You Will Need ...
  1. 7 traditional sized small plastic bottle caps

  2. 1 tall while plastic bottle cap

  3. 1 large plastic bottle cap (similar to a sports drink cap)

  4. 2 white pipe cleaners

  5. 7 white pony beads

  6. 3 plastic straws

  7. White yarn

  8. Scissors

  9. Black permanent marker

  10. Awl (A hammer and nail can also be used)

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Step 1: 

The first step is to draw a skeleton face on the "tall" bottle cap. This will be the skeleton head. At the bottom of the head, draw the top half of the skeleton's jaw. Then, flip over one of the small plastic bottle caps, so the open part is facing upwards and draw the bottom half of a skeleton jaw.

Step 2: 

Now that your skeleton head is finished, take the awl and make a hole in the top of it. The hole should be in the center of the head and large enough to squeeze a few pipe cleaners through. Repeat this step for the bottom jaw piece.

Step 3: 

Now, take both pipe cleaners and fold them in half together.

Step 4: 

At the folded part of the pipe cleaners, make a loop by overlapping the two sides. Now twist the sides about two times to secure that loop in place. The loop is there so you can hang your skeleton once you're finished.

Step 5: 

Insert the pipe cleaners into the hole in the top of your skeleton head, and slide the head up until it hits the twisted loop. At this point you will need to cut a tiny piece of straw. The piece of straw should be distance from the top of the skeleton head to the bottom of where you would like the skeleton jaw. Remember, you want the skeleton jaw to sit below the skeleton head, not inside of it. It helps to lay the straw next to your partially made craft and estimate the length of the straw piece you will need. Now cut that little piece of straw!

Step 6: 

Slide the tiny straw piece up the four pipe cleaner ends, followed by the skeleton jaw. Now, spread apart the pipe cleaner pieces to create two arms sticking out to the side. Also, cut two 1inch pieces of straw.

Step 7: 

Slide one of the plastic pieces up both arms and one of the pony beads up the two center pipe cleaners. The little straws are the clavicles and the pony bead is the neck. Make a little loop at the end of each arm by overlapping the pipe cleaner to itself. This is the shoulder bone of your skeleton.
(photo 9, 10)

Step 8: 

It's time to add the rib cage! Using your awl again, make a hole in the center of the large bottle cap and two more of the small bottle caps. Also, cut two more pieces of straw, each about 1/2 an inch.

Step 9: 

Slide on the large bottle cap, then a 1/2 inch piece straw, then the smaller bottle cap, and another 1/2 inch straw, and finally the last small bottle cap.

Step 10: 

Just as you previously made the shoulder bones by overlapping the pipe cleaner end to itself to create a loop, do the same with the remaining bottom pipe cleaners to create two hip bones!

Step 11: 

Next, cut 4 pieces of string each 6 inches long.

Step 12: 

It's time to attach the arms and legs! Tie one piece of string to each of the pipe cleaner loops. (Don't worry too much if your ties are a bit messy. You can trim them later to clean it up.)

Step 13: 

Your next step is to use the awl again to poke a hole in the remaining four bottle caps. This time however, you are NOT going to poke the hole in the center of the caps. Instead, you are going to poke the holes near the edges of the caps. These bottle caps are your skeleton's hands and feet!

Step 14: 

Now add the arm and leg pieces! Cut 4 pieces of straw about 1.5 inches each and 4 pieces of straw about 1/2 inch each. Slide on one of the 1/2 inch straws, then a pony bead, then another 1/2 inch straw, and finally one of the bottle caps. It can sometimes be really difficult to fit the yarn through the bottle cap holes, so make sure to look at my tips below.
Repeat for the other arm. Do the same process for the legs, using the larger 1.5 inch straw pieces.

Step 15: 

Your adorable Bottle Cap Skeleton is complete! If you have some excess yarn sticking out just trim with the scissors and your skeleton is ready to hang.

Craft Length: 
15 - 30 minutes

If your students are learning about skeleton bones, this is a wonderful craft to supplement the lesson! I can hear them all singing... "The neck bone's connected to the shoulder bone, the shoulder bone's connected to the arm bone..."

Use your noodle! (challenging; focus required)
Prep Time: 
5 - 10 minutes
1 adult per 5 children

1. If you do not have an awl, you can use a hammer to push a nail through the bottle caps. In either case, please please have an adult to this part.
2. Use pipe cleaners that are not super fuzzy! The fuzzier the pipe cleaners, the wider the holes in the bottle caps will need to be, and then your craft will take quite a while to make.
3. Try and use good quality yarn. Thick yarn frays really easily, making it very challenging to stick through the straws and bottle cap holes.
4. If you run into the problem of fraying yarn, the best thing to do is place a small amount of clear tape on the tip of each yarn piece. This makes it firm like the tip of a shoelace, and much better to work with. When you are finished threading the yarn through the various skeleton pieces, simply remove the tape.


Now you can decorate your skeleton! Make it a male or female by the accessories you add. I made one with a cute top hat, cape, and bow tie. I also made another that is sure to scare your friends. Check them out and enjoy creating your own!

Variation Photos: