How to Make a Lion Out of a Pipe Cleaner

By Juliet Myfanwy Johnson

You can make a soft little lion friend that can fit in the palm of your hand. Pipe cleaner animals are all made from the same basic shape—a head and pipe cleaner backbone, a coiled center body and added tail, legs and fringe, in the case of the lion. When making a king of the jungle, you'll want to use yellow, brown or orange pipe cleaners to make your lion look authentic. Once you get the hang of making lions out of pipe cleaners, you'll be able to experiment with making all the rest of the animals in the jungle.

Take your first pipe cleaner and bend it in half. Make a loop in the center. This will be the lion's head. Take one side of the pipe cleaner and coil it around the loop from the center to the nose of your lion. When you run out of pipe cleaner, you will have a nice round knob of wrapped pipe cleaner, and a short stick of pipe cleaner on the other end that is the backbone of your lion.

Take a fat marker and wrap another pipe cleaner around the marker in tight loops, using the whole pipe cleaner. This is the body of your lion. Remove the marker. Stick the backbone of your lion's body through the coiled body of your lion. Bend and twist the end of the backbone to the last coil of the body to attach the two together.

Take another pipe cleaner and cut it in half in the center. Bend both halves into a "v" shape. These are the legs of your lion. Stick one set of legs through the second coil in the lion's body, and the other set of legs through the next to last coil in the lion's body. Twist to attach firmly. Bend the very bottom of the legs up slightly to make flat feet for the bottom of your lion's legs.

Take another pipe cleaner to make the mane of your lion. Bend the pipe cleaner in 1/4 inch increments, accordion-style. The mane should look like a series of tiny "M's" in a long line. Wrap the mane around the center of the lion's head twice for a fuller mane. Attach by sticking one of the top and bottom "M's" through a head coil. Twist the ends of your mane pipe cleaner together.

Cut a pipe cleaner in quarters. Use one of the quarters to make a tail. Attach the tail to the last coil in the lion's body. Bend the tail in a slight upward curve. Trim most of the tail's "fur" with scissors, leaving the end of the tail fluffy.

Cut tiny circles out of black felt for eyes and nose, and glue on the face. Permanent marker can be used instead to make the eyes and nose.