Project pages

paper weaving

Do you have some interesting paper lying around? It might be wrapping paper, colourful magazines, or paper that you've painted or even made yourself. Collect some together and use it to create beautiful weavings that you can make into cards or collages, use in design work, or simply hang on the wall and enjoy.

1. Take a single sheet of paper to make the warp. (The warp is the strips that you weave in and out of. The strips you use for the weaving are called the weft.)

2. Cut your sheet of paper to the size you want your finished weaving to be. Don't make it too small the first time - a 13cm square is a good size to start off with.

warp weft
warp weft

3. Cut slits in your sheet of paper. Cut the first slit about 2cm from the left hand edge of the paper and about 2 cm from the bottom. Cut in a straight(ish) line till you are 2 cm from the top. I don't use a ruler because I like wiggly lines, but you can use one if you want straight lines.

4. Keep on cutting slits like this about 1 cm apart until you are about 2 cm from the right hand edge. You need an even number of slits so that you have an odd number of warp strips.

slit paper

5. Now choose some more paper for the weft. This can be anything that you think will look good with the warp. If you haven't done this before, you'll probably find it easier to use a colour that's very different to your warp, so that it stands out, but you will also get lovely subtle effects if you use something very similar.

6. Cut some strips just a little longer than the width of your warp sheet, and around 1 cm wide.

7. Starting at one edge of the warp (it doesn't matter which), slide one of these strips through the first slit, over the warp, through the next slit, under the warp, through the next slit, and so on, over and under, till you get to the other edge of the paper.

paper weft

8. You do nearly the same thing with your second weft strip, but this time push the strip through the first slit so that it goes under the warp, then over, then under, and so on, until you reach the other side. It should look start to look like a chequerboard.

9. Carry on like this until your warp is full.

Now you know how to do it, you can start experimenting. Why not try

You'll probably think of lots of variations of your own. Here are some weavings I made - if you want to see a bigger version, click on the image.

Here's another method. You don't have to start with a whole sheet of paper. You can do the whole weaving with strips, some for the warp, some for the weft. If you want to do this, you'll need a frame to support the warp. This could be a rectangle of card with the centre cut out, like a picture frame, or a circle, a heart, a butterfly...use your imagination.

1. Glue the ends of the warp strips to the back of the card frame and let the glue dry.

2. Weave more strips under and over them to fill up the frame.

gluing to card

3. Cut off any ends that stick out, so that you can't see them from the front. You can use a bit more glue at the back, if you think any of the ends are likely to come out.

woven heart

4. Stick a loop of ribbon or thread behind the top of the frame and you can hang your weaving up.

by Fiona Dix ( © Fiona Dix 1997 - 2012

if you want to share this project with others, please link to it - don't copy it