We're excited to have our favorite crafter, Marisa of The Neon Tea Party, back this month with our DIY Series!
This month, Marisa is here with a festive
Ojo de Dios Ornament & Tree-topper How-to
Hey there Artelexia community! It’s Marisa Morrison from The Neon Tea Party back with another colorful, Mexican-inspired DIY for you—this one with a holiday twist!
Lately, I’ve been completely enamored with ojos de Dios, diamond-shaped weavings that are a traditional handicraft of the indigenous Huichol community from the states of Nayarit and Jalisco, Mexico. These weavings, called Sikuli in Huichol, are considered protective amulets used in prayer, carried while traveling and displayed in homes and places of work. Ojos de Dios, whose four points represent the four elements: water, air, fire and earth, symbolize God’s protection of its possessor as well as a reminder of that which is unseeable by man.
This handicraft has gained popularity throughout non-Latin North American culture and has been interpreted around the world, but its origins remain with the Huichol and it has become a symbol associated with the state of Nayarit. There are many variations ranging from a mandala-style comprised of many sticks crossing at a central point to form a web-like shape, to a large cross-like style with smaller crosses on the top three points.
Today, in the spirit of the holiday season, I am showing you an easy interpretation using a popular Mexican-style yarn to create simple, yet authentic, ojos de Dios that you can use to adorn your Christmas tree as ornaments or make larger to become a tree topper.
- Assorted colors of yarn, such as Omegacryl (a vibrant, delicate Mexican acrylic yarn)
- Wooden dowels in your choice of size (we used
- Glue gun
- Loome tool
- Embroidery floss
- 1.25" circle pom pom trim guide
Start by holding the two dowels together parallel to one another. Tie them together in the middle with your choice of color for the interior of the design. Twist one of the dowels to create a cross shape. Wrap the yarn diagonally in one direction, then diagonally the other direction to create an X shape with your yarn until the two dowels feel securely in place.
Now it’s time to weave! The pattern is as follows: wrap the yarn under the nearest dowel, then up and diagonally across towards the next dowel in the direction to which the yarn is pointing. Wrap the yarn over the top of this next dowel, then underneath, back up and diagonally across to the next dowel, and so on. Be sure to pull as tightly as possible on each weave to create a neat diamond shape.
Here the weave is shown loosely for your visual reference. As I mentioned, be sure to pull each weave as tightly as possible so there should be no gaps between weaves. Keep wrapping until you’re satisfied with the size of your interior.
To finish a color, loop your yarn around the dowel a second time after your final weave, then trim the yarn and thread the tail under the loop going towards the point of the dowel. Pull tightly to secure.
Tie on your next color the same way on the same dowel so both tails are pointing towards the point of the dowel and wrap over the ends with your new color. After a few goes around, you can trim the excess tails that will be dangling. Keep adding colors until you’re almost at the ends of your dowels.
For a beautiful finish, you can wrap the exterior color over the ends of the dowels simply by wrapping up and down each dowel as the yarn travels to it on one of the final goes around. Secure the final tail by threading it under the final loop and pulling tightly. Repeat a second time if it doesn’t feel secure. You can also reinforce the knot with a dab of strong craft glue.
To turn your ojo de Dios into an ornament, create a slip knot loop with a new piece of yarn.
Place the loop on the back surface of one of the dowels and wrap the longer tail of yarn around the shorter tail and the dowel going up and down until the loop feels stable. Secure it by threading the tail under the final wrap and use a drop of strong craft glue.
For the final touch, we’ll be adding tiny pom poms to each of the four points. You can also add tassels instead which looks equally beautiful. To create these baby poms, use the narrow side of a Loome tool and wrap your yarn 30 times around.
To learn how to tie and trim your pom pom, watch The Neon Tea Party’s free pom pom video lesson here!
When trimming your poms, use a 1.25” circle trim guide, which is included in our set of six trim guides.
Repeat three more times until you have four tiny, shaggy poms.
Use a glue gun to secure the poms onto the front of each dowel point.
Repeat and make many ornaments in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns!
To make a tree topper, use two long dowels and position the horizontal dowel closer to the top to leave a long handle on the bottom, which you can attach to the top of the tree using strong wire. You can add interest to the long dowel ends by wrapping a criss-cross pattern in a contrasting color.
I hope you have as much fun making these beautiful heritage weavings as I have! If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave a comment below or message me directly at @theneonteaparty. If you make this project, be sure to share and tag @artelexia and @theneonteaparty so we can see what you’re crafting!
You can find more DIYs by The Neon Tea Party here on the Artelexia blog and at TheNeonTeaParty.com. Feliz Holidays, Feliz Navidad and wishing you only wonderful things for 2019!
Peace, love & neon,
The Neon Tea Party is on a mission to prove that everybody (yes, you too!) can craft and encourage you to get in touch with your creative side. TNTP provides fun DIY ideas, kits, and classes to help you make on-trend, globally-inspired products that will add joy to your home and wardrobe. Marisa Morrison is the color-loving, globe-trotting, llama-collecting, DIY-obsessed founder of The Neon Tea Party. When she's not making pom poms or emailing with craft party clients from her mud cloth covered desk, you can find Marisa scrolling Pinterest for fresh project inspiration, cooking dinner for her family and friends, or scheming her next exotic vacation.