Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pipe Cleaner Skeleton

This is my version of a pipe cleaner skeleton created years ago to make a little boy happy.
Why was this young man obsessed with skeletons? Pyrates.  Not POTC pirates, but MegaBloks Pyrates. Later MegaBlocks did make a few POTC sets, but they didn’t have the same magic.
Here’s a little taste of that magic where you can see the whole skeleton crew in action.

Enough about pirates, it’s time for skeletons.

You will need 6 pipe cleaners or chenille stems, 2 googly eyes and a bit of glue.

Step 1 – The Skull
Make a circle with the center of the pipe cleaner, leaving a 2.5" tail on either side.
Fold the end pointing down, across to the left.
Then fold it in half, tucking the end back around to front. Now your circle should be smushed into an oval, with a smaller portion (the jawbone) hanging below the fold.
Shape your smushed oval into a skull shape, and make sure the tail you just wrapped around is flat and tight. Now take the remaining tail, give it a little squiggle and twist the end around the top of the skull.

Step 2 - The Pelvis
Leave 4" of pipe cleaner for a spine and make a small loop for half the pelvis.
Make a second loop and wrap the end over and around at a diagonal to hold everything in place. If this picture made you giggle, we all know what you're thinking.
Fold a half inch of the spine over the jawbone and give it a couple of good twists.
Step 3 - The Arms
  Find the middle of your pipe cleaner, leave a little neck room and twist it around twice.
Step 4 - The Ribs
For the first two ribs start by making a half inch bend at the end of a pipe cleaner. Point it down, against the spine.
Give it twist all the way around and then pull it to the right.
Bring it around to the left making a loop.  To gauge the size of your loop, loosely wrap the remainder of your pipe cleaner around to make two loops about the same size, then go a tad smaller than that for your first loop.  Secure it in place by wrapping the pipe cleaner around the spine again.
Make your second loop, and again wrap the end around to hold it in place.
Repeat again for second set of ribs.  Start by wrapping around the half inch bend.
Make two more ribs, securing them with a full wrap around after each loop.  Place two fingers inside the rib cage and pull in opposite directions to the side to shape them.
Step 5 - The Legs
Find the middle of a pipe cleaner and bring through both sides of the pelvis.
Wrap the legs around once to secure them.
To finish up make a little horseshoe bend to make a hand.
Then twist the end or the thumb around to keep it in place. 
Bend the shoulders, elbows, knees and feet.  The last touch is to add the googly eyes with a dab of glue. He's actually a durable little fellow, we have a rainbow of skeletons that have been joining us for Halloween the last five years with only the occasional minor reshaping.