Tag Archives: weaving

Weaving a Heart



I had to push in to several classrooms during testing so I wanted a no mess lesson to make that easier.


I have a box of paper strips that were donated to me via our district’s publishing department. They are the perfect length and width for kids to eave with.


For this lesson, we used white or black paper and they folded that in half, made a bumper and cut an odd number of lines onto their paper.

They opened the paper out and then did their weaving. When it was finished, they glued a heart onto the weaving to add a border. 20180207_102730.jpg


Recycled Weaving



Our black placemats we use get pretty messy after hundreds of uses. A few days ago, I noticed that the edges of most of them were folded and frayed and that many were bumpy from being wet from paint and glue. I swapped them out for new ones and wanted to use the spattered papers for something. I came up with this for my 1/2 combo class. A week or so ago, a gigantic box of skinny strips showed up in the art room. KISMET!! Students used the black mats at the substrate and the paper strips to weave.



They took paper strips and glued them on one edge of the paper. To remind them to use a small amount of glue and to hold the paper a few seconds so it wouldn’t slide around, we chanted dot, dot, not a lot, lot , press and hold 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

It was a pretty fun way to get them to make sure the one side was stuck before we started weaving. While that dried a bit, they decorated their strips and then did their weaving.


Well, they actually trimmed the edges. Then did their weaving.


Pretty great way to use up a box of paper strips that showed up in the art room and the old placemats as well.


Weaving on a loom



I finally did weaving with my third grade kids. I went to a teacher workshop at the Mingei Museum and the facilitator gave us each a bag with the beginnings to do weaving project with a group of 24 students. There were 3 skeins of yarn and 24 cardboard looms.


I had a few looms of my own which finally made this do-able for a whole class. The first day, I had no adult helpers so we identified our third grade table experts who were able to assist students who needed help with the concept of weaving on a loom.


The next groups of students came a few days later. I reached out to classroom teachers and asked for extra volunteers.


It was great to have several adults each period making the process much easier and more enjoyable for everyone.


God’s Eyes or Ojo de Dios



Oh these are always fun! I do these with Grade 4 because they study the missions and learn about how California was once part of Mexico. I also do them as one of the craft table options at our school’s heritage night.


This age level seems to have the easiest time learning this ancient textile art without a lot of intervention fr0m me.


I do tell them that have to “get it right” or re-do it. If they do it correctly, they can do a second one.


We do these in one class period which is 60 minutes. I typically use craft sticks but also chop sticks that I have cut in half.


We usually have donated yarn so this is a pretty inexpensive project.


Kumihimo Weaving Disks



This is a pretty simple weaving lesson using a disk weaver. There are loads of versions of this out there. The first time I did this kind of weaving was when the San Diego Weaving Guild gave weaving disks away at their booth at the Fair. It has been a favorite of my students for years.

Once kids get this, look out! Belts, book marks, bracelets and tote bag handles will be everywhere. I use pieces of corrugated cardboard or fun foam to make the looms for this project.


Cut an octagon shape out of a card board or fun foam square. (3 inch square works well)

Place a slit on each flat side of the octagon about 1/4 inch. Put a hole in the middle of the octagon-a sharp pencil is great for making the center hole. To find the center, fold the octagon in half and make a line then fold it the other way and make another line-you should have an “X”.

You need seven pieces of yarn or floss. Length will depend on how long you want your finished piece to be. About 18 inches is a good start for a bracelet.  Once you have cut 7 strands of floss, tie a knot in one end. Push the knot through the hole in the octagon. Place one thread into each slot. You will have one empty slot.

To weave; count three strings from the empty hole. You will pull that string and place it into the empty slot. Rotate the disk and repeat-count to the third string, pull it and put it in the empty spot-repeat. You have to make sure you comb the loose strands of floss or yarn as you go or it will tangle.

Once you have come to the end of the yarn, you can pull the strands out of the slots and tie a knot.

Wampum Beads


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Kids love to weave and I love to teach them weaving. I have done soda straws, kumihimo disks, finger knitting, cardboard looms, fork weaving and god’s eyes.

I saw this at There’s a Dragon in My Art Room a few years back and wanted to do it with a group of students. I first tried it with a group of 5th graders whom I had done art with since kindergarten. Then I did it again with my after school group.


I created an excel sheet with a pattern grid for kids to fill in. I used cardboard looms that I had already. I cut them up to accommodate the smaller size of a bracelet. I purchased plastic needles from Dick Blick and used some blunt tapestry needles I had from another project. The students used pony beads. I had a group of kids sort them by color into baggies before we did the project. To save class time, I warped all the looms myself.

wampum 1 wampum2

If a kid doesn’t weave correctly, loose strings will be seen. If they skip a lot of strings, the entire project will fall apart when it is taken off the loom.


I always have the kids who can do the project without help be our “student experts”. My students love to share what they know with each other. It is a great way for me to help those students who need extra help.

One afternoon, I heard a veteran student of mine tell a new student “Mrs. N. really likes us to become art experts so we can teach others how to do cool art”.  I think by teaching others, we get better at whatever it is we do.