November 30, 2008

Christmas Pipe Cleaner Mobile

Filed under: Christmas — sarah @ 1:51 pm

I made this Christmas mobile for my daughter’s bedroom. I used two red lolly sticks, two thin matte green pipe cleaners, one red and green metallic pipe cleaner, two red metallic pipe cleaners, one green metallic pipe cleaner, three silver pipe cleaners, two gold metallic pipe cleaners and some black cotton.

Finished mobile

It has a Christmas tree in the middle with four stars surrounding it: two silver and two gold.

How I made the Christmas tree:

For the tree I used one dark green metallic pipe cleaner.

Pipe cleaners for the tree


I bent it into a right angle about 3.5cm from one end; I then made a slightly rounder bend about 2cm away from the first bend. Then I looped the non-bent end of the pipe cleaner around the right angle to make the loop that would be the tree. I then put in another slightly rounded bend 2cm vertically to give the bottom of the tree. Then I simply bent the remaining curve in the middle to get the triangle.

red tinsel

I then took the metallic red pipe cleaner and looped it around one of the bottom corners of the triangle, twisting the red pipe cleaner to itself to secure it to the tree. I then brought it up in a diagonal line and looped it round the side of the tree and round the back at an angle to the other side, where I repeated the processes until I was at the top of the triangle where I looped it around itself again. I then cut off the excess red pipe cleaner. This was ‘tinsel’ for the tree.

Pipe cleaner Christmas tree

I repeated the processes with the silver pipe cleaner, only starting from the other side of the triangle’s base. I also didn’t cut off the excess pipe cleaner and instead bent it into a five point star at the top of the tree. I had to re-bend the star to make sure I actually had enough pipe cleaner to twist onto itself to finish the star off.

christmas tree in pot

I then twisted around the ‘trunk’ of the tree a big ‘knot’ of another red pipe cleaner to make a plant pot for the tree. I had to pull it around a bit to make a nice trapezium-type shape. Here is the finished tree:

finished tree


Each one of the stars is made from one pipe cleaner.

First off I made a five point silver star; I found that you need to double the number of sides you actually want, then add two extra to close the loop. So for a five pointed star, I needed 12 sides. Instead of doing 11 sides I did 12 because it was easier and just ‘overlapped’ a whole point to make the five points – twisting the pipe cleaner around itself to make the star a complete loop. I began by folding the pipe cleaner into three, then folded each of those sections in half and then in half again.

I then opened the folds out and pulled it around a bit until I had a star.

five point silver star

For the seven pointed star I needed to have 14 sides plus an extra two sides, making 16. So I folded the pipe cleaner in half and then in half again. To make this easier I then opened it out into a sort of M shape and folded each ‘spike’ in half, giving me eight sides. I opened the pipe cleaner out into the zig zag shape and again folded each ‘spike’ in half, giving me the correct number. I then fiddled with it until I had my star.

seven point gold star

For the six pointed star I needed 12 sides plus the extra two, making 14. This one I found more tricky and worked out by eye where to fold the pipe cleaner into seven sections, and then I folded each of them in half. Then I fiddled with it to make the star shape.

six point silver star

This one was really fiddly and, as you can see, I made a bit of a mistake with it. It was supposed to be an eight pointed star but I twisted the spare sides together in the way I would have done if it was going onto the top of a tree i.e. sticking out of the bottom of the star.

eight point gold star


For the frame I was going to attach the stars and tree to, I used two red lolly sticks and the matte green thin pipe cleaners. I held the two lolly sticks in a cross and then twisted one of the pipe cleaners in an alternating figure of eight around where they overlapped. I also looped it around in a sort of square so that it had no chance of shifting from that position.

fixing the two lolly sticks together

With the excess pipe cleaner, I made a loop on the top so that the mobile would hang up nicely.


I cut the other matte green pipe cleaner into four and wrapped the sections of it around the ends of each ‘arm’ of the frame as ‘stoppers’ to prevent the shapes sliding off once on the frame.

Ready for assembly

I then had the frame, four stars and a Christmas tree.

Bits for Christmas mobile

I tied cotton onto each shape and then tied the other end of the cotton onto the frame behind the pipe cleaner ‘stoppers’ so that the shapes couldn’t slide off the frame. I then attached the red and green metallic pipe cleaner to the loop on the top of the mobile and twisted another loop at the top of that, so that I could hang it up in my two year old’s room. I made the pieces of cotton different lengths because I thought it would look nicer, but with hindsight I think this might have been a mistake, as was using different numbers of points on the stars. I think just having one type of star might have been better.

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