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Green, blue and yellow Woolly Octopus
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Needle and Thread Crafts Friday Fun

Woolly Octopus

What you will make:

In this craft project, learn the British way of making a yarn octopus. This technique is a disarmingly simple way to make a cute toy with items found in most people's homes, and it will use up those leftover scraps of wool (yarn).

This is a great project for groups of kids or family craft time. Grandmas are good sources of odd balls of wool, and will enjoy making woolly octopi with the kids.

Related craft: Make a little Yarn Octopus using just a ¼ ounce of yarn and wiggly eyes.

Here's what you need:
  • Odd balls of wool
  • Felt scraps
  • 8" to 9" book (regular-sized Bible, for example)
  • Scissors
  • White glue (Elmer's, PVA)
  • Optional: Wiggly eyes

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make a Woolly Octopus

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Wind Wool

Wind the wool around the length of the book (not too tightly) 40 to 60 times until you have a nice wodge of wrapped wool. Cut this off from the ball of wool.

Step 2: Tie Yarn

Carefully take your wound wool off the book. Using a short piece of wool, make a tight tie around the wound wool, about 1" to 2" (3-5 cm) from the top. This forms the hair for the octopus. Make another tie a further 3" to 4" (8 - 10 cm) down to form the octopus' head.

Step 3: Cut Yarn

Using scissors, cut through the small loops at the top. This will be your octopus' hair. Cut through the large loops at the bottom to form the octopus' legs.

Trim the hair to whatever style you wish, being sure not to cut too close to the tie.

Step 4: Plait Legs

Turn your octopus upside-down and hold its head between your legs. Divide the cut wool into eight even "legs" and plait (braid) each in turn. Use short lengths of wool to tie off each leg, and trim the ends.

Step 5: Make Face

Your octopus is almost complete. Using the felt, cut out eyes and a mouth, and glue on.

Tip: If you like, use wiggly eyes in place of the felt eyes.

That's it! Does your octopus need a buddy?
Green, blue and yellow Woolly Yarn Octopus

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Thanks to...

Thanks to Louise L. for sharing this craft idea with Aunt Annie's Craft Exchange in 1996.

Louise suggested, "You can make a small octopus as a baby's toy by leaving one of the loops intact when cutting the hair. Now you can attach this little octopus to your baby's pram or cradle, and it will bob about when hit by the baby!

See the loop on the yellow octopus below.

Related Project

Yellow and pink octopus buddies

Tip: Make a little Yarn Octopus to go along with your woolly octopus.

Blue woolly octopus with longer hair

Tip: For longer hair, wrap the yarn around a larger book (12" works well) and make the top tie further down. Instead of cutting the hair loops at full length, cut a "fringe", allowing the rest of the wool to form the long hair. You can then fix up the hair as a pony tail, plait it or leave it down.

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