DIY Great-Horned Owl

Save toilet paper tubes to make these pretty nocturnal birds.

What You’ll Need

  • Newspapers, old tablecloth or paper plates
  • Toilet paper tube(s)
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Craft glue

What You’ll Do

  • Adults: Lay out newspapers, a tablecloth or paper plates to protect work surfaces.
  • Kids: Paint the outside of the toilet paper tube with a paintbrush. To minimize mess, slip one hand inside the tube as you paint with the other hand. Darker colors offer the best coverage of the cardboard surface. Allow to fully dry, standing straight up on covered work surface. Immediately wash your paintbrush.
  • Kids: While paint dries, print our template and follow the directions to make wings and eyes. Draw large pupils on the eyes with markers.
  • Kids: Once the paint is dry, gently fold down the top opposite edges of the toilet paper tube inward to meet in the middle. This will form the feathery ear tufts, or horns, on a Great-Horned Owl’s head.
  • Kids: Glue wings onto the sides of the owl and glue eyes on the front.
  • Adults: Cut out a little triangle piece of construction paper for the nose. Use a marker to draw little Vs to make feathers on the owl’s breast. Older kids can do this part themselves!

Getting to Know the Great-Horned Owl

  • These majestic birds live all over North America, in every part of the United States!
  • Great-horned owls got their name thanks to their dramatic ear tufts.
  • They mate for life and lay between one and five eggs every year.
  • Female great-horned owls are bigger than males — they weigh about 4.5 pounds on average, versus around 3 pounds for males.
  • Baby owls can fly starting around eight weeks old!
  • Great-horned owls are nocturnal, which means they mostly hunt at night and sleep during the day.
  • They eat rodents, hares, squirrels, skunks and birds like geese, ducks and pigeons. Sometimes they eat fish and big bugs.
  • Owls can’t move their big, golden eyes. Instead, they can rotate their heads a full 180° to get a good look around — that means they can literally look straight behind themselves.

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