Easy Weekend Craft Project for Kids: Make a Pipe Cleaner Person

From Christmas time reindeers to a bouquet of flowers, the pipe cleaner has been a recognizable material in crafting for many years. Who could have known that children would enjoy an item originally meant to clean out smoking pipes so much? Usually made out of polyester or nylon pile, craft pipe cleaners come in a rainbow of colors that easily bend into various shapes. Below you will find a tutorial for creating an easy pipe cleaner person:

Materials for Pipe Cleaner Person

To complete this weekend craft project, you will need:

  • 4 Yellow Pipe Cleaners (or the color of your choice)
  • Pencil
  • Fingernail Clippers
  • Glue
  • Craft Silly Eyes

Instructions for Pipe Cleaner Person

1. Bend one pipe cleaner to create a ‘V’ shape. At the top of the ‘V’ – twist a small loop.

2. Twist together the two ends below the loop a couple of times. This will create the shape of a torso.

3. Coil one pipe cleaner around a pencil to create a curly-cue or ‘spring-like’ effect.

4. Slide the coil onto the ‘torso.’

5. Cut a pipe cleaner in half using the nail clipper or a dull pair of scissors. Slide one half through the loop. This will create the arms.

6. Wrap one pipe cleaner around a pencil – overlapping the coils to create a compact ball. Attach the bundle to the loop to make a head.

7. At the ends of the pipe cleaner ‘arms’ and ‘legs,’ make loops to designate hands and feet.

8. Attach the craft eyes to the head using a bit of glue.

9. Add features to your person using different colored pipe cleaners. For example, cutting a snippet of brown, orange, red, or black and shaping into a ‘C’ shape creates hair. Longer hairstyles are achieved by attaching multiple snippets of pipe cleaner to the head.

Craft Ideas for Beginners

Having the ability to make your own decorations and ornaments provides a rewarding feeling, especially when you get to see your creations on display throughout your house or at a local craft show. Craft shows used to be the place to go to purchase and view crafts that others are making but the internet has made this much easier. With the internet, you can buy arts and crafts that people have made along with the craft supplies needed to make these items. As a long time crafts enthusiast, I would like to share my knowledge with those new to this wonderful hobby.

There are many types of mediums that you can use when crafting. I have worked with paper mache, wood, candles, dolls, and much more. Paper mache has always been my favorite because the possibilities are endless. Paper mache is a crafting technique that allows the artist to construct anything by piecing together loose pieces of paper. Paper mache paste holds the paper together so your creation can take form.

Gathering your supplies

You can find an assortment of paper mache craft supplies online to help you get started. These supply shops can also help spark many creative ideas for your project. Important supplies that you will need are: paintbrushs, strips of newspaper, paper mache paste, and acrylic-sealing spray. A sealing spray is used to finalize your creation by giving it an added layer of protection. There are some great places to buy craft supplies online such as Factory Direct Craft.

Beginning a Project

When beginning any new project, you need to have a clear idea of what you are looking to make. This can help you acquire the right color paper, paint and anything else that fits the idea you would like to create. When beginning your project, lay out your strips of newspaper and create a base model to work with. You want to attach strips of newspaper to this model to reinforce it while it gains the shape you want. One tip to remember is that the newspaper can be rolled into different shapes to create the details of your object. At the end, give your project enough time to dry before painting or adding any accessories to it.

Several Project Ideas

The ideas are endless when it comes to paper mache crafts. You can make anything from a decorative flowerpot to a mask. Paper mache masks look great on a wall, but they can be quite challenging to make depending of the level of detail used.

Animals are another excellent idea to consider when beginning a new project. A finished paper mache dog or cat would look great on a table all year.

As a beginner, a flowerpot would be perfect since it is not as detailed as a mask or an animal. A flowerpot is also a good idea because it works for any skill level. If you are advanced, you can go a step further and create a flower inside the pot.

About Our Guest Contributor

Mark Richards is a freelance writer who loves to make his own decorations with paper mache. He also enjoys helping others find great deals on paper mache craft supplies.

