These step by step instructions with pictures detail how to create a small pipe cleaner (chenille stem) alligator in just 16 easy steps. A crocodile can be made with the same instructions, but by making the snout slightly more narrow. This pipe cleaner animal is a good beginner project for someone who has already made a few other pipe cleaner animals before. A wire cutter is optional for this animal.
- Start with the general outline of the body and tail. Bend a single pipe cleaner in half and curve it a bit into an “S” shape.
- Pull apart the two sides to give it a little width and add a temporary tie to the pointy ends to keep them from moving.
- Make a zig zag pattern that gets smaller and smaller as it gets to the end with 2 pipe cleaners. This will be the scales on the back.
- Attach the scales to the temporary tie from step 2 and curve it in line with the body and tail. Twist the back end and attach to the tail.
- Undo the temporary tie from step 2 in the front and make the body a little wider to give it a better shape.
- Wrap pipe cleaners around the body starting from the smallest scales all the way to the largest. The spacing between the scales will allow the wrapped pipe to enter.
- Wrap another pipe cleaner around the tail so that the entire body and tail is now wrapped.
- Add a loop for the bottom jaw and cover it by looping pipe cleaners around and around from end to end.
- Create teeth with a white pipe cleaner all the way around the bottom jaw. This can be done by looping around the outside of the jaw and creating points.
- Repeat the process to create a top jaw and teeth (steps 8 and 9).
- Wrap one pipe cleaner around the area at the back of the jaws (the neck area) to cover it up nicely.
- Where the tail meets the body we will add the back legs. Start by folding over a leg length of pipe cleaner and twist.
- Put this piece in place for one leg and then wrap around the body twice.
- On the other side of the body fold over the end of pipe cleaner to create the second leg, twist and tuck any remaining end inside the body and give the ends of each leg a little foot
- Repeat steps 13 – 15 at the front of the body to create the front legs. Bend the arms downward in the middle and give it a teeny tiny foot.
- Add two tiny loops to the sides of the top of the head for eyes.
That’s it! You now have a toothy alligator.
For some more projects, check out these other easy pipe cleaner animals: