute crafts that they can use to decorate a picture frame, put on a hat or bag, give as a gift or use as ornaments.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 large green pompon
  • 5 green pipe cleaners
  • 1 orange pipe cleaner
  • 1 pair googly eyes
  • Clear-drying, nontoxic craft glue
  • Hold two of the green pipe cleaners and one orange one together so that their ends are aligned. Twist the very tops of the pipe cleaners together. Braid the pipe cleaners together to form one long braid. Twist the ends together to secure it.

  • Roll the braided pipe cleaners into a shell shape. Fold one end of the braid in and continuing to roll that end forward down the length of the braid until the entire braid is coiled together and resembles a wheel.

  • Place the green pompon on your work area. Smear glue on the inside of the shell and press it onto the pompon.

  • Bend two of the green pipe cleaners to form "V" shapes. Smear the pointed ends with glue and affix them to the center of the underside of the pompon to make the turtle's feet. The pointed ends should meet in the middle, with two "feet" peeking out from under the front of the pompon and two feet peeking out from under the back.

  • Bend the last pipe cleaner to form a "U". Put glue on the straight ends of the "U" and stick it to the underside of the turtle so that the rounded part of the "U" forms the turtle's head. Glue the googly eyes onto the head and your cute pipe cleaner turtle is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your young crafter is struggling to braid the pipe cleaners, make a spiral out of the orange one instead or just leave the shell off all together.
  • You can buy pompons from your craft store or you make your own out of yarn. Hold your forefinger and middle finger together and wrap yarn around them — the thicker the layers of yarn, the puffier the pompon. Then cut another piece of yarn and tie the wrapped yarn together in the middle — in between your two fingers. Slid the yarn off your fingers and then cut through the wrapped ends at the top and bottom to make a pompon.

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