40 Clever and Colorful Pipe Cleaner Crafts and Learning Activities

Time to get crafting!

Pipe cleaner crafts and learning activities, including practicing math facts and creating constellations.

Pipe cleaners have long been a staple classroom supply. They’re colorful, inexpensive, and have so many uses. Try out one of these pipe cleaner crafts with your students to add a vibrant, colorful effect to your classroom, and have some fun in the process! Check out this list of 40 of our favorite pipe cleaner crafts. 

1. Create pipe cleaner animal friends

Different pipe cleaner animals - pipe cleaner crafts

Students will love these adorable pipe cleaner animal creations. The variety of animals means everyone can choose which one they like best.

Learn more: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

2. Match colors on a pipe cleaner tree

Pipe cleaner tree with colorful branches

Round up colorful pipe cleaners and beads to match. Twist the pipe cleaners into a tree shape, then let kids string the matching beads to the right branches for some color recognition practice.

Learn more: School Time Snippets

3. Cultivate a cactus garden


Green cacti made from pipe cleaners- pipe cleaner crafts

How cute are these cacti! Create a whole garden of them with the easy instructions at the link.

Learn more: Handmade Charlotte

4. Spell with pipe cleaner letters

Letters made from colorful pipe cleaners

Take a break from writing and try twisting pipe cleaners into letters instead. Then, use those letters for fun spelling practice.

Learn more: Make and Takes

5. Craft a butterfly ring

Butterfly-shaped rings made of pipe cleaners

How sweet are these pretty rings? Your kids will love this simple and beautiful craft. 

Learn more: One Little Project

6. Gaze at pipe cleaner constellations

Constellations made of pipe cleaners - pipe cleaner crafts

Use star-shaped beads along with pipe cleaners to map out the constellations of the night sky. Bonus tip: Hang them from the ceiling for cool classroom or bedroom decor!

Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me

7. Pick a bouquet of roses

Pink rose made by pipe cleaner - pipe cleaner crafts

Real roses fade, but these pipe cleaner crafts will last forever!

Learn more: Sharing Our Experiences

8. Get hands-on math practice

Math flashcard and pipe cleaner number - pipe cleaner crafts

Make simple but effective math manipulatives to help kids see addition and subtraction in action. These are great in the classroom or for extra practice at home.

Learn more: Tips and Ideas from Anne Gardner

9. Blow bubbles with homemade wands

Homemade bubble wand made of pipe cleaner

Sure, you could just use the wands that come with bubble solution, but these are so much cooler! Experiment with different shapes, and personalize your own wand with colorful bead patterns.

Learn more: Messy Little Monster

10. Grab a colander for fine motor practice

Colander with pipe cleaner stuck through it- pipe cleaner crafts

Give a toddler some pipe cleaners and a colander, and you’ll keep them busy for hours. Not only will it buy you some much-needed quiet time, but it will also give them excellent fine motor skills practice.

Learn more: Hands On as We Grow

11. Go over the rainbow

Cloud with rainbow-colored pipe cleaners hanging from it

This cute pipe cleaner craft is the perfect way to welcome spring! Use the finished products to decorate your classroom for a colorful accent.

Learn more: Preschool Inspirations

12. Form shapes with pipe cleaners and straws

Geometric shapes made of pipe cleaner

Thread pipe cleaners through straws and use them to create a wide variety of 3D shapes. This is good for geometry review, but they make fun building toys too.

Learn more: The Map Is Not the Territory

13. Plant pretty pipe cleaner flowers

Colorful flowers made of pipe cleaner - pipe cleaner crafts

You’ll be impressed by how realistic these flower pipe cleaner crafts are! “Plant” them in small terra-cotta pots for an even better effect.

Learn more: One Little Project

14. Light up pipe cleaner circuits

Circuits made of pipe cleaner

This STEM activity will amaze your science students, and you only need a few basic supplies to pull it off. Get the how-to at the link.

Learn more: Instructables

15. Craft cuddly mini teddy bears

Mini teddy bears made of pipe cleaner - pipe cleaner crafts

These tiny teddies are big on charm! Make a whole collection for kids to play with or trade with friends.

Learn more: The Multicrafteral Lab

16. Grow crystal icicles

Crystal icicles made out of pipe cleaner hung on trees

Pipe cleaners are the perfect medium for growing crystals in supersaturated solutions made with Borax. This is one of those pipe cleaner activities that never fails to amaze.

Learn more: Happy Hooligans

17. Travel to a galaxy far, far away

Star Wars characters made of pipe cleaner- pipe cleaner crafts

Do or do not … there is no try when it comes to these galactic pipe cleaner crafts! Make the whole crew and act out your own stellar story.

Learn more: Curious and Geeks

18. Count with pipe cleaner numbers

Red and pink numbers made from pipe cleaners

Like the pipe cleaner letters above, this activity gives kids fine motor skills practice along with a way to learn their numbers. String beads onto the letters for more counting practice.

Learn more: School Time Snippets

19. Smile at a crocodile

Green alligators made of pipe cleaners - pipe cleaner crafts

These cute crocs are nothing to be scared of! Craft them with pipe cleaners, wood craft sticks, and a little bit of white paper for teeth.

Learn more: Easy Peasy and Fun

20. Re-create favorite yoga poses

Pipe cleaner figure doing a yoga pose

Here’s a fun way to work on physical fitness. Have kids bend pipe cleaners to represent their favorite yoga positions and explain how the pose makes them feel.

Learn more: Liz Espinosa/Pinterest

21. Float pipe cleaner jellyfish

Jellyfish made of CVC

How cute are these floating jellyfish decorations? Using multiple colors for the tentacles creates such a vibrant look for classroom decor!

Learn more: Crafts by Amanda

22. Practice spelling words

Pipe cleaners with words on them- pipe cleaner crafts

Grab some alphabet beads and work on sight words, CVC words, or whatever’s on the spelling list this week. The hands-on component encourages whole-brain learning.

Learn more: Gift of Curiosity

23. Fly a swarm of dragonflies

Dragonflies made of pipe cleaners

Hang a host of sparkling dragonflies by the window to catch the light! Learn how to make these pipe cleaner crafts at the link.

Learn more: I Heart Crafty Things

24. Craft a DIY fidget stick

Fidget toys are a terrific way to help kids work off some physical energy while staying focused on the subject at hand. These DIY pipe cleaner fidget sticks are easy and inexpensive enough to make a batch for the whole class.

25. Twist together pipe cleaner lollipops

Colorful lollipops made of pipe cleaners- pipe cleaner crafts

They look delicious, but don’t snack on these little lollipops! These pipe cleaner crafts are so cute you’ll want at least a dozen.

Learn more: Make and Takes

26. Turn a pipe cleaner into a needle

Needle and thread made of pipe cleaner

How clever is this? If you don’t have kid-safe plastic needles for lacing activities, twist a pipe cleaner into a needle to use instead.

Learn more: A Little Learning for Two

27. Bend pipe cleaner skeletons

Pipe cleaner craft of colorful skeletons

You could hang these as Halloween decorations, but we honestly think they’re fun enough to keep around all year long!

Learn more: Handmade Charlotte

28. Create colorful dragons

Pipe cleaner craft of colorful dragons

These cuties don’t breathe fire, but kids will love playing with them anyway. Learn how to twist your dragons at the link.

Learn more: Blissful Domestication

29. Weave a pipe cleaner bowl

Pipe Cleaner Crafts- pipe cleaner crafts

Weaving is an excellent way to work on hand-eye coordination. Use woven pipe cleaners to make mats, or bend them up into bowls or baskets.

Learn more: Having Fun at Home

30. Hang a garland of hearts

Garland of hearts made of pipe cleaners- pipe cleaner crafts

Send a message of love with this easy-to-make pipe cleaner garland. Hang them to celebrate Valentine’s Day or any day.

Learn more: Hometalk

31. Put together superhero figurines

Superhero made of pipe cleaners

Students will adore these little crime-fighting crafts. Ask your class what their superpowers are for a fun bonus activity.

Learn more: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

32. Bookmark a good read

Bookmarks with bees on them made of pipe cleaner- pipe cleaner crafts

Encourage good reading habits with these adorable bookworm bookmarks! Such a simple craft for an awesome result. 

Learn more: Momee Friends of Long Island

33. Craft feathery pencil toppers


These birds definitely won’t fly away! Gather a few art supplies to craft these fun and functional pencil toppers.

Learn more: Artsy Craftsy Mom

34. Play tic-tac-toe

Tic tac toe board made of PVC

Turn craft time into game time with these adorable pipe cleaner tic-tac-toe boards. Students will absolutely love this 3D version of a fan-favorite game.

Learn more: Make and Takes

35. Be the star of the sea

starfish made of pipe cleaners- pipe cleaner crafts

These cute starfish will go over swimmingly with your students. You can even add magnets so students can take their starfish friends home.

Learn more: Artsy Craftsy Mom

36. Create finger puppets

Finger puppets of animals made of pipe cleaner

Put on a play with these pipe cleaner finger puppets! You have the option to create a variety of animals for endless fun. 

Learn more: One Little Project

37. Bee the change

Bee made of pipe cleaner

Create a buzz with these adorable little bees. Wrap the pipe cleaners around a wooden clothespin and add some googly eyes for an un-bee-lievable craft.

Learn more: Kids Activities Blog

38. Meet friendly monsters

Colorful monsters made of pipe cleaners and googly eyes- pipe cleaner crafts

Who knew monsters could be so cute? These little creatures are created using Ping-Pong balls. How creative!

Learn more: Kids Activities Blog

39. Craft a snack bag

Snack bag with pipe cleaner shaped like a rooster taped to it

Students will love this craft-and-snack all in one! Hand these out as gifts after holiday parties or classroom festivities. 

Learn more: Reuse Grow Enjoy

40. Take an “elfie”

Elves and mushrooms made of pipe cleaners- pipe cleaner crafts

Have some fun with these adorable elves made out of pipe cleaners! Your kids will appreciate this silly and cute craft.

Learn more: Red Ted Art

Keep up the creativity with these fun Wood Craft Stick Projects and Ideas.

Plus, check out 24 Unbelievable Things You Can Do With Broken Crayons!

Pipe cleaners are inexpensive and kids love to play with them! Find all the best pipe cleaner crafts and activities for school and home here.