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  • Writer's pictureMade by Ellie C.

Pipe Cleaner Turtle

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

In this craft you can create a fun little turtle using pipe cleaners, hot glue, and googly eyes. School-aged children can use their fine motor skills to help them bend the pipe cleaners into the right shapes, but they need to make sure to have an adult to help when it is time to use the hot glue! This craft is the perfect size for a little desk buddy and can help add a little piece of fun décor to any room.


- Green Pipe Cleaners

- Brown Pipe Cleaners

- Googly Eyes

- Hot Glue Gun

- Scissors

- An Adult Helper

- *Optional* Ruler

Activity Steps:

Before you start: This craft is easiest to complete on a flat surface clear of any other loose objects. There will be hot glue used, so a counter or hard-topped area is best!

Step 1: First, take two brown pipe cleaners and form them into tight spirals. These are going to be the top and bottom of the turtle’s shell, so once you have made them into a spiral, try to push the middle part out so that it looks almost like a mini bowl.

Step 2: Next, it’s time to make the head, legs, and tail. To do this, you need about two or three green pipe cleaners. Turtles have four legs, so we need to cut four pipe cleaner segments that are around two inches in length. Once you have those four pieces, fold them in half and set them aside, I twisted the two loose ends together so that they didn’t unfold on mine.

Step 3: Now, cut another segment of pipe cleaner about one and a half inches long for the tail of the turtle. Fold it in half like you did for the legs and set it aside. Make sure not to mix this piece up with the legs!

Step 4: It’s time to make the head now! For this step, you need to cut a piece of pipe cleaner that is about three inches long. Coil about half of it into a spiral and leave the other end sticking out of it. The coiled part is the head and the one sticking out will be the neck.

Step 5: Next, let’s put it all together! You have all the pieces you need, all that’s left is to assemble them into a turtle. This is where you will need some adult assistance. Have an adult glue a googly eye to the middle of either side of the turtle’s head. Remember, the glue is hot! Be sure not to touch any glued pieces until they have cooled. Once the glue on the head has cooled, take one of the brown shell pieces and have your helper glue the end of the neck to the inside of the “bowl”.

Step 6: Now, have the adult glue the tail and legs to the inside of the same shell piece. Make sure to let the glue cool fully before and after putting on each piece. The tail should be directly across from the head and the legs should be spaced evenly between them. Once those pieces are all glued on, take the other shell piece and glue it onto the turtle’s belly.

Step 7: Finally, let the glue cool, then carefully remove any strings of glue that may have been left behind. Now you can bend the turtle’s legs so that it can properly stand! You can also bend its neck so that it can look in different directions. You have successfully made your very own pipe cleaner turtle, now you get to find a spot for them!

You can even name your turtle or make them some other turtle friends. We used brown and green pipe cleaners in this craft, but you can do it again and use any colors you would like to make your own unique turtle crafts! We often think of turtles as brown and green, but turtles in the wild can come in several different colors and some have black, red, or even yellow on their shells!

~Made by Ellie

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