Pipe Cleaner Storage and Play Case

Pipe cleaners are a fun on-the-go quiet play idea. Once they're out of the package though, you need a play case to keep everything in order. Here's how to make one so that cleanup is fast and take-along is completely grab'n go. An older child with basic sewing skills can even put the case together.


Approximate Time: 15 minutes


  • pipe cleaners (chenille stems)
  • two place mats
  • bias tape or ribbon
  • sewing machine or needle and thread
  • cutters


  1. Stitch the two placemats together at the bottom hems to create a seam.
  2. Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Two placemats sewn together.

  3. Cut some half lengths of pipe cleaners, to make play set with some variety.
  4. Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Cutting pipe cleaners into two lengths.

  5. Stitch bias tape to the outside of one place mat. Use two strips, each about 10 inches long. These become the closure ties. I placed them in the middle vertically, one at the side hem, and the other 5 inches from it.
  6. Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Bias tape closure straps.


  7. On the inside of the same place mat, stitch two more sets of two lengths of bias tape. These can be shorter. I used 6 inch lengths. Both sets will be placed nearer the right or left side of the placemat, and one set will be half as high as the other set. Stitch the ends about 2.5 inches apart from each other.
  8. Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Bias tape straps for pipe cleaner storage.

  9. These two sets of bias tape strips become the ties used to store your straight pipe cleaner pieces.
  10. Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Pipe cleaners tied into case.

  11. For quick cleanup after play time, just place any finished pipe cleaner shape masterpieces to the side of the straight stems.
  12. Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Stored pipe cleaners and some used for crafting shapes.


  13. Fold the second placemat up over the first, covering the straight and shaped pipe cleaners.
  14. Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Mats folded in half with pipe cleaners inside.

  15. Roll the case up from one side, and secure with the outside pieces of bias tape. The play case is now ready to be transported.
  16. Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Child holding rolled mat storage case.

At play: Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Child building pipe cleaner bugs, etc.

Pipe Cleaner Play Case - Down view of pipe cleaner art work in process.

By Kirsten from Logan, UT

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