Yarn weaving is a fun art project that’ll keep your kids busy with their hands and brains, two important parts of a Montessori elementary school education. They’ll also work on their fine motor skills. The instructions below make a small yarn weaving that your child can hang for display, but you can alter it to make a much larger project or be the focus of a family activity.
The steps are below, but you might want to step in for the preparation, which requires cutting with sharp scissors.
Yarn, pencil, ruler, scissors, plastic needle, 7”x9” piece of cardboard (could be from old boxes), two ½” wide rectangular strips of cardboard, twig
- ½” from the top of the cardboard, draw a horizontal line with a pencil. Make a line of hash marks from the edge of the cardboard to the line, each mark about 1/4” apart from each other. Spin your cardboard around and repeat the process on the other side. You should have at least 12 hash marks on each side.
- Cut along each hash mark, then glue the strips of cardboard underneath the ½” line. The hash marks should lead up to the strips.
- Cut a strand of yarn for each vertical pair of hash marks, and thread them through from top to bottom. There should be at least 3” of tail for each strand. Tape the tails on the back of the cardboard so that each yarn strand is tight enough to be straight, but not too tight that the strands stretch.
- The finished product is a loom, which your child will use to weave their project.
How to weave:
- Thread a 2’ strand of yarn through the plastic needle, tying a knit at the needle’s eye.
- Slide the needle underneath and then over the first thread, back under the second thread, and so on. This is called the over-under pattern. When they get to the end of the first row, pull the yarn all the way through and leave a 3” tail.
- For the next row, repeat the process but by using the over-under pattern in reverse. If you weave in the same order, the project will unravel itself.
- After threading a few rows, push up the yarn so that it’s snug on the loom’s threads, but don’t pull too hard or the weaving will cinch.
- To switch yarn strands or to change to another color, tie off the yarn with a 3” tail remaining. Let it hang loose for now. Insert the new strand like you did with the first strand, and weave until you’re out of space on the loom.
- When you’re done weaving, cut the final strand you’re using and leave a 3” tail.
How to take the weave off:
- Remove the tape holding down the loom threads. Carefully pull the threads out of the sliced hash marks, but don’t remove them from the weave. Instead, remove the entire weaving from the loom.
- Tie the ends of the loom threads together. They should be neighboring threads. If there’s an odd thread hanging loose, tie to the nearest knot.
- Thread the ends of the remaining loose strands through the back of the weave a few times before trimming them. You could also tape them to the back, if the back won’t be part of the display.
How to hang the weave:
- Cut a foot-long piece of yarn and, using the needle, thread it through the top of the weaving and around a twig. Thread the entire length of the weave, then tie off the strands.
- Then, cut a piece of yarn about 15” long and fold it over. Loop the folded end around one side of the twig and make a knot. Tie the ends of the yarn on the other side of the twig.
Now you can hang your weave and start another!