large purple pipe cleaner octopus and small yellow pipe cleaner octopus where the head is a pompom and arms are pipe cleaner

Pipe Cleaner Octopus

Have a child who is obsessed with all things under the sea?  Want an easy octopus craft that’s also cheap? Well then, this pipe cleaner octopus craft is for you! 

The whole craft takes almost no time to prep before getting started and the crafting itself is only 5-10 minutes, but it basically makes your child a new toy that they can then play with in lots of ways for hours afterwards. 

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I’m sure your kiddo will come up with lots of creative ways to play with their new octopus, but if they need a nudge at playtime, keep reading because after the tutorial you’ll also find a list of the many ways we have played with this pipe cleaner octopus at our house!

Octopus Craft Prep Fun:

Honestly prep for this is as simple as getting out your supplies – no pre-cutting, no pre-drawing, no printable to actually print.  This pipe cleaner octopus craft is about as simple as it gets – and yet is still so cute!   

But here at Happy Moments Mom I do like to make sure you’ve got a bit extra while you’re prepping and crafting so here are some fun ways to extend your octopus fun before, during or after your crafting! 

Octopus Fun Facts:

  • An octopus can be as small as 1/2 inch or as big as over 5 meters across
  • While the octopus is a fast swimmer, it prefers crawling.
  • Octopuses can trick other animals by squiring a dark ink that makes it hard to see them.
  • An octopus is a master at hide and seek!  They can change colour and texture to match their surroundings and not be seen!
  • Octopuses have no bones

Watch & Learn About Real Octopus:

 

Now onto the octopus craft fun!!

Looking for even more underwater fun? Check out this list of Fun Narwhal Activities for Little Kids too!

Step By Step Pipe Cleaner Octopus Instructions

This simple craft can easily be done by preschool kids, they just might need a little help getting the pip cleaner in the right spot around the pompom each time.  After that, they can twist, curl and do it all themselves!

Step 1: Gather Materials

  • 4 pipe cleaners 
  • 1 pompom
  • craft glue
  • googly eyes, sequins, felt – anything you want to use to be eyes

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A note about your pipe cleaners:

The length of pipe cleaners you choose will determine the size of your octopus and how long its arms are.  There is no “right” length one, just like the real animal your craft octopuses can come in all sizes!  

You can choose 4 pipe cleaners of the same colour or use multiple colours.  In fact, using a couple makes it an easy time to sneak in some math patterns for little kids by making the arms appear in different pattern orders!

Step 2: Wrap Your First Pipe Cleaner

Wrap & Twist: pipe cleaner folded around pompom with ends twisted together underneath

  • Fold a pipe cleaner over the pompom.
  • Twist the ends together so the pipe cleaner securely surrounds the pompom.  Don’t worry about them being perfectly equal length, close enough is fine.
  • Congratulations, in one step you made two arms!  Pretty useful when you’ve got eight to make!

Step 3: Wrap Three More Pipe Cleaners

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  • Follow the same method as step 2 but make sure your pipe cleaners are always cutting across the empty space on your pompom. 
  • For the second one you’ll have an x at the top of the pompom, and as you fill in the gaps it will look like an asterisk at the top with all the pipe cleaners overlapping at the top point only.  They should go all around the pompom when you’ve got all four twisted on.
  • You will now have 8 arms sticking out from the bottom of the pompom.  

Step 4: Give Your Pipe Cleaner Octopus Curly Legs

pipe cleaner octopus arm being wrapped around a coloured pencil to curl the end

  • Wrap the bottom of each arm around a pencil or your finger to curl the end.  This not only looks much better, but also folds and pointy pipe cleaner ends in so they won’t scratch or poke.

Step 5: Add a Face 

completed pipe cleaner octopus craft with blue sequins eyes

  • Use whatever you want for eyes and glue them on.  We did sequins just because we had it and the pipe cleaner was sparkly too.  Some little pompoms would work well too to really give the look of the eyes that truly stick out from the octopus head.
  • If you don’t have anything, you can use a marker and just draw a face! Or skip the face – it’s really the 8 arms that are important for it to be an octopus in the eyes of your child! 

Remember – keep it simple to keep it fun.  One octopus with a plain marker face is better than no octopus because you wouldn’t do it without a fancy face 🙂 

Playing With Your Pipe Cleaner Octopus Craft

Depending on the age of your child, this can now be a toy.  We have three favourite ways to play with the octopus craft.

  1. It’s great fun for playing pretend under the sea – we’ve got a Little People boat that the octopus gets used with for lots of pretend fun.  Although it’s often a sea monster instead of an octopus now, poor thing!

    yellow pipe cleaner octopus with brown pipe cleaner pretend scarf
    It’s not all sea monsters: check out the scarf my son added to keep this one warm – so cute!
  2. Another favourite uses for the pipe cleaner octopus is adding it to our DIY Magnetic Fishing Game.  Because of the metal in the pipe cleaner, our magnetic fishing rod picks them up easily!
  3. Finally, our most favourite way to play with the pipe cleaner octopus is actually a bunch of ways to play all tied to one characteristic of your new octopus:

Because it’s made out of pipe cleaners you can shape the legs however you want! 

At our house it has been curled around just about everything including:

  • fingers and carried around all day
  • trees outside (they make good seaweed for an octopus to get stuck in and need rescuing apparently)
  • doll arms as a bracelet, doll head as a mermaid tiara
  • a toy horse’s neck so it could go for a ride
  • the Christmas tree as a decoration
  • book corners to read together

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Do all of those things make sense to us adults? Nope! Can’t say I’ve ever thought of an octopus riding a horse…but it was a real hit here with the under 5 crew! 

You name it and this craft can do it – those 8 flexible legs make for some great play opportunities!  

If you’ve enjoyed this easy tutorial, check out some of our other easy craft tutorials here at Happy Moments Mom in the Kids Moments section of the site!

Enjoy a happy moment,

Sara

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