Marathon Paced

The title of this post is slightly misleading. I run like a turtle treading treacle. Surely it can’t be that bad, you think to yourself… to which I say, No, really, it’s that bad. I run 10:30 minute miles if I’m lucky… usually I clock around an 11:30 or 12 minute mile. I ran the Missoula Marathon 3 years ago, and my only goal was to finish before they took the balloons down. I made it. Barely.


I ran the Missoula Half Marathon yesterday. It actually rocked my socks off (more about that later). Really, all this is relevant only because no matter what my running pace is, my life pace has felt pretty darn fast. I’ve been training since January. Sliding out sideways between dinner and bed times and leaving Sunday mornings to fit in training runs… man. It was good for me, I’m definitely happier when I run, but missing a run was stressful. Not missing runs was stressful. I compounded it by taking on a fundraising project for a local nonprofit in conjunction with training. And so I’m really glad to take a step back, concentrate on shorter (faster, har har) runs and spend a little more time enjoying summer.

Today I pulled out Munchkin’s craft stuff – something I haven’t been able to do for a while – and we made these little owls. It’s a project I’ve had in mind for a while, and I think Munchkin had fun. He was pretty demanding when it came to adding aesthetic features though!


When my head is full of other challenges, I tend to forget about these small things. Or I feel too hurried and rushed to do a good job of working with Munchkin. Today was good. I want more of that.

Not that these are particularly hard to make, but I’ve put together a little step by step for how to make these. All the supplies are, of course, totally optional… you could switch out most of these items for something else!

Toilet Paper Tube Owls

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Toilet Paper Tube Owls Tutorial |


  • Toilet paper or paper towel tubes (body of the owl)
  • Construction paper
  • Googly Eyes
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Rectangle and Round or Oval stencil or guides

1) Cut out long rectangles for wings – ours are 7 inches long. Fold the rectangle in half so the short sides are together, and trim one corner to create a rounded shape. Accordion fold the rest of each wing.

2) Unfold the wings, and apply glue to the center. Glue on the toilet paper tube.

3) Cut out two small and two larger circles or ovals. These are for the eyes. Glue the smaller circles/ovals on the bigger circles/ovals, and apply googly eyes in the middle of the smaller ovals. Glue the entire assembly to the top of the toilet paper tube.

4) For the beak, cut out a Right triangle (one corner is 90 degrees). Fold the triangle in half on the 90 degree corner. Fold the other two corners back so the triangle is accordion folded. If your corners stick out beyond the fold, trim the excess paper off. Your triangle should have three folds in it. Reverse the direction of the two outer folds – fold them in instead of out – and glue the two flaps together. You have a 3D beak! Apply glue to the back of the folded/glued part and attach to the toilet paper tube just below the eyes.

Owl Beak Tute2

5) For the feet, fold a rectangle of paper in half long ways. With the paper still folded, cut out a slight swoop for the top of the feet, and three toes on the bottom part as you cut back toward the fold. Make sure to leave part of the fold intact! Unfold your paper and yay, feet! Glue to the bottom of your owl’s body.

6) Cut out the leaves by again, folding a rectangle of paper in half long ways. Cut the leaves out so that the fold is at the top of the stem. This will keep the leaves connected. Cut a pipe cleaner in half, and fold the end of the pipe cleaner around the stem of the unfolded leaves. Tuck the raw edge to the back of the leaves.

Leaf & Branch Tute

7) To attach the branch/leaves to your owl, cut a 1/2 inch slit on either side of your owl’s feet. Push the pipe cleaner into the slits until it is held securely.

8) To hang your owl, punch a small hole on either side of the owl’s head. (I used a big embroidery needle.) Thread string or thread through the holes and tie the two ends together.

Note: This project is pretty kid friendly, but you might want to pre-cut some of these pieces if your kiddo is very young. I did most of the cutting for this project, and my kiddo did most of the gluing and folding.

7 thoughts on “Marathon Paced

  1. As you now know, I’m obsessed with various creatures, owls included. These are so cute. I’m impressed! Sometimes I feel too intimidated to start a craft with the kids. But perhaps we can try a simple version of this. It is supposed to be in the upper 90’s here this week, so we will be inside a lot…which means me frantically looking for things to do around here. I’ll let you know if we make them :).

    1. Julia, I’d love to see them if you make them! You could put a picture up on the FB page? These could easily be made way more simple by just drawing eyes on a circle and dispensing with the multiple circles, drawing the beak on or just making it a flat triangle… I honestly feel a little silly doing the tutorial for them, as they’re pretty much common sense, but I see sillier stuff all the time on Pinterest, so what the hey. : )

  2. Okay, first things first: I had a bear of a week, so I’m woefully behind in my blog reading…but I am SO glad I didn’t miss this gem of a post. Scotty is not a big craft kid — he’d much rather build something make something, but crafting is an activity I find immensely important for a myriad of reasons, so I keep trying…

    This one is PERFECT! I am bookmarking this, stat.

    Oh, and um, can I take a moment to tell you how amazing you are? Missoula Half Marathon!!???

    I bow to you.

    1. Aw thank you! It might just be his age… my kiddo really only got into it after he turned 4, and he still needs fast paced activities… I almost couldn’t keep up with him on these, but thankfully there was enough that he could do while I did the “hard” stuff that it worked out… until the baby woke up anyway. 😛

      And thank you for the half-marathon congrats. I am amazed that it went as well as it did!

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