On a recent outing to Michael’s Craft Store, I decided to pick up a bag of Easter-themed pipe cleaners to use during spring break week with my kids. My 6 year old daughter who has been doing crafts with the neighborhood girls immediately wanted to do something with the pipe cleaners. I love their flexibility and ease of use, not to mention the size is easy for little hands to work with. The bag was cheap – maybe $3 or $4 and on sale for 40 percent off.
After browsing Pinterest for ideas, we decided to tackle this little Easter basket. This is a good project for a slightly older child due the coordination involved. You can use the full length of the pipe cleaners or divide them in half as I did to make a smaller basket. Using different colors for contrast also helps a child keep track of what they’re doing since they can see a visual difference between the spokes and the woven pieces.
Use an odd number of spokes when creating the basket. I made a star with 3 pieces, and added half of a pipe cleaner to the middle. Weaving around where the spokes meet will help secure the extra piece. To weave, tuck in the first piece and go around the circle with the pipe cleaner going over and under the spokes. When you finish a piece, tuck the end into the previous row and start the new piece by tucking it in to the previous row.
When the weaving is finished, tuck the spokes back down into the rows and clip the ends off. I like to have my ends clipped on the inside of the basket to make the outside clean and to prevent scratching by the pipe cleaner ends. To make the handle, I folded a pipe cleaner in half, slid the folded end around the top row on the basket, twisted it together a bit, and then secured the ends on the other side of the basket.
My daughter found our Pampered Chef kitchen scissors did a great job of cutting the pipe cleaners; the kid craft scissors weren’t strong enough. She made the outline of an Easter egg and turned it into a head band. She also made a necklace and bracelet for herself.
We also made these flower rings from 2 pieces of pipe cleaner, a craft we found on Martha Stewart Living. Fold one piece in half. Then, taking each half, make 3 folds on each side about the width of your thumb. Secure one half to the other. It will look weird. Take the 2nd pipe cleaner and wrap it between the folds turning the 1st pipe cleaner into a flower with petals. Leave enough of a tail on the 2nd pipe cleaner to make a loop for a ring behind the flower. Trim off the excess.
You can use these flowers to decorate your basket, a bracelet, a necklace, or a headband.