The 21st Century Herbalist

Crafts of the '80s: God's Eyes

Remember these?  They’re called God’s Eyes and they are one of the first crafts I ever made.  The neighbor kids and I would spend summer afternoons eating popsicles and using the sticks, along with some brightly colored yarn, to make lots of these little diamonds.  Then we’d go outside and collect all manner of things, usually small pebbles, feathers, wild flowers and leaves, and we’d tie these collected treasures to our diamonds.  Once they were dripping with nature bits our very accommodating parents would let us hang them from windows all around the house.  At the time we were just country kids entertaining ourselves and little did we realize that we were participating in a history that goes back hundreds of years.  It’s this history that makes these the perfect craft for week 2 of our celebration of the multi-generational traditions of women.  I made them in the 1980’s but they certainly go back to the 1880’s and hundreds of years before that!

These small diamonds have been found in countries and cultures all over the world.  Versions of them have been discovered in Tibet, China, Denmark, Africa, Germany and Australia but the classic version that I’m showing you today, originated in the pagan cultures of Mexico where they were called ojos de dios or God’s Eyes.  They were originally woven for protection and to keep evil spirits away.  So as children when we’d weave these diamonds and hang them in the windows of our homes, we were protecting our families from evil without ever knowing it.  Even if you don’t believe in such things, these delightful little diamonds make a wonderful, handmade and heart-felt house warming gift.  You can make one and embellish it with a bit of rosemary for added protection for the new home owners.  It’s also a nice gift wrapping embellishment to be used on top of wedding, baby shower or birthday gift.

You’ll need:

  • two sticks of equal length – I used actual sticks from a fallen twig that I found on the ground but you can use popsicle sticks like I did as a kid, or any other stick you can find!
  • yarn or string – Select a couple of colors that you think your recipient might like, if you’re feeling adventurous you could make a rainbow version…those always look fun!
  • herbs, feathers, flowers, leaves and other nature bits for embellishment
I chose an old twig, two colors of natural string and a small sprig of rosemary.

  1. Hold the two sticks together and start by wrapping the first color of yarn or string diagonally twice.
  2. Then wrap it twice diagonally the other way, tucking the end in.
  3. Begin wrapping the yarn around each stick one time, always moving in the same direction.  When you’re ready to switch colors, just cut string color “A” that you’re currently working with and tie it to the end of string color “B”…then keep on wrapping the sticks!
  4. This is a picture of the front view that will be created as you work the yarn around the sticks.

Keep wrapping until you’ve filled the sticks. Then tie a loop around the top for hanging and add any embellishments that you like!  This simple craft will get you that craft-fix that we all need from time to time and you’ll look like the Queen of DIY when you top a gift with this little guy.

Did you guys make these when you were kids?  What colors did you use?

In case you missed it…week 1 of the celebration: Moisturizing Pumpkin Body Whip (smell like a pumpkin!)

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