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Weaving Paper with Kids

 "Discoveries are often made by not following instructions,
by going off the main road, by trying the untried."
~ Frank Tyger

kids art project - weaving paper

My 9 yr old daughter and I have been weaving paper! Here's how she describes her 5x7" weaving project,"Weaving paper is pretty hard and pretty fun. It doesn't look especially good when you start but it looks great when you finish. The hardest part is actually the weaving itself. When it's done it looks like busy streets squished together." Her tips:

Tip #1: Don't leave any space between the woven strips.
Tip #2: Don't put two strips with the same pattern going the same direction.
Tip #3: Keep the colors wild, it looks more interesting if the colors are crazy.

How to weave an Artist Trading Card:
Above, my daughter's 5x7" weaving. Below, my 2.5"x3.5" weaving.

  1. Cut 15 strips of 3" length and 10 strips 4" length cardstock, guesstimating not measuring. Detailed patterns with bright colors work well.
  2. Cut cardboard or heavy cardstock into the size of an ATC artist trading card (2.5"x3.5")
  3. Tape the ATC to your work surface. This will be function as both your guide and your backing.
  4. Tape the tops of the longer strips to the top of the ATC and to the work surface. Ensure they touch but NOT overlap.
  5. Weave the shorter strips through horizontally. Pointed tip scissors (these Fiscars are my favorite and easy on the hands) help lift the vertical strips as you weave the horizontal strips in. Push each horizontal row up tightly against the one above. If your vertical strips overlap, you will have trouble tightening the rows.
  6. Lift the weaving, pulling the tape off the work surface but not off the woven strips. Turn it over and put a thick layer of Mod Podge on the back of the strips and a thin layer on the ATC.
  7. Tape the weaving to the ATC, being careful to fix any strips which have gone astray. Rub the back of the ATC firmly. Turn over and check that everything is in place.
  8. After a few minutes the Mod Podge will be dry. Trim the edges of the weaving strips down to the size of the ATC using sharp scissors or an exacto knife (an adult should do this step).
  9. With parchment paper on top to protect your book, set the ATC under heavy books (Harry Potter works!) for a day to dry without warping.


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Reader Comments (7)

How beautifully vibrant! My 6 year old has also got the weaving bug and made beautiful yellow and blue woven table mats for our Easter table. She also used paper, folding one piece in half and cutting slits and then openig it up and threading a different coloured paper strips through the slits. We then laminated the mats.

04.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I've been racking my brain - trying to come up with an original gift idea for a bridal shower I'm going to next week. (The bride and groom have lived together for a year or so - what else could they possibly need to set up a house?) I'll be weaving paper placemats to have laminated for the newlyweds. Thanks for the inspiration! Hmm...maybe I'll Mod Podge some paper-woven napkin rings, too...

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

04.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrissi


04.10.2010 | Unregistered Commenterlilla a

This is beautiful! I love all the different colours and patterns! I've recently become very excited about weaving with children after I did some weaving with my 3-5s. We used paper the kids decorated themselves. Nice work, to you are your daughter!

04.12.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Awesome explanation - can use this post in my class -- thank you!

04.12.2010 | Unregistered Commentersarahjane


i love this idea. it's a great fun to do with the kids. and the results are surprising :-9

i've linked your post here:

thanks for the tutorial.

many greetings, doro.

05.11.2010 | Unregistered Commenterdoro

I've just been back-clicking thru some of your paper weaving posts, and noticed that you suggest Harry Potter books for weighting things down-- I do that very same thing with my Harry Potter books!! (the middle two or three are especially good for it, since they're so thick!)

06.7.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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