Guest Post | Let’s Get Crafty Like it’s 1978!

Greetings readers of Made By Joel. I hope everything is tickety-boo with you. I am over the moon to be writing this guest post for this most wonderful blog.
My name is Harry (I’m a girl). I work for the London based children’s publishing company, Made in Me. We are the creators of The Land of Me an enchanting, digital world for young children to explore and adventure in; learning, creating and laughing as they go.
We have also just become part of the British national institution that is Ladybird Books and have just launched an iPad reader called Me Books. The app allows you to explore vintage fairy tales like The Three Little Pigs and even lets you personalize the books by recording your own sounds and narration.


Whilst digging around for all these vintage titles I have been busy snapping up the wonderful collection of crafty books they published in the 60’s and 70’s. I don’t mind telling you that they have most certainly reignited my simmering crafty fire. Where better to share one of these nostalgic gems than on the finest craft blog in town!
So, without further a-do, I am going to show you how to make a pom-pom Willow, the owl from The Land of Me. Taking inspiration from a tutorial in How to Make Things for Fun, ‘Baby Robin’ – I have monkeyed around with the original to make Willow.

The Bits and Bobs you will need:
1. A lovely ball of brown double knitting wool.
2. Some dark brown, light brown and yellow felt.
3. Thin card.
4. A jam jar lid and medium sized coin.
5. Kid friendly scissors.
6. A stick o’ glue.
7. A nice, sharp, pencil.

Step 1 – Cut, cut, cut.
On the card, draw around the jam jar lid twice, then create an inner circle by drawing around the coin. Cut out the large circles and carefully cut out the inner circles leaving you with two rings. This is a wee bit fiddly!

Step 2- Get wrapping!
Now then, place the two rings together. Taking your wool, four strands at a time, tie the wool to the rings then start wrapping it around the rings. Ensure you cover the card evenly. Continue to do this until the hole in the middle is totally filled. Make sure you have a nice cuppa on the go as it may take a while!

Step 3 – Pom-pom-tastic
Now for the reveal! Take your scissors and carefully cut around the edge of the rings between the two pieces of card. Slip in a piece of wool around the centre of the ring and tie it really tightly. Now rip out the card (this bit is so much fun!) and reveal your pompom! Ta da!

Step 4 – Ta da
Cut out the shapes for Willow’s claws, wings, beak, tufts and eyes and then glue onto her perfectly formed pom-pom body. And hey presto! You have yourself a lovely little Willow! Twit-to-woo.


  1. September 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I just made a hedgehodge with my kids using the same technic. :)

    1. September 22, 2011 at 12:56 am

      Hi Rikka, I'd love to see a photo of the hedgehog! Perhaps we should make a woodland full of pompom animals! : )

    2. Esme
      March 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      I did that! It's lots of fun!:D

  2. September 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I found an old craft set in a charity shop for making pompom animals, haven't got around to it yet, but they are such a simple and lovely thing to do. Love your owl. :)

    1. September 22, 2011 at 12:57 am

      Thanks so much Bek! They are simple and have so much character....

  3. September 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Haha!!! I have those books from my childhood!!! They were hand me downs from my big brother - and classics are classics!!!

    1. September 22, 2011 at 12:57 am

      They sure are! Very nostalgic indeed. Make sure you hold on to the ones you have!

  4. Liv
    September 21, 2011 at 5:09 am

    I have ladybird books from my childhood when my parent lived in the UK and they are among my toddler's favorite books now! Brought a smile to my face :)

    1. September 22, 2011 at 12:58 am

      So happy it bought a smile to your face. They really are such wonderful books. : )

  5. September 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Thanks everyone, and thanks Harry!!! Vintage toy and craft books are such great finds, and I love this owl! My kids are itching to try their own pom-poms. Cool!

    1. September 22, 2011 at 1:00 am

      No no thank YOU Joel! You know we have been big fans of Made by Joel for years and I am honoured to have written a guest post! Crafting forever! : )

  6. Lindsay
    September 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I was so inspired I just made these for my twin girls. I wish I could attach a picture. One is brown with cheetah print feet, blue eyes, green wings and purple hair! The other is pink with purple eyes, green feet and red wings and hair! Psychedelic owls! Thank you!

    1. September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Ooh, those sound awesome! If you'd like to upload a photo of them on the Facebook page, we'd love to see them!

    2. September 22, 2011 at 12:59 am

      Oh how great! Please do upload them to Facebook or email me at I would really love to see them! So chuffed you were inspired by my post! : )

  7. Lindsay
    September 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    I don't do Facebook : ( I know! I am the last hold out! But they did turn out great! I love three year old love and sense of color! Thanks for the site. I just love it and have copied many of the projects. I am not the most creative, but I am great at borrowing from others! Hopefully my girls will be exposed enough and allowed to foster their creative side to be much more creative than I am.

    1. September 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks Lindsay! Oh, and if you want to email the photos to me, I'd still like to see them! joel (at) madebyjoel (dot) com

  8. September 22, 2011 at 8:00 am

    [...] has to be Ladybird Me Books (discovered via the extremely cool if you’ve got small kids blog, Made by Joel). I think anyone of *ahem* a certain age will automatically think, when they think Ladybird Books [...]

  9. September 22, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Thanks for sharing this. It reminds me of one of my home economic classes making pom pom animals during my elementary school years. :)

    1. September 22, 2011 at 8:42 am

      Yes! Exactly...a blast from the past for sure!

  10. Mollie Sultenfuss
    September 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    These are fantastic! With slightly different colors and tail-feathers, these little birds would make great turkeys for the Thanksgiving table!

    1. September 28, 2011 at 1:15 am

      They sure would Mollie! What a great idea! If you do make some I would love to see them so why not post them on Joel's Facebook page? : )

  11. November 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I have the perfect yarn for this. Satisfies both my kids' love of animals and my love of craftiness.

    1. November 29, 2011 at 3:12 am

      Perfect Kristina! I hope you all have a really fun time making a pom pom owl! : )

  12. February 4, 2012 at 5:03 am

    [...] Preložený článok z [...]

  13. September 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

    [...] O passo a passo está aqui. [...]

  14. November 9, 2012 at 8:34 am

    [...] Mady by Joel nos propone en su blog convertir el pompón en un lindo muñeco decorativo, o para jugar con los más pequeños de la familia. Proponiéndonos este fabuloso búho al cual, según los gustos, puede aportar su propia personalidad. Trasladando la idea a otros muñequitos como podría ser un cerdito o un pollito ;) [...]

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