Thursday, September 10, 2015

Woven Owls #2

This is the second weaving project for this week.  Staying with the owl theme, this is a more traditional weaving technique.

It's a good project for Grade 3 and up.

Don't forget to enter the Weavy Loops giveaway.  Check out the previous post for details


- rectangle of recycled heavy duty cardboard
- yarn needle or toothpick
- yarn in assorted colors
- string, optional
- sturdy plastic fork
- buttons for eyes
- felt, fun fur for eyes and ear tufts
- embroidery floss for beak and feet
- twig
- feathers for wings, optional
- glue


You can make a loom from an old picture frame or piece of plywood and some nails.  This has been on my to-do list for quite a while. I need at least 50.


I tend to use cardboard as it's free and if I lose one it's no big deal.

You need heavy weight cardboard.  Cut slits at both ends.  I tend to space them about 1 finger width apart.

For the owl you need about 15 strings.  To string your loom wind some string thru that first slit and the end of the cardboard, knot it onto itself.  With the long end of the string or yarn go down to the first slit at the bottom, go around the notch and then back up to the next slit at the top.  Continue until you have 15 strings.  Tie the loom off the same way you started.
Over time your strings may relax.  Don't worry your weaving will still work out but to stop them from slipping off the loom I tape the top and the bottom into place.

Time to start weaving.  Take a length of yarn and knot it onto the first string on the loom.  It doesn't matter which side you start on.

Thread a yarn needle or tape your yarn to a toothpick.  With the needle make sure you tie a knot to keep it from unthreading.

I teach the kids that same chant, "over, under, over, under" and we begin.

Thread the yarn thru the strings, over and then under until you get to the end of the row.  Pull all the excess thru.
Time to go back.  Look to see if your last pass was over or under at the end and then continue the pattern.  So if I was over the last string like in this photo, when I come back I go under that first string.  Kids often forget to look at this last string, jumping straight to the next one and that's where we can get into trouble.

As you weave you want it your rows to be tight together.  This is where the plastic fork comes in.  Use the prongs to push your rows close together.

When switching colours I like to do it at the end of a row. Knot the yarn off on that last string.  I leave a bit of a tail....don't cut it short, we will pull them thru our weaving at the back.  This will make our weaving neater.

Knot the new yarn on and keep weaving.

You want a rectangle of about 8-10 inches long for a good sized owl.

When the weaving is done it's time to take it off the cardboard loom.  I do one end at a time.
Remove the tape.  Ease the loops of strings off the notches.
It will look like this.
Take 2 of the loops and knot them together.  The string at the end will just be a single strand not a loop.  Just knot it to the loop next to it.

Make sure the knots are tight and then trim the excess.

Turn the weaving over to the back.  Slip the ends of your yarn bits thru a few of the weaving stitches and then trim the excess.

To make a hanger, fold over the top edge, add a hanging string and then glue that top edge down.

I cut 2 triangles out of fun fur for my ear tufts and glued them into place.  This is optional as not all owls have this feature.

I cut 2 circles out of felt for my eyes.  I found 2 buttons to use as the pupils.  Hand sew these into place.  Great button sewing practice for the kids.

With this owl it was woven close to the top so I used the loops to hold my hanging yarn.

Add a beak using embroidery floss. You want a triangle shape so try to bring the stitches in to a point.

You need a straight twig for the bottom, about 12 - 14 inches long.

Secure to the owl by stitching feet with embroidery floss that go around the twig.

Do both feet.

You can glue on 2 feathers for the wings if you wish.

That's it.

You could do them in Fall colours or make a Halloween owl.

I'll be back Saturday with the Weavy Loops draw.
See you then.



  1. This is absolutely fabulous!! I cannot wait to make these with my kids! :)

  2. They look great! I love their distict personalities.
    Always Primary

  3. What grade level would you do the yarn woven owls and/or penguins with?

    1. Hi Christy, I do this project a lot with Grade 4 or higher. If you have a class that has done paper weaving a lot you could do this with Grade 3.
      I haven't attempted this with Grade 1 or 2 but I have had success on the Spring weaving project with Grade1/2. Only difference is that they are weaving on a piece of scrim than using a loom.
      Hope that helps.

  4. This works so well I got great end results soo cute as well:)