Pipe Cleaner Tarantula in 15 Steps – Step By Step Instructions (Intermediate 3 hour project)

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  1. Start the two parts of the body (the carapace and abdomen) by creating two circles and two pinched ovals.  IMG_0975
  2. Connect the two ovals at the point and bend them slightly outward in the middle to make it three dimensional.  Connect the two circles parallel to each other about 1 cm apart.
  3. Squeeze the circle piece slightly on one side to make it slightly flatter.  Add additional connections to the sides and top to give it a stronger structure.  Weave a connection around the middle of the oval piece as well.
  4. Fill in the oval piece with black pipe cleaners starting from the middle outward to the pinched ends.  On one end leave a small amount of space uncovered as this will connect to the body and insert a black pipe cleaner to be used later for attachment.IMG_1074
  5. Start making the legs by folding 32 black pipe cleaners in half.  Fold an additional 4 in half for the little leg-like arms in the front (these are called pedipalps).  Fold 9 red pipe cleaners in half to mark the halfway point and cut in half.IMG_0973
  6. Take 4 of the folded black pipe cleaners and group them together with the rounded edges all on one side.  Starting with the rounded end, coil a black pipe cleaner tightly around the group.  Bend the last little bit of the end so that it is parallel with the group.  IMG_0986
  7. Continue coiling with a half stick of red pipe cleaner.  To do this, start by holding the beginning of the red next to the last bit of black and then coil over this for the first few passes around.
  8. Stop when you have 8 legs.  There should be 4 black pipe cleaners left and two red halves.  Fold both of the red pipe cleaner in half to find the halfway point and cut in half.  This means you should have 4 pieces all 1/4 length.IMG_1049
  9. Take 2 of the black pipe cleaners and hold them together with the rounded ends on the same side.  Coil Just as before, but this time with half the lengths used before.  Start with 1/2 length of black, then 1/4 red, etc.  At the end cut off the excess, leaving only enough to attach later on to the body. IMG_1066
  10. Start attaching the 8 legs to the body by using the uncoiled portion of each leg.  They can be attached in any order, but I prefer to attach them in order all the way around.  They should sit at roughly a 45 degree angle upward as they are attached.
  11. Attach the smaller “legs” (pedipalp) to the front of the body.
  12. Attach the oval body to the circular body with the length of pipe already strung through the oval.  Add additional connections from the oval to the circle parts on both the top and body to secure them fully.IMG_1079
  13. On the top of the circular body, use red pipe cleaners in a horseshoe pattern to create some distinctive coloring, and use black to fill in the remaining open space on both the top and the bottom.
  14. Create 2 small slightly curved “Chelicerae” (the things that look like fangs) by make a V shape with a black pipe cleaner and inserting a V-shaped red pipe cleaner inside.  Curve slightly downward and attach to the body.
  15. Put the legs into their final position by first bending at the red “knee” closest to the body.  Bend this downward at roughly 90 degrees.  Bend the second red knee inward just a little bit and bend slightly outward near the end of the final black patch.pipe cleaner tarantula 2

Thats it!  This little animal uses up a lot op pipe cleaners, but he is certainly worth it.  His legs are pose-able, but I would keep the bending to a minimum to keep him in good condition.  Here are some additional views of the completed pipe cleaner tarantula animal.

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