The Very Crafty Caterpillar

With spare time on a rainy day, we decided to make a colorful caterpillar. We used recycled goods and some brightly colored pipe cleaners that Sweet P got for her birthday. Picking out the colors of the legs is a fun and interactive way for young children to provide help and input. The colorful caterpillar is well loved—he even went grocery shopping with us!


  • 1 paper towel roll (empty, of course)
  • scraps of tissue paper
  • pipe cleaners
  • glue stick
  • small piece of cardboard
  • felt marking pen


  1. Step 2Tear strips of tissue paper and glue them to the paper towel roll to make stripes.
  2. Then, twist pipe cleaners around the body to form legs. (Our caterpillar has 12 legs; you do not have to use that many!)
  3. Cut a small circle the size of the end of the paper towel roll out of the small piece of cardboard and draw a face on it with your pen.
  4. Step 3Fit the circle into the end of the roll. Amazingly, my cut out fit perfectly so I didn’t need to tape/glue it on.
  5. In just a few easy steps, you have a caterpillar! My favorite part is that he can stand up on his own. This colorful craft is a great prop for reading Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Making one is a fun and simple way to teach children about colors, metamorphosis and healthy foods—but mostly, it’s a fun activity.

    For another version of this caterpillar craft that involves making his food and completing the metamorphic cycle, see this post: Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity.