How to Make PVC Pipe Tree Animals
I absolutely love creating PVC pipe art and this time I went with animals that like to live or play up in the trees: a monkey, koala, sloth and a squirrel.
I use a 4" Schedule 40 PVC pipe to make all of my pieces. The schedule 40 pipe is very durable and once reshape will hold up very nicely outside (though I do still bring my pieces in during the WI winters).
Start by drawing out a pattern. You can either draw out a pattern on paper or draw the pattern right onto your pipe. This step can be tricky getting the pattern right. If you're getting frustrated, you can head to my blog and see all 75+ of my patterns that I have available. All of my patterns are in PDF format and will print on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. You can see all of my patterns here.
Next you will need your jig saw to cut out your pattern. Cut out your entire pattern and then use some sand paper or a file to smooth out any sharp edges left by your jig saw.
Next you will use a heat gun to warm up and reshape your PVC pipe. Use caution and heat proof gloves to protect your hands since heat guns get HOT! When using your heat gun, do not touch the pipe and continuously move the heat gun back and forth on the area you are reshaping. Do one area at a time, such as start at the head of your animal and work your way down.
After he is completely shaped you will need to use some acetone and a paper towel or a sander to remove all the ink markings from the pipe as well as any other residue that is on the pipe before painting it.
Also, you will need to determine how your animal will attach to a tree, post, etc. Use a drill and drill bit to make a hole so he can be attached with a screw.
Then paint them! I used spray paints that were meant for plastic. For some details, I used acrylic paint and then sealed them with a few coats of an acrylic spray clear sealer.
I decided to hang this monkey from a tree branch by his hang, but you can easily hang him upside down by his tail too.
This little red squirrel looks adorable sitting on top of my fence posts as well too. You can also paint him differently to resemble a gray squirrel or even a chipmunk!
My koala. I think he's my new favorite animal. I predrilled a hold through his hand and attached him to my tree that way.
This adorable little sloth looks so cut just hanging out in the tree. He also got a hold predrilled into his hand to attach to the tree.
Here's a picture of the finished PVC pipe tree animals.
These are just a few more of my finished PVC pipe art pieces. If you want more PVC pipe ideas or want to get my patterns so you can make any of my pieces, head over to my blog to check them out!
Resources for this project:See all materials
Johanne Palange on Oct 16, 2022
Lately, the things I've been seeing on Hometalk are getting kind of stale, often repetitive. Your animal project is by far the most creative and cute thing I've seen in a very long time. Totally original, and with your detailed instructions, it looks totally do-able.