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Pipe Cleaner Butterflies Craft for Kids

Updated July 01, 2020
Pipe Cleaner Butterflies Craft for Kids

Get the kids involved with this butterfly craft and have them make some pipe cleaner animals. With inexpensive pipe cleaners and beads, you can create many variations of this Pipe Cleaner Butterflies Craft for Kids. Once kids learn how to make butterflies, they just might want to branch out and make to dragonflies, too. Pipe cleaner crafts for kids are appropriate for all ages and a stress-free activity for care-takers. Buy a big bag and have kids make a ton of different animals. Who knows - they might create a whole zoo before their done.

One of the best things about making pipe cleaner crafts with kids is that they are perfect for helping kids work on their fine motor skills. In order to bend and shape pipe cleaners, kids must concentrate on the task at hand. This can teach them the valuable skill of patience. Plus, the three-dimensional creation they made allows them to play pretend afterwards.

Materials List

  • 3 glitter pipe cleaners
  • 5 pony beads
  • 2 larger beads or buttons


  1. Make the body: Fold a pipe cleaner in half. Fold up the folded end up a bit so the beads won’t pass through.

  2. Place 5 pony beads on through both ends of the pipe cleaner.

  3. Place the larger bead, or button on to form the head. Push all the beads to the bottom (folded end) of the pipe cleaners.

  4. Form the 2 ends of the pipe cleaner into spirals to form the antennae.

  5. Make the wings: Form one pipe cleaner into a circle. Twist the ends together, but leave 1 inch at the end for attaching it to the body of the insect. Then twist the circle together in the center to for a figure “8”. Do that with the remaining pipe cleaner as well.

  6. Attach to the body, between the head and the next bead, by twisting the 1 inch protruding ends of the pipe cleaners around the body of the insect. Reshape the wings and antennae.

Free Craft Video Tutorial: How To Make a Pipe Cleaner Butterfly

Old-Fashioned Pipe Cleaners vs Pipe Cleaner Crafts Supplies

It might not come as a surprise, considering their name, but pipe cleaners were originally created to clean out smoking pipes. Their long and pliable structure allowed cleaners get into the crevices of soiled pipes in order to clean them out thoroughly. Though they were originally designed for pipes, these products were later applied to cleaning other supplies out in need of the pipe cleaners’ dexterity like medical devices or other equipment.

It was not until much later in their lifespan that pipe cleaner crafts became popular. Pipe cleaner crafts are made with a new type of pipe cleaner known as chenille stems. These stems are much easier to bend, much safer, and much softer. This new type of crafting pipe cleaner makes them safe for little hands. These crafty versions are longer and thicker than then predecessors and are generally made out of polyester or neon. This means, unfortunately, that craft pipe cleaners are not very good cleaning supplies. Their texture does not absorb water and their shape is often too big to scrub a piper properly.

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I absolutely love butterflies and dragonflies and I love this video showing how to make these pipe cleaner butterflies. They are so easy to make and inexpensive. Most supplies can be found at the dollar store or Walmart. So easy and fast that anyone can make them and a great family project. These would make great decorations for the Christmas tree or make some wall art with them. Thank you for sharing.

I love how imaginative people get to make these pipe cleaner craft. These kinds of crafts are not difficult for kids. My daughter would to make some of these for her pencils. Maybe warp up the pipe cleaner in a pencil. If I can make several of these, I can give these as giveaways. You can also put different colored glitters on the pipe cleaner! very nice!

These are great and very simple for kids to make. I made something similar with my own kids before Christmas. Instead of using pipe cleaners for butterfly wings, we made dragonflies using wings I bought at the craft store. We also looped a piece of yarn through the heads so that we could hang them up.

This is a wonderful idea for my arts and craft class. I haven't ever used pipe cleaners before. Could anyone tell me where I could get some? Also is there a cheaper alternative for pipe cleaners, like regular baby bottle cleaners? Or would this be harder to bend and possibly dangerous for kids hands? I love the craft..simple and kids are gonna love this.

Pipe cleaners are so much fun for people to play with. They are great for projects. Like these butterflies.

I love pipe cleaner crafts! These butterflies are adorable. One of the things I have done for long car rides is put together "pipe cleaner craft kits" I put several colors and lengths of pipe cleaners into a ziplock. I toss in a pencil (to use to make curls or springs) I will also add a couple of pictures from the internet for inspiration. These keep the kids busy for quite some time, first creating and then playing with their creations.

My children from my oldest at 11 years all the way down to my youngest at 2 years all love to play with pipe cleaners . This is a fun one for them to follow directions to learn how to better make shapes out of pipe cleaners and pefect for my youngest to practice his fine motor skills on. I also found the bit on the history of pipe cleaners interesting. I had wondered about the name but never knew why they where called that.

This is a great way to use up leftover supplies. I have lots of different colored chenille stems and beads, so we made lots of colorful spring butterflies at my home daycare. The younger children need a little help, but that was a good opportunity for the older children to feel proud of themselves for helping the littler ones.

its cute.

love it. easy to make with kids.

would make neat pins for hat/etc

Real cool,,,seems quick and easy for children to make. Thank you. Oh, I enjoyed your tutorial also.:o)

I love the butterflies; I have all of those materials on hand, so they won't cost me anything!My only suggestion is to place the Instructional Video after the printed instructions. Then when we print them out, there won't be an empty space where the video was, causing us to print 2 pages instead of one.Thanks for all the fun 'stuff''. Nancy Hill


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