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While pipe cleaners were originally used to clean tobacco pipes, and may still be in some cases, they now have many other uses, including making and embellishing craft projects and use as handy household tools. Children love to use them for everything from making insect legs and antennae on paper plate spiders or ladybugs to hanging their artwork for display.
Pipe cleaners work great as hooks for homemade ornaments, or they can be made into ornaments themselves if a crafter simply twists a red one and a white one together to shape a candy cane. Green ones can be twisted into triangle shapes to make Christmas trees. They can also be used to make cute accents for gift packages or as napkin rings for a special party.
With a few sticks and a little imagination, children and adults can make fun craft projects and accessories. Aside from ornaments, they can be used to make stick people, or they can be used to replace shoelaces or hair ties. People may want to choose the softer options, which are sometimes referred to as chenille stems, for these ideas.
Pipe cleaners are not just good for fun — they are also handy around the house or shop. They can be used as tiny scrub brushes to clean small parts or to reach into enclosed areas. They work great for cleaning blockages in glue bottle tips or other squirt bottles, and they are also handy for cleaning sipper cups or sports cups that have tiny spouts.
Parents can also use pipe cleaners to keep kids busy in the car. They are available in lots of colors and don’t cost much, so a parent can pick up a good variety and let his or her kids play with them during long car rides. Mom and dad can encourage the kids to get creative and see how many different things they can make, then pick up a storage container with a lid to keep them handy for future trips.