Saturday, August 18, 2007

Simple Craft-of-the-Week: Paper Weaving

Sarah at Plainsong, came up with a great idea to make it easier for moms to include an art/craft activity in the weekly lesson plans. Each week different 4 Real homeschoolers will be posting the instructions for making a craft geared toward the 4-9 age group. The projects are meant to be non-complicated and use materials that are readily available.

This week is my week! The following is a project that I can remember doing when I was in Kindergarten or 1st Grade: Paper Weaving! It's a great hand-eye cooordination exercise as well as great practice before trying weaving with yarn. This project also gives lots of options for what and how to make.

I invited the gang from Our Domestic Church to come craft with us ... and boy did we have fun creating all different types of paper weaving from the simple to the elaborate!
First, get all your supplies -- different kinds of paper (construction, scrapbook, typing, wallpaper book .... ANY kind of paper will work for this project!), crayons and markers for embellishments, ruler, scissors, glue (either stick or liquid), tape (either masking or clear), pencil for drawing (draw lightly, then it's easier to erase if you make an error or change your mind!).

SIMPLE RECTANGULAR WEAVING -- placemats or pretty designs for the wall

Mark a pencil line at one end of your paper about 1/2-1" in from the edge -- you will then cut lines of equal width toward this line (using a ruler for placement or eye-balling it -- either way it comes out great!). Another way is to fold the paper in half and cut lines toward the end line (this way both ends of paper are solid).

Begin weaving with strips of paper -- either all the same width or differing widths -- first row, under/over across all the "legs". Alternate for the next row doing over/under across. Push the rows together gently so there are no gaps. Keep weaving until the paper is full -- you can center the weaving by stopping with a "hem" the same depth as your original pencil line.

When your weaving is complete, trim any ends that may stick out and tape or glue the lose ends. You can either laminate the finished piece or mount it on another sheet. Here are some of the "simple" shapes done ...

Simplest -- all strips (warp and weft) are approximately the same width
Different widths, colors and "decorator" scissors Wavy lines with straight strips -- kinda 60s-ish, eh?

WOVEN PICTURES -- More Elaborate Drawings with Weaving

Now, this is where the imagination can REALLY kick-in! The kids really had fun with this -- and the more you do, the more ideas you discover!
Draw any shape -- animal, plant, geometric, etc -- on a piece of large constuction paper. Cut out your shape. Decide which way you want to weave and cut drawing for your "loom".

When you're done with the weaving -- and remember, you don't have to weave the WHOLE THING (just a section of the overall drawing) -- you can draw eyes, wings, other embellishments (using paper, glitter, etc) and outline the overall picture.

And the finished products:

This craft was "remembered" when I was looking through The Usborne Book of Art Projects. Thanks to MaryM's suggestion, I've gotten many of these books and they are wonderful -great projects, clear instructions and lots of room for creativity. Here are some others that are definitely worth a look: The Usborne Book of Art Skills, The Usborne Book of Art Ideas, Usborne Art Ideas: Big Book of Things to Draw, The Usborne Book of Paper Engineering, and The Usborne Book of Papier Mache. They also have one that combines art appreciation and projects -- The Usborne Art Treasury -- which has 22 different famous works of art, a bit about the artist and a project that imitates the artist's work. VERY COOL! Usborne has TONS of great craft books, but these are the ones that seem to have a great mix of ideas.

So to everyone, a prayer for you for a wonderful new school year -- whether you're learning in the heart of the home or the heart of the classroom. Here's an apple for each of you teachers:


molly said...

Very nice Mary! Good job all.

Cindy said...

Looks like lots of fun! Thanks for hosting this week.

Charlotte (WaltzingM) said...

Wavy lines with straight strips -- kinda 60s-ish, eh?
Groovy! I love it! Thanks for the idea!

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Hey Mary,

I sell these books, in case you no longer have a rep and are interested....

Your crafts look great!

Anonymous said...

You're all amazingly talented!

God bless

Unknown said...

Wow...some very creative weavings. I want to tell you about something we did for Lent that turned out very cool. Write something from the Scriptures in cursive on black paper with white or other light color gel pen. Fill up the paper. Then weave that paper with a solid, bright color and then make the shape of a cross. A Celtic Cross would be cool too. They are very stunning.

Marianne said...

Thank you! I think we just might try this tomorrow. Your projects came out SO cute!