August 25, 2008

Kitchen Table Crafts: Cardboard Weaving

Since I'm a certified (though not yet certifiable) art teacher, I feel compelled to share some arts and crafts with my readers; after all, this blog's subtitle is making and doing. Every now and then I intend to post an art project that you and your kids can do at the kitchen table. Hence the feature's name "Kitchen Table Crafts." These activities won't require much in way of materials and should suit young children.

For my first project, let's do a cardboard weaving! I've done many kinds of weavings with kids and have found that girls and boys alike enjoy the repetitive and soothing movements of weaving. Once they get the hang of the over and under motions, your children may not stop for quite a while! It's a bit addicting.

What you'll need:
~A small piece of cardboard or other stiff paper (a 4"x4" square works well, make it larger for older kids)
~Yarn (scrap pieces work well, at least 18" long)
~Blunt yarn needle (easily found at any craft store)

What you'll do:
Prep Work
~cut yarn into manageable pieces (18"-24") Each child will need about 5-10 pieces of yarn depending how thick the yarn is

Making the Weaving
1. Mark every half inch starting from one side of the cardboard to the other

2. Draw a 1/2 inch line from the edge of the cardboard along each half inch mark. These will be cut to make slits in the cardboard. I often just eyeball this part, but if you take the time to measure, the weaving will be a little more even.
3. Cut along those lines to make the slits.

4. Tie a big knot on the end of a piece of your yarn. This will be what is called the warp, or the yarn that runs vertically on your weaving. (Ignore that needle below, it's not meant to be on that string.
5. Stick the knot in one of the first tabs on your cardboard "loom"

6. Now it's time to "warp" or "dress" your loom. Going up and down, back and forth, thread your yarn through each slit so it looks like this:
You'll be hooking the yarn around each slit, and the back of your cardboard will look like this:
Sorry for the glare, that old Silk soy milk box was glossy. After you've gotten all the slits, tie another knot at the end on the back. Cut off any excess yarn.

7. Time to weave! Take a new piece of yarn and thread it on your needle. Go over and under those vertical warp yarns, weaving back and forth. Each row will be the opposite of the row before it (if you went under one yarn, you'll go over it on the next row). You are now creating the "weft" of the weaving, the horizontal threads.

8. Eventually, the weaving will look like this.

Not like this one below.
That's what happens when you pull too tight.

9. When you finish one piece of yarn, tuck the end in behind the others and add another piece. Keep tucking the ends inside the back of the weaving. You can add other colors too! I wouldn't use such a flubby yarn as the green one (pretty, yes! Easy to weave with for kids, no).

10. Use a fork to pack down your weft yarn so that your weaving will be sturdy and tight.

11. When you're finished, it should look like this:

12. You can then remove it from the loom (if you're careful, you can reuse the cardboard loom). Weave in any stray ends on the back of the weaving. You can hang it up, use it as a drink coaster, or a rug for a dollhouse, a Christmas ornament, or whatever you want!
Another thing you can do some faux weaving on are those green plastic baskets that strawberries are often packaged in. Ribbons look nice woven between the slats.

Who knows, maybe someday your kids will be weaving on one of these:
My Osma Gallinger Floor loom, for weaving rugs, sadly not in my possession anymore.  I had to give up this space hogger once I had kids and no studio.  Hopefully someone else is enjoying it!  Have fun with the mini-weaving project.


  1. I so love your blog and it's Green ideas. I have nominated YOU for a blog award. Check it out.......

  2. What a great idea! I can't wait to use this with Love Bug one day. Thanks!

  3. Way cool! I'm going to have to try this with Roo once I get ahold of some yarn...

    Daddy tends to do most of the craft stuff with her since he's the artist. But this looks like something even I could master!

  4. Oh Kathleen (in my best swoon voice)..You have a loom? It's so beautiful!
    I had no idea that you made rugs. I've looked through the archives and don't see any; I know it will be a wonderful day for you when you get your hands on that again!
    Looking through those archives I found so many interesting things! I'm all aflutter over your artistic abilities. I fiddle with electronics and soldering; I like mechanical pieces but like the loom, my circuit boards have sat waiting..
    Thanks for the cardboard weaving!
    G'Day Katydid!

  5. I was about to say how the cardboard weaving thing was very cool, then you had to bust out the picture of your LOOM!
    I have seen people weave silk here in Laos. A friend of mine had a loom set up in her living room, but sadly she also had like 5 cats so every time she set a project, they would use it as a hammock and get it all out of line.

  6. Hello! Found your blog via and I love your loom! I am going to try the cardboard loom soon with the small kids in our house. I think I might be the one addicted to the over-under-over-underness of it all. Thank you!

  7. Would like to find more simple cardboard weaving patterns. Thanks so much for this tutorial. Love your blog, would love for you to stop by mine sometime as I do altered crafts and things too.



I'm a good listener...comment away!

Related Posts with Thumbnails