Every time I think I’m done creating new pipe cleaner trees for our train layouts, I think of another type of tree that seems impossible to make. And so I have to make it, of course! I thought it would be difficult to get these pipe cleaner palm trees to stand up, but they stand up on their own, no problem. You can leave the palm fronds and coconuts loose for kids to attach themselves as interactive scenery in a summer small world or tropical train layout. Or you can make them as a cute palm tree craft by hot gluing the felt fronds and the pom pom coconuts on.
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Seasonal Pipe Cleaner and Pom Pom Trees
Cherry Blossom Spring Pom Pom Tree
Pipe Cleaner Pine Trees
Summer Pom Pom Tree
Pipe Cleaner and Pom Pom Palm Tree
Apple Harvest Pom Pom Tree
Fall Pom Pom Tree
Spooky Pipe Cleaner Trees
Halloween Carnival Colors Pom Pom Trees
Pipe Cleaner Christmas Trees
Light-up Pipe Cleaner Christmas Trees
Snow and Ice Winter Pom Pom Trees
- 12 brown pipe cleaners (chenille stems) I found some brown pipe cleaners that were more of a medium warm brown than the super dark brown pipe cleaners I see more often, but either color works.
- 2 beige pipe cleaners
- Green craft felt in two colors
- Brown craft pom poms, or an extra small pom pom maker (3/4″) and brown yarn to make your own
- Sticky-backed velcro dots, hot glue and small pieces of velcro, or just hot glue, depending on how you want to attach your coconuts
1. Separate the brown pipe cleaners into two piles of six. Gently bend them in half, then round out the shape of that bend as shown in the photo below. (They look a bit like giant, fuzzy bobby pins, don’t they?)
2. Nest one of the shaped sets of six pipe cleaners inside the other, turned 90 degrees to begin to form a round trunk and base for the tree.
3. Twist the trunk tightly up to the top.
4. Stand the trunk up on a hard, flat surface. While pressing down, shape the bottom of the trunk so that it both stands on its own and looks vaguely like the bottom of a tree.
5. Stick the beige pipe cleaners through opposite sides of the base of the tree. Twist the ends together underneath, and then bend them so they won’t interfere with the tree standing up.
6. Wrap the beige pipe cleaners around the trunk of the tree, crossing over each other in the front and on the back.
7. Fold out the ends of the brown pipe cleaners at the top of the tree. Twist them together into six supports for the leaves and coconuts.
8. Optional: stick the velcro sticky-backed dots (the rough “hook” ones, not the softer “loop” dots, so that the pom poms will stick to them) on the undersides of those branch-like supports. Alternately, you could glue the pom poms on, or just forget about the coconuts altogether.
9. Cut leaves out of the green craft felt. I made the ones in the lighter green smaller.
10. Add the palm fronds to the top of the tree. If you want this to be an interactive piece, just arrange them crossing over each other and press them down into the top of the tree trunk. If you’re making this as a decoration, use some hot glue to stick them down.
The picture above is with the store-bought pom poms, and the one below is with the pom poms I made by hand. I think the handmade ones look better, or at least stand out more, but the store-bought ones are slightly easier to get to stick onto the tree.
In general the pom poms are a little tricky to stick on. And they tend to fall off the tree eventually, but so do real coconuts. And we want to be able to use the coconuts as freight. But of all of my pipe cleaner trees that can be interactive, this is definitely the most challenging, so you might consider the glue on this one if you think this would be too frustrating for your child.
Just add sand — we’re using kinetic sand indoors — and you’re at the beach! Taking this photo made me really excited about our summer wooden train layout we’re planning. Hopefully we’ll build it over the weekend and be able to show it to you next week!
In the meantime, here’s another craft I made for the summer train layout: DIY mini beach balls!