Make: A Pipe-cleaner Doll

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Pipe cleaners are versatile crafting tools, useful for model-making and doll making (as well as cleaning pipes).

These dolls take under ten minutes to make using little more than two pipe-cleaners and a little wool, plus decorative trim from from my scrap-box.

Pipe-cleaner dolls are a great community arts project as they are quick to make and inexpensive, using lightweight materials.

To make:

Twist one pipe cleaner into head, shoulders and arms.


Twist another pipe cleaner round it and shape into legs and feet.


Bind wool around frame to bulk out body and face. Many windings create a round face


20191115_134347.jpgAdd hair. I separate wool strands to create pre-raphaelite waves.


Wind more wool round to dress/hide any wonkiness.


Add features using tiny buttons, pen, paint or broken jewellery. Tiny diamante eyes look twinkly and fun.


You can display the dolls together to create a mini community, or even use them to create stop-motion animation (pipe cleaners mean you can pose them). You can also add fairy wings to turn them into fairies – just cut them from paper and stick on using a glue gun.

Add ribbon loops to turn them into Christmas tree decorations – maybe one for every family member/whoever you have coming for Christmas dinner.

Dolls can be tailored to the recipient – or make a mini-me.


Have fun experimenting. You can add googly eyes or beads, buttons and tiny accessories. Play!


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