Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weaving - grade 5/6

This is a project that I did with my regular class.

Here's an attempt at a some instructions!

One: Wrap your warp (up and down yarn) around a sheet of Styrofoam. We used one the same size as grocery stores use for meat (but I bought clean new ones at a craft store.) Make sure you wrap it around so that it goes around at least 16-20 times. 

Two: Begin wrapping your weft around. Instead of going side to side, you are literally going to go all the way around the Styrofoam, just going in circles and circles. Make sure that students know how to do the over/under technique. Some encountered difficulties at the beginning; because they had to do over/over when they flipped sides, otherwise their weft rows would repeat (I hope this isn’t too confusing!) Just make sure you’re there with them to help them through the first few rows. 

Three: Go as close to the bottom as you can on one side. Make sure you go up high enough that it will more than cover your ipod, as you are going to lose some length later. When you are finished, tie up the side threads that you have into knots. These should knot together fairly easily (you will have a knot anytime that you needed to change colors or add length to your weft.)

Four: One by one, cut the tips at the top, and tie them in knots with the warp thread next to them. Some kids had uneven numbers, so they had to tie one warp thread into a set of two. I just emphasized, as long as everything is knotted, you’ll be fine. Things won’t unravel if they’re knotted. 

Five: This photo is just to illustrate the sides that you need to knot together!

Six: After you have securely tied all of these knots, you need to remove the ipod case from the Styrofoam. You should be able to just slide it off easily. Some kids had to break their Styrofoam pieces, which is fine. Some ipod cases just came off easier when the Styrofoam was snapped.

Seven: On the bottom part, it will already be loosely attached due to the warp, and how close your weft came to the bottom. Now all you need to do is use some yarn and sew the bottom together tightly. This part only takes a couple of minutes.

Eight: Flip your ipod case inside out to hide any long threads (a much better idea than cutting – kids aren’t good at cutting closely without actually cutting the knot, and when this happens, it’s a disaster.)

Once you are at this part, you just need to weave your loose ends into your ipod case. This step is frustrating for kids because they just want to be done, but really try and discourage them from just snipping them off!

Here are some finished cases (I could go on forever with these, with 34 kids making several each!)


  1. Nice idea. We used a similar process to make pouches - I posted about it here: http://plbrown.blogspot.com/2011/12/5th-graders-weave-pouches.html

    We used folded cereal box cardboard for our looms, but otherwise our process was pretty much identical. We however did not need to sew up the bottoms. We just kept pushing down the weft to fill it in on the bottom.

    1. So nice! I love the straps and flaps!

      A kid actually made me one of these last year as a gift, and he's in my class again this year so I had him show us how to make them! I like your idea of not sewing up the bottom, that makes it so much simpler. I found my kids got frustrated towards the bottom though, because it got SO tight!

      Funny that you had the same problem with the double under, under part as you flipped. Wasn't that just impossible to explain to them??

    2. Also I'm really into your cereal box idea! So much more cost effective than styrofoam!

    3. Aly, we didn't have a problem with the bottom getting tight, because we STARTED AT THE BOTTOM. Does that make sense?

      As for the double under problem, it's because there's an even number of strings, and I basically told the kids they had to check every time they flipped to see which way to start. That way they didn't have to worry about whether it was a 'double under' row or not. Each row is a new experience!


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