Weekend Craft Project: Souvenir Boxes

In the quest to preserve memories, a shadow box for souvenirs offers a mix between creating a scrapbook and displaying mementos in a curio cabinet. Over the years, you’ve probably collected seashells, postcards, concert tickets, playbills, and other special trinkets. Many memories are tucked away in drawers, cupboards, and in shoeboxes collecting dust in closets. With a shadow box, you can show off your adventures and experiences in a creative way for all to see.

To make a souvenir box, we will use a shadow box. You can make your own shadow box, but if you don’t have enough time, purchase the box from your local craft store. Some people have also transformed a picture frame or plain cardboard box for the same purpose. Below you will learn how to decorate a shadow box that you have already purchased.

Materials and Tools Needed

  • Memorabilia
  • Shadow box
  • Batting and fabric
  • Fabric glue
  • Liquid adhesive
  • Wood blocks or foam
  • Embellishments

Instructions
1. Before making your shadow box, settle on a specific theme. Not only can you choose mementos associated with a special event in your life (like getting married), but you can also create a box as a gift for a loved one or friend.
2. Shadow boxes come in a variety of sizes. Purchase one that is large enough to hold the souvenirs and memorabilia connected to your theme.
3. Use fabric or decorative paper to cover the back of the shadow box. If you don’t want to use glue on your items, pin items to batting with fabric over it. Batting is found at the fabric store.
4. Situate your memories in the box. To create dimension, use a layering effect by mounting the items on different widths of wood blocks or foam pieces. You can also make shelves for small items by gluing pieces of wood inside of the box.
5. Enhance the box by adding beads, jewelry, charms, lace, fabric, silk flowers, stones, and any other embellishments that stay true to your theme.
6. Before permanently attaching your items onto the back board of the shadow box – carefully arrange your items. Once they are appropriately laid out, attach to the back. Before assembling the frame and glass, make sure everything is in its proper place.

Ideas for Souvenir Shadow Boxes

Looking for ideas to create shadow boxes for family and friends? Consider the following suggestions:

  • Create a souvenir box for the athletic superstar in your life by using medals, ribbons, certificates, team patches, and sports-related trinkets.
  • Invitations, favors, dried flowers, and mementos from the honeymoon are perfect for celebrating a wedding.
  • To commemorate a new baby, you can use ink footprints, pacifier, bib, booties, baby announcements, and pictures.
Image Credit: The Container Store

Weekend Craft Project: Photo Blocks

If you’re looking for an eye-catching way to display your favorite snapshots, you may enjoy a weekend craft adventure making photo blocks. Perfect for showing off your wedding, honeymoon, vacation, or children’s school photos, it doesn’t take long to create a work of art.

Materials

A trip to the local craft supplies store is in order to complete this project. You will need wood cubes, iron-on transfer paper, scissors, iron, and a computer with printer. While it’s optional, clear varnish will add a nice finishing touch to your blocks. You will also need six digital photos per wooden cube. A nice size for the wooden blocks is 2 x 2, but you can use other sizes if you like.

How to Make Photo Blocks

1. Choose your favorite memories or images for your photo blocks. If you do not have digital prints, use a scanner to transfer other photographs. Adjust the size of the images to fit the wooden cubes.

2. Print out the photos on iron-on transfer paper following the directions on the package. Cut out the images with your scissors.

3. With your iron on the hottest setting (without steam), iron each image to a side of the cube – making sure to use a circular motion.

4. Allow time for the paper to completely cool before peeling off the backing of the transfer paper.

5. A coat of varnish will create photo blocks that last longer and possess an extra shine.

6. Once the varnish has dried, arrange your wooden blocks wherever you like. A few suggestions include on the coffee table for visitors to see, office desk to have your memories at work, and the fireplace mantle.

Other ways to approach this craft project:

  • Use decorative paper instead of photos
  • Print out vintage letters to make word blocks
  • Create theme blocks using magazines, such as travel or gardening
  • Make photo blocks with holiday themes