I decided to do some paper weaving with my daughter and niece yesterday. Paper weaving is one of my daughters favourite craft activities and she loves seeing the pattern forming as she weaves the paper!
I love paper weaving with children as it teaches them about pattern formation, as well as developing their fine motor skills. I find it really helps develop concentration too, as they have to sit and focus on their weaving technique, as well as remember the sequence of over and under! Paper weaving takes practice so don’t worry if your little one doesn’t get the hang of it straight away. All attempts are good practice! We don’t do ‘perfect’ here!
To paper weave you will need – a piece of coloured card / paper for the ‘base’ (we use card for this as it makes it a little sturdier for kids), strips of coloured / patterned paper to weave through, glue, scissors and a piece of coloured card to be your ‘frame’.
Begin by taking your piece of base card / paper and folding it in half. Then cut slits horizontally (starting on the folded line) across the card at approximately 3 – 5 cm apart. Do not cut to the edge! Make sure to leave space at the ends, so the card stays intact! For younger children cut the slits wider apart so it is easier for them. Next, get your first paper strip and begin weaving under and over the slits repeatedly. Start the weave with the paper strip under on this step. The girls chose a lovely striped paper to use for their weaving!Next, weave another strip of your paper. Start the weave over the base card slit this time, so it alternates from the previous strip. Continue weaving each strip of paper, alternating how you start the weave on each strip (under, over etc). (There are some brilliant paper weaving video tutorials on YouTube – I know it can be pretty hard to understand without a video)! Continue weaving the strips until your base card is full. You should have a very cool pattern! Don’t worry if it’s not quite right, it can take a lot of practice! Once you have weaved your strips, cut down the parts that are hanging over the edge and glue the end bits in place to keep the strips secure. Make sure you glue down the bits on the back too. Your little one may prefer to snip and glue as they go along. My daughter prefers this as she finds it easier to keep track of what she is doing.You should now have something that looks a little like this – You can leave the weaving like this or you can add a frame. The girls both opted to add a frame. Choose.what shape you would like, then cut it out of another piece of card. Both girls decided to make a heart shaped frame! Once your frame is cut out, glue it down onto your weaving then cut around the frame. We love paper weaving, not just the end product but the whole process! The girls loved seeing the pattern come to life and my daughter is going to hang hers up in her bedroom as she is so proud of it!
I would urge anyone to give paper weaving a go with the little ones! A brilliant technique for kids to put their hands to!