Remarkably Lifelike Little Dogs made from Pipe Cleaners (Apr, 1933)

Remarkably Lifelike Little Dogs made from Pipe Cleaners

You have probably seen amusing little animal novelties made by twisting pipe cleaners together, hi most cases they are comical enough, but stiff and grotesque— almost childish. It is therefore a revelation to see, from the illustrations accompanying this article, what lifelike results can be obtained by one who is skillful at this pastime.—The Editor.

IN MAKING novelties from fuzzy pipe cleaners, it is perhaps best to start with a familiar animal like the dog. If you have a few cleaners and a pair of pointed nose pliers, you have everything necessary for your initial attempt. When you have completed a natural looking little dog, it can be used as an ornament on a radio cabinet, desk, or occasional table.

The size is optional, but small dogs are easier at the start. The length from nose to the end of the tail may be about 2 1/2 in. and the height 1 in.

Bend a cleaner to form one curved piece from the muzzle to the end of the tail. Let it be long at the nose end; you can cut the surplus off later when the length of the muzzle has been determined. You may leave the tail straight if you prefer it that way, or double it back to make it more stocky.

Now fasten the end of another cleaner securely at the base of the tail, and twist it tightly around the main part of the skeleton to form the body. Twist this tightly, putting one turn close against the other, and wind on another layer or two to build it to the right thickness.

The ears are formed from a single piece doubled in two places and fastened at the top of the forelegs. Wind another layer over this, starting at the front shoulders, to make the neck. Crisscross the turns between the ears to hold them in place. Then wind the muzzle, the length depending on the breed of dog you are modeling. It will be necessary to wind more than one layer on the neck and muzzle to build up the thickness.

Any short pieces left over will do to wind high up on the legs, close to the body. Then clip the legs off the correct length and bend to their natural form.

The eyes and nose may be indicated with ink spots, or small glass headed pins, cut off short and with a touch of glue on them, may be used for eyes. A slight twist to the head will give the completed dog a natural expression.

Practice and close observation are the secrets of success. —Wilbur F. Hull.

  1. docca says: October 19, 200812:54 pm

    The concept of life-like sure has changed a lot in 75 years.

  2. Neil Russell says: October 19, 20081:49 pm

    I guess Depression era dogs were somewhat scruffier than today

  3. Sean O'Brien says: October 20, 200812:50 pm

    It really is amazing, sometimes, what they considered ‘science’.

  4. Eliyahu says: October 20, 20084:34 pm

    If my dog looked that “lifelike”, I’d have to bury him.

  5. Kent says: October 21, 200810:20 pm

    Tried that a long time ago. Was dad ticked off when he got home to find out what had happened to all his pipe cleaners!

  6. Beth says: December 23, 20082:01 am

    I think these are soooo cute!
    Yes, they may be little scruffier…..but I’m sure you could beef them up a bit with some extra pipe cleaners – perhaps the ones that have the longer “hairs” on them could make a designer dog 🙂

  7. Sharon says: January 4, 20091:41 am

    Yes, the pipe cleaner is a very versatile medium. I am a pipe cleaner artist, and I have some great examples on my website of how realistic pipe cleaners can look with the right twists and bends.

  8. Sharon says: January 4, 20091:42 am

    BTW, the website is

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