Monday, December 2, 2013

Make a Celtic Tatting Shuttle

Want to know how to make a tatting shuttle for Celtic tatting? Read on!  

Are you curious about Celtic tatting?  Do you wonder where to get started?  Start by making your very own Celtic tatting shuttle!

How Is a Celtic Tatting Shuttle Different from Other Shuttles?

An example of Celtic tatting; a tatted earring.
An Example of Celtic Tatting
Celtic tatting requires the lacemaker to weave his or her completed work into a Celtic design.  In order to weave the design through and around itself, the tatting shuttle must be narrow enough to pass through the loops and bridges formed by twisting the work.

When I heard of Celtic tatting, I very much wanted to give it a try, but I just couldn't seem to find Celtic tatting shuttles at any of our local shops, and my shuttles were in no way narrow enough to use for weaving the designs.  After studying the look of some Celtic shuttles I saw in videos, I decided I could make my own, at least to get me started.

Celtic tatting; A Handmade Celtic tatting shuttle
Celtic Tatting Requires a Shuttle with a Narrow Width

Making the Celtic Tatting Shuttle

The base I chose for my shuttle was something I already had on hand; a popsicle stick from a quickly eaten popsicle!

In order to turn the popsicle stick into a Celtic tatting shuttle, I simply had to sand it smoother than smooth, and add some notches to each end to wind my thread.

This Popsicle Stick Was a Little Less Than 4 Inches
I used my rotary tool and cutting wheel to add the notches to the stick, and I used a fine sandpaper to smooth all of my edges.

After brushing all of the dust from the stick, I finished it with two very light coats of tung oil and let it dry.

Using My Newly Made Shuttle

I wound my thread around and around the newly made shuttle, and I was able to complete the earring projects found in Rozella Linden's book, Celtic Tatting Knots and Patterns: 12 Original Designs for Needle or Shuttle Tatters.

Smooth the Grooves and Edges with Fine Sandpaper
All in all, I am very pleased with my results.  I was able not only to satisfy my curiosity about Celtic tatting, but I was also able to design my own shuttles and create a beautiful product.

Want to Read More about Tatting?  

Tatting!  Time to Learn Something New!
A Brief Introduction to Crochet Hooks
Tatting!  Susan Bates Plastic Tatting Shuttle with Removable Bobbin

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Contact the writer for permission to republish text or images.


  1. Very nicely done

    1. Thank you! I love wearing my new earrings and telling people how I made them when they ask. : )

  2. Thank you very much! I haven't been tatting long, but I absolutely love it.

  3. Very well done, its brilliant to reuse items you find round the house.

    1. Thanks! When I was growing up, we would get free index-card type project sheets in the mail as a promo for a whole set of binders that contained projects. All of the free ones I kept were all about re-use of materials found around the house. Another one I remember was how to make a piggy bank out of an old bleach container. : ) I guess that re-use message really stuck with me.

  4. Very nice. You can also use the netting needle that fishermen use to make fine fish nets.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you! : ) Let me know if you give it a shot and how it works out!