Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Woven Eyed Bats

Here is a great Bat project.  It is an adaption of this "Bat Card" project from Better Homes and Gardens.

When I first saw it I loved the strings on the wings and set about making it a larger project for the kids at school.  This is what I came up with.

Now some of you may remember this project.  I have taken that woven eye concept and adapted it here.

Now for this Bat you need 2 circles cut from a cereal  or cracker box. 

For ours we are using one circle 3.5 inches in diameter and one 2.5 inches in diameter.  To measure I just find a circular object that is about the right size and trace around it.

You then want to poke a hole in the center with a large knitting needle.

I then cut 13 notches at about equal distance from each other.   (it doesn't have to be 13 but it must be an odd number) I had to cut 48 of these circles so you get to know the distance just by looking...I didn't measure.  Besides it's for Halloween so if they are a little bit wonky that's OK.

Now in the past I would string each string separately....as I started stringing all 48 I quickly surmised that I didn't need to do this.  I cut a length of yarn and threaded a large plastic needle.  I then  just tied the first wrap of string to itself at the back and continued stringing all 13 notches.  At the end you just tie it to itself on the back again.  I watched Monday night football and stringed eyes!

So once the warp (the 13 strings) is all prepped I threaded some black yarn on my plastic needle (for young kids knot the yarn onto the needle)....I then tied it onto the back pushed the needle thru the hole and started weaving (under,over) until I got the pupil to the size I wanted.  As you weave you need to get loosen up your tension or else your weaving piles up on itself instead of out.

I then tied on some red yarn to the black and continued weaving.  The kids at school had a choice of red, orange, or green.

We then took an 11x17 or so piece of heavy paper and painted it with some liquid tempera in black with a big brush.

Before the paint dries the kids took combs, picks, skewers, etc. and textured their painted paper a bit.

Set aside to dry.

We then took a half sheet of black poster board and cut out our wings.  For the kids I took the template from BHG and blew it up really big.  I had them cut it on the fold so both halves would match.  You could also have them come up with their own pattern.

We painted the bit of cardboard that is left after weaving.  I painted mine to match but you could use a contrasting color.

Trace out your Bat body on the back of the painted paper.  You can make your own design just make sure the head is large enough to support those big eyes you have woven.

Next you need to punch 4 holes on each wing for the string.  Before punching hold up the yarn to make sure you get it in the right place.  You just need to watch out for the one at the top and the one at the bottom on the side...make sure the angle is right or else your string might go over the side of the wing.

Start stringing your wing.  I take a good length (about 2 and 1/2 arms length) and feed one end thru the top and the other at the bottom.  Tie it on to itself at the back.

String thru the other holes always ending back at the top and then tie it off to itself at the back.

It should look something like this.  Repeat on the other side.

Now place your body in the center of your wings and fold them.  This adds a bit of dimension to your Bat.

Glue your body into place.

Glue your eyes into place.

If you wish you can add the "Happy Halloween".  If you have a computer class with the kids get them to choose a different font for each letter and then print at size 72.  Cut out and attach.

At school we decided to make ours upside down.  I hope to have some pictures of the student work shortly.

That's it!

After my last post on the Puppet Box I received a few requests for templates for the puppets.  I have now added this to the post and here is the link as well.  Big Pumpkin Templates

See you next time.


  1. OK Gail - this is absolutely, hands sown, the most adorable bat I have ever laid eye on! I love those woven eyes - I love the whole owl. Well done!

  2. i love all of you woven projects!! Thinking about how I can do individayl lage woven leaves with third grade- any ideas??

  3. Love the project. I am doing it with my students today. We are studying mammals, so this is a perfect tie-in.