Keep an Eye on These Magic Eyes

Make these magical eyes with a couple of sticks and some thread.

By Barbara Albright


Making magic eyes is a familiar activity at club and scout meetings, around campfires at summer camps, and similar gatherings. The act of crafting them can be traced to Native Americans, who named similar shapes "magic eyes."

Making something that ends up looking like these magic eyes seems magical. You begin with two sticks and a few pieces of yarn and end up with charming, colorful decorations.

These happily occupy children, but equally fascinate adults. In fact, these are almost addictive. Once you make one or two, you'll want to make more. And more!

What You'll Need
The magic eyes pictured here are made with toothpicks and embroidery floss. They measure about two inches in diameter.

You can make larger or more rustic magic eyes using twigs you pick up outside, thicker yarn, or string.

If you decide to use twigs, find some that are about the same size around. Break them into equal lengths.

You can also use Popsicle sticks or chopsticks - or any sort of stick you find around the house or at the craft store.

Buy embroidery floss, thread, yarn, or string in the colors and textures you like. Making magic eyes is also an excellent way to use leftover snippets of these materials.

Dressing Up the Magic Eyes
Make these as bright and cheerful as you like. Change the color of the floss or yarn when the spirit moves you or to complete a pre-determined design.

Splashy magic eyes can be fashioned from bright colored floss or yarn; more rustic ones from natural-colored string and twine.

String beads, faux jewels, feathers, and other decorations on the floss or yarn. These can make the magic eyes mysterious, exotic, or festive - and always fun.

How to Make Magic
Tie two or more sticks together in the center so that they resemble a cross (or a cross with spokes). Loop yarn around the sticks to make sure they are secure.

Begin in the middle of the structure and work outward. Loop yarn around each spoke. As you go, change colors but make sure to knot the ends of the yarn to a spoke before beginning with the next color.

When you are finished wrapping the floss or yarn around the sticks, tie a secure knot. Wrap the yarn tightly around the sticks, and leave as much air space between layers as you want.

If you weave beads, feathers, or jewels into the magic eyes, make sure they, too, are secure.

Hang completed magic eyes in windows, on the porch, from a bedroom ceiling, or in school lockers.