Reading Buddies

Twist up a few of these charming creatures—from lions to lizards to elephants—to create colorful reading buddies that students can take home to keep them company as they lose themselves in their summer books.

Things You'll Need:

12-inch pipe cleaners (orange, yellow, pink, green, red, and grey)
Orange mini pom-poms
Marker
Sharpened pencil
Googly eyes
Glue
Scissors
Ruler




Brave Lion

1 Accordion-fold a whole orange pipe cleaner 15 times to create seven points, leaving an inch-long straight section at the end. Use the straight piece to fasten the ends together, creating an eight-sided star. This will form your lion’s mane.

2 Wrap a whole yellow pipe cleaner around the tip of a sharpened pencil, making a cone-shaped spiral with a hollow interior. (Your cone should be about 1-inch long and 3/4-inch wide at the neck.) Leave a straight 1-inch piece on one end.

3 For ears, cut two 1/2-inch segments from yellow pipe cleaner and fold each in half. Place one ear on each side of the outer rim of the head and secure with glue.

4 Attach the mane to the lion’s head by gluing it to the outer rim of the cone.

5 Then, create a face by gluing a small orange pom-pom to the tip of the spiral to form a nose. Add googly eyes above the pom-pom.

5 Next, wrap a whole yellow pipe cleaner around a marker, creating a 4-inch spiral cylinder. This spiral will form the body of the lion.

6 To create the legs, cut two 3-inch lengths of yellow pipe cleaner. Fold each in half, and bend the four tips of each leg at a 90-degree angle to create little paws.

7 To complete your lion, insert a 6-inch length of yellow pipe cleaner through the body cylinder and wrap the ends over the center of the front and back legs. Fasten the piece by tying the ends together to hold the legs in place. Insert the straight end of the head into the cylinder body and secure with glue.

Pig Pal

1 Using one whole pink pipe cleaner, make a spiral around a pencil; this is the head. Remove from the pencil and scrunch the front into a 1/4-inch barrel to create a snout. Then, expand the diameter for the remaining part of the spiral to create a head and thick neck. Leave a straight inch-long section at one end.

2 For ears, cut two 1/2-inch segments of pink pipe cleaner. Fold each in half and glue them on top of the head, side-by-side. Add googly eyes below the ears.

3 Wrap a whole pink pipe cleaner around a marker, creating a 3-inch-long spiral cylinder, the body. Leave a straight inch-long section at the end and fashion it into a piglet tail.

4 To create legs, cut two 3-inch lengths of pink pipe cleaner. Fold each in half, and bend each end to create mini-hooves.

5 Next, insert a 5-inch length of pink pipe cleaner through the body cylinder. Wrap the piece over the center of the front and back legs and fasten the ends together.

6 To complete, insert the straight end of the head into the front of the body and glue it in place.

Cuddly Cat

1 Wrap one whole orange pipe cleaner around a pencil tip to create a hollow cone, leaving a straight inch-long section at the end. The cone should be about 1-inch long and 3/4-inch wide.

2 For ears, cut two 1/2-inch segments of orange pipe cleaner. Fold each in half and glue them side-by-side on the outer rim of the cone.

3 Cut a 1/4-inch length of pink pipe cleaner and insert it through the tip of the cone to create a tongue. Then glue on googly eyes between the ears and a pom-pom nose.

4 Wrap a whole orange pipe cleaner around a marker to create a 3-inch long hollow cylinder, the body. Leave a straight inch-long section at the end and shape it into a slightly bent tail.

5 To create legs, cut two 3-inch lengths of orange pipe cleaner. Fold each in half and bend the ends to create paws.

6 To hold legs in place, insert a 5-inch length of orange pipe cleaner through the body cylinder and over the center of the front and back legs, fastening the ends together over the belly.

7 Finally, insert the straight end of the head into the cylinder body and secure it with glue.

Leapin' Lizard

1 Wrap a whole green pipe cleaner around a pencil tip to create a hollow oval, with one end a closed tip and the other a 1/2-inch-wide opening. This is the lizard’s head.

2 Cut a half-inch length of red pipe cleaner and insert it through the tip of the cone to create a tongue. Complete the lizard’s face by gluing googly eyes on either side of the tongue.

3 Wrap another whole green pipe cleaner around a marker, creating a 3-inch-long spiral cylinder. This will form the body of your lizard.

4 To create legs, cut two 3-inch lengths of green pipe cleaner. Fold each in half and slightly bend each of the four legs in the center to create knees.

5 Insert a 4-inch segment of green pipe cleaner though the body and tie the ends over the center of both legs.

6 Then, insert a 6-inch length of green pipe cleaner through the body cylinder, sculpting a curly tail at one end. Leave a 1/2-inch section sticking out at the front of body to hold the head.

7 Insert the straight end of the tail segment into the head and secure with glue.

Grand Elephant

1 To create the head, wrap a whole grey pipe cleaner around a marker, then remove and scrunch into an inch-wide sphere. Leave a straight ¾-inch-long section on one end to create a trunk.

2 Cut a second pipe cleaner in half and fashion it into mirroring teardrop ears. Glue both ears atop the head and googly eyes above the trunk.

3 Next, wrap a whole grey pipe cleaner around a marker, creating a 3-inch hollow cylinder, the body.

4 To create legs, cut two 3-inch lengths of grey pipe cleaner. Then, fold each piece in half and bend the ends to create little feet.

5 Secure the legs by inserting a 4-inch length of grey pipe cleaner through the body cylinder and wrapping the ends over the center of the front and back legs. Tie both of the ends together to hold the legs in place.

6 Insert a second 4-inch length of grey pipe cleaner through the body, so that it sticks out an inch at the back, to form the tail, and an inch at the front, to form the neck.

7 Finally, attach the head to the neck and secure with glue.

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Photos: Adam Chinitz
Stylist: Morgan Levine
Craft Ideas: Pari Deshpande