Pipe Cleaner Tree Frog in 19 Steps – Step by Step Instructions With Pictures

Here are step by step instructions (19 steps) with pictures showing how to create a pipe cleaner (chenille stem) tree frog.  This is a 5 hour project for intermediate level builders.  You can make most types of frogs using these instructions by making some minor adjustments and changing the coloring, for example a poison dart frog.  This pipe cleaner animal is a bit larger than life size, simply because it looks better at this size.  The hardest parts will be getting the general shape correct because the contours are generally subtle, and the getting the eyes right will take some concentration and maybe a few attempts.

pipe cleaner tree frog 3

  1. Start with the middle of the body by creating a few pieces for the general outline.  Make 3 half circles of the same size.  Connect these pieces together in a series to make a half cylinder.
  2. Slightly bow out the middle semicircle to add a little bit of curvature to the rounded side (this is the belly of the frog) and add an additional smaller semicircle to the top for the neck area.
  3. Add a loop to the top of the neck that will serve as the bottom lip.  Add a green loop directly on top of the white loop for the the upper lip and add some reinforcements to both so they don’t lose their shape.
  4. Add a large loop to the back to serve as the butt of the frog.  Add a few rounded reinforcements to finish off the framing.
  5. On the back of the frog, create an outline with green pipe cleaners.  This is the area we will cover in green pipe cleaners.  From the neck all the way to the butt, place green pipe cleaners side to side all the way across the back.  Do not weave back and forth, rather cut a pipe cleaner for each iteration.
  6. We can now start on the arms and legs.  For the legs, fold 8 orange pipe cleaners in half (4 for each leg).  Take 4 of these folded orange pipes and wrap a green pipe cleaner around it, starting a few centimetres from the rounded edge side.  The space left at the end will be the toes.
  7. Continue to coil the green pipe cleaner around the legs until you get nearly to the end, leaving enough exposed loose ends to anchor the leg to the body later.  Make one more identical leg with the remaining 4 orange pipes and bend both legs into a sitting position.IMG_1182
  8. Now for the arms, which will have a little more flair than the legs.  Fold 6 orange pipe cleaners in half and bunch 3 together per arm.  Create and extra finger/toe with a green pipe cleaner before coiling it around.  Coil one half of a blue pipe cleaner per arm at the very end.
  9. Add the arms to the body by inserting the arm onto a part of the framing and securing all the loose ends wherever possible.  Use as many different connections as possible in order to increase the sturdiness of the arms.  Bend at the end of the blue coloring to get them in the correct orientation.
  10. Add white pipe cleaners to the bottom of the mouth from front to back.  Just like the back, do not weave but use a single piece for each iteration.IMG_1197
  11. The back legs will be attached similarly to the arms.  Insert each leg onto the framing, this time at a tight angle next to the body, then attach the loose ends to as many parts of the framing as possible.
  12. Add some blue highlights around the base of the arms on each side.  Around the blue, add white coloring.  This can be accomplished with a continuous coiling in a spiral pattern instead of weaving back and forth.
  13. From the middle outwards, add white coloring to the bottom of the body from the neck all the way to the bottom.  It will get a bit more difficult as you get closer to the sides so a needle-nose plier would be very helpful, though not absolutely necessary.
  14. Make the eyes by creating a circle with the end of a pipe cleaner and leaving a healthy portion of pipe cleaner remaining perpendicular to the circle.  Create an enclosed circle with black pipe cleaner that is the same size, or slightly larger, than the inside of the red circle.  Insert the black circle into the red and twist the trailing ends together to secure them.
  15. Add a single pipe across the bottom of the mouth.  This will be used to secure the eyes in place.
  16. Insert each eye into the head in the general position they need to be and secure to the single pipe created in the previous step.  The eyes will be a bit floppy at this point, so they just need to be able to be moved to the correct position, not necessarily stay there without assistance.
  17. Add circles of green pipe cleaner around each eye to both secure the eyes in place and to add the correct shape around the eyes.
  18. Once a few loops have been added, ensure the overall shape is correct and fill in any missing areas of the head with green pipes.
  19. Give the arms and legs a final bend to ensure they are in the correct shape for this little animal to sit properly and you can call it a day.



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