06 April 2017

We’ve got loads of interesting insects, including some amazing spiders here at the zoo! Here’s how to make some fun furry spiders of your own.

The body of these spiders are made from a wool pompom (isn’t that a great word to say?). They can take a bit of time to make but it’s worth it in the end! If you like a shortcut you can always just buy a large pompom from any crafty shop.

All you need is some cardboard, wool, pipe cleaner and googly eyes. The cardboard will get thrown away so you can use an old box or something from the recycling box. Pick absolutely any colour wool or pipe cleaners. You can keep it traditional and go all black, or get funky like we have!

Simply follow our step by step guide to make your very own furry friend. Let’s get started!


1.     Draw a circle on a piece of cardboard. If you don’t have a compass don’t worry, you can just draw around something circular. We used a mug for ours so have a look in the cupboard. The bigger the circle, the bigger the pompom.

2.     Draw a smaller circle within that big circle. We used a lid to draw around this time.

3.     Using some scissors, cut the big circle out of the sheet of cardboard. Then, cut out the small circle so that you are left with a doughnut.

4.     Do all of this again with another bit of cardboard. You should have two doughnuts.

5.     Put the two pieces of cardboard on top of each other and hold them together. Start wrapping the end of the wool around the circles. Poke the wool up through the middle hole and pull it over the top of the cardboard, and then back up through the middle again.

6.     Continue wrapping wool all around the circles. You’ll have to go around several times. To avoid getting tangled in really long pieces of wool, cut the wool into about 2 metre lengths. When one bit runs out, just a tie knot with the new strand.

7.     Keep on winding the wool until it gets nice and thick, like this.

8.     This is the tricky bit. Use scissors to carefully cut in between the two pieces of cardboard, through the wool. Cut all the way around the circles.

9.     Wrap a piece of wool around the two circles, where you’ve just cut, and secure with a tight knot.

10.     Cut away all the cardboard to leave a pompom.

11.     Cut the pompom edges if it needs evening up a bit.

12.     Take four pipe cleaners and twist them in the centre.

13.     Bend the spider legs downwards and glue the pompom on top.

14.     Stick on a couple of googly eyes to finish off! If you want to dangle your spider somewhere, just tie a piece of wool or string around the pompom.


Why not try out different colour combinations? Get creative! Send us your favourite with #letsplayatchesterzoo.