This activity makes such a pretty ornament that can be adapted for any season. We made some for our Christmas tree, but they make beautiful decorations for any time of the year. Experiment with colors and textures, and be sure to raid the supplies you already have on hand for this inexpensive and unique craft activity. This project is best suited for middle elementary through teen. Younger kids can do these with some adult assistance.
God’s Eye Craft
When a child was born among the Huichol Indians of Mexico, the father traditionally made an Ojos de Dios to mark the child’s birth. Each of the points of the cross represents an element: earth, air, fire, and water. Each year on the child’s birthday until age five, the father would make a new one, and they became treasured keepsakes for the child’s entire life.
This craft is simple enough for a young child to make with assistance getting started, or it can be more intricate for older kids and teens by adding different colors, ribbons, beads, charms, or feathers. It is a colorful reminder of God’s all-seeing eye.
- yarn in various colors (variegated yarn works nicely)
- sticks (found outside, or craft sticks); two of similar lengths for each God’s Eye
- Using two sticks of similar length, lay one stick across the other, crossing in the middle to form a cross shape. They can range in size from a few inches up to 12 inches, depending on the size Ojos de Dios desired.
- Wrap one end of yarn over the center, leaving an inch “tail.” Wrap the yarn around the center, overlapping the tail, in a figure-eight pattern. Continue to wrap 5-6 times, or until the tail is hidden and the cross is secure.
- Begin wrapping around each stick: over the top of one stick, around and under, then over the top of the next stick, around and under. Continue to wrap each stick in this manner, moving in a clockwise direction, until the design fills the center of the cross.
- To switch colors, cut off the yarn and add a new color by knotting it to the new piece, trying to position the knot near a stick so it will blend in.
- When finished, cut the yarn and tie a knot around a stick. Tie a separate piece of yarn around the top stick to form a loop for hanging.
- For variations, try wrapping the ends of the sticks with yarn or dangling or weaving in ribbons, beads, charms, or feathers.
Share your project ideas with us! How do you implement hands on learning for history and cultural studies?
This article originally appeared in Home Educating Family Magazine 2012, Issue 4.