Show your kids how to make a God’s Eye craft with a couple of sticks and several lengths of yarn. This classic “yarn and stick craft” is a fun way for kids to practice their weaving skills while creating an interesting and beautiful ornament.
What is a God’s Eye (Ojo de Dios)
Do you remember making God’s Eyes when you were you were a kid? You may have known them by the name Ojo de Dios, which is Spanish for “Eye of God”. A God’s Eye craft is a classic childhood yarn craft, always popular at Sunday school, summer camp, Girl Guides and after-school craft clubs.
It’s a spiritual ornament (find the spiritual meaning further below) made by weaving several colours of yarn around a wooden cross. The cross is typically made from sticks found in the yard or with popsicle sticks (also known as craft sticks).
I made dozens of them back when I was a kid.
When we were bored during summer holidays, my friends and I would often raid our mothers’ knitting baskets, and gather under a tree in someone’s backyard. We would pool our yarn, and swap colours, and weave the afternoon away making God’s Eye after God’s Eye.
I love introducing these classic crafts to the hooligans. In today’s busy, tech-filled world, these simple activities tend to be forgotten about or overlooked, and the children have often never heard of them.
Recently, I held a March Break Craft Camp day for my hooligan grads.
I had a bunch of older kids with me for the day, and we spent hours making good, old-fashioned, classic crafts. Did you see the crystallized rocks that we made. Those were a huge hit, and so was this God’s Eye craft. Let me show you how we made them.
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For our God’s Eye craft, you’ll need:
- 2 sticks for each God’s Eye
- several balls of yarn
You have lots of options when it comes to your sticks. We used several different kinds of sticks. We had Starbucks’ coffee stirrers, ordinary craft sticks (also known as popsicle sticks), and we also had some round craft sticks. You can also use chop sticks, wooden skewers or real sticks from your yard.
For your yarn, any kind of yarn or wool will work. We used cotton wool for many of our God’s Eyes, and we used some acrylic yarn too. Some of our god’s eyes were made with solid colours, and some, we made with variegated, multicoloured balls of yarn.
As for your colours, anything goes! Bright, fun colours are great, but soft, muted colours look lovely too. And it’s fun to work with a colour theme if you’re crafting for a holiday. You could use pastels for Easter, red and green for Christmas, red, pink and white for Valentines Day.
You may also like our Cardboard Heart String Art Activity.
How to make a God’s Eye ornament:
To make your God’s eye, begin by crossing two sticks to form an “X”.
To secure those sticks, and keep them in place, wrap a piece of yarn around the intersecting points of the stick. You can knot your yarn to start, or you can just trap the tail under the yarn as you start wrapping. Do a few wraps in one direction, and then rotate your sticks, and do a few wraps in the other direction to ensure your sticks are stable, and won’t shift.
And now, the fun begins!
Wrap your yarn around one stick, close to the center of the God’s eye, and take it over to the next stick. Wrap it around that stick, and take it to the next stick. Continue wrapping and winding in that fashion, rotating your God’s Eye craft as you work. Whether you wrap the yarn over the sticks or under doesn’t matter, as long as you are consistent.
It may take your child a few attempts to get the hang of the winding process. There’s quite a bit of co-ordination required.
They’ll have to concentrate to hold their sticks in one hand, and their yarn in the other. And it takes co-ordination to weave and turn their ornament as they go. There’s lots to focus on, but as your kids get into their “groove”and their movements become repetitive, they’ll find the activity relaxing and gratifying.
This activity is so good for increasing fine motor skills and co-ordination.
What is the spiritual meaning of a God’s Eye?
While you’re weaving your craft, you can chat about the origin of the God’s Eye:
Traditionally, a God’s Eye was a spiritual symbol, and the weaving process was reflective and meditative. The points of a God’s Eye represent the four elements of nature: earth, fire, air and water, and the center of the ornament represents the eye of God, and is believed to have the power to see and understand things that the human eye cannot. In some cultures, when a baby is born, the father of the household weaves the eye of the God’s eye, and each year, until the child’s 5th birthday, another ring of colour is added.
To switch colours when making your God’s Eye:
When you want to switch to a new colour, simply cut your yarn, and tie it to a new piece of yarn. Trim the ends, and continue weaving. Be sure to keep your knot and the tails of yarn to the back of the project as you begin weaving with your new colour.
Switch up your yarn as often as you’d like to make your God’s eye colourful and interesting.
When you’ve worked long enough that you’re nearing the ends of your craft sticks, stop weaving, and wrap your yarn around a stick one last time. Cut your yarn, leaving a nice long tail for hanging your ornament. Slip that tail underneath the last wrap or two and tie it off.
And if you’re like us, you’ll have found the process to be quite addictive, and you’ll likely make another… and another… and another!
Aren’t they beautiful?
Check out our Canada Day God’s Eyes too!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.