Walnut Shell Owls

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Walnut shell owl 1Walnut shell owls are easy to make. If walnut shell penguins are here, can the walnut shell owl be far behind? If you’ve already made the baby penguins, you already know the process. There are, however, a  few minor changes. Read on to know more. 

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This is what  I used to make these cute walnut shell owls.

  • walnut shell owl 2my imagination (first and foremost)
  • walnut shells (two halves of a single walnut shell)
  • pistachio shells (two pairs)
  • paper
  • glue
  • acrylic colors
  • bindis

Before making an owl, there are a few things you need to know about owls. Owls have a flat face, large eyes and a hawk-like beak. There are many types of owls. You can look them up in The Spruce Owl Species List. Many of them have feathers around the eyes, forming a facial disc. Some also have ear tufts. Here, I made owls with ear tufts. 

To make the ear tufts, I used paper. You can also use a piece of ribbon made of cotton or silk. If you use paper, pick up one that is thick. It can be any waste paper, because we will color it with acrylic paint and so any text or picture will not be very obvious in the finished product.

You can also skip this step if you’d like to make the barn owl, for example, without the ear tufts.

Making the walnut shell owlSome people ask me, if the paper will last as long as the owl. The answer is yes, because paint will make it thicker and a layer of varnish will make it durable and waterproof and hopefully, insect proof.

I cut the paper in a triangular shape and inserted it between the two halves of the shell as shown in the picture. Now the two halves of the walnut shell can be glued together.

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Making the walnut shell owlWhen the glue dried, I colored the paper brown, along with the part that will form the head area. (Many owls have brown feathers, but some are also white. They are fascinating creatures, aren’t they? Here are some superb facts about owls.)

I also made small cuts in the paper to make it look like feathers. 

For the wings and feet I used pistachio shells – the shells used in the wings were slightly bigger than the shells used for feet. I colored the wings brown, but left the feet shells as is. I colored the rest of the body too – a white patch at the stomach area. Don’t worry is the coloring is not perfect – remember, no owl in this world is perfect!

Now, you may find it difficult to attach the wings to the body because the area of contact between the two shells – the pistachio shell wing and the walnut shell body – is very narrow. For such cases, I have a neat trick: stuff the hollow of the pistachio shell with paper and glue. Now you have a broader surface to attach to the walnut shell.

When you attach the feet, make sure they actually support the owl – every owl worth the insects it consumes, is capable of standing on its own two feet!

For the beak, I used a paper cone – the tiniest I could make – and for the eyes, I used wiggle eyes available in the market. You can also just paint the eyes – two dark circles at the centers of two large white circles (as in my 2nd owl above).

So now, these two walnut shell owls are sitting on top of my fridge, waiting to bring me luck. There are many superstitions around these mysterious creatures, but owls and humans generally get along. You can read more here.

Like my craft idea? Make a walnut shell owls yourself and let me know about them.

If you are visiting my blog for the first time, see also how to make miniature tribal masks and little green frogs – all with walnut shells and pistachio shells.

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