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Paper Plate Weaving Step by Step

So as promised, here are step by step pictures to make the paper plate weaving I blogged about several days ago!
I have been having some trouble with uploading pictures to iPhoto recently and some of them turn up completely black… I have been trying to look into it to see if I can figure out what’s wrong, but I haven’t been able to find out why it’s happening! Weird! So there are a couple steps that the pictures didn’t show up, but I think these pictures should give you the idea!
Step 1: 
Cut an odd number of small slits around the outside of a paper plate. Make sure that there is an odd number, or else it will not work out right.
Step 2: Take a piece of yarn and wrap it around the paper plate so that it crosses in the front and the yarn is parallel in the back. Tie the piece of yearn in the front.
(this is a different color of yarn as the rest of the pictures because I forgot to take this picture the first time around with the purple yarn!)

 Step 3:
(and front view from step 2)
Tie a piece of the same color of yarn to one of the ties on the front of the plate.
(tip: count to make sure that the yarn is in the middle. For example, on my plate there are 15 slits on one side and 16 on the other side)
 Step 4: 
Starting on the side that has one more slit, wrap the yarn around the paper plate with the plate facing up. Going from my step 3 picture, the yarn wraps around the paper plate starting with the slit on the top to the right of the previous yarn, under the plate, and then bring it up through the slit on the bottom left. Then up and over to the right, then under and up on the left. Keep repeating until there are no slits left.
Then tie the yarn to another piece on the back.

Step 5:
Take another color of yarn and tie it to one of the ends of the tie on the front of the paper plate.
 Step 6: 
Start from where the yarn is tied and then weave over one piece of the purple yarn, and then under. Over and then under. Make sure that you do this higher up on the plate since the yarn gets twisted close to the center and it is hard to tell which piece of yarn comes next. After you have woven several over and unders at the top, then pull the string tight. Repeat

 This picture is after I have already wove over and under several times and then pulled it tight. It will look like it isn’t working for the first few ones, but no worries! Just keep going and will start to come together!

 And now you can see the center starting to form!

 After lots of over and unders, this is what it should look like! The purple color of the original yarn slowly starts to be seen less and less. When you are ready to switch colors, cut the yarn that you are using, but leave enough room to tie a new color of yarn to it.

Step 7:
Pick out a new color of yarn and tie it to the previous piece you were using. As you weave, make sure you push the tied ends of the yarn down so that they stay underneath your weaving.

 Keep on adding new colors as you would like!
Here’s another close up on one of the weavings.
 And here is a final product that one of my students made!
I hope that these pictures help give you a better idea of how to do the weaving! It is a really fun project and the kids LOVED it! The beginning can be a little tricky for some of the kids to figure out, so while the rest of my class was finishing up something else I worked with a small group to show them how to start their weavings. Then they helped teach the rest of the students how to do it. It was wonderful and I love to see my students teaching each other!
If you have any questions at all about the weaving, please let me know and I will definitely help you out!
Also, don’t forget to head over to Erin Bradley’s website to stock up on some of her amazing graphics at 20% off! Just use the code LessonsWithLaugher at checkout! Hurry over there because it ends this Friday, March 23rd! 

  1. Those are just amazing! I could see me doing this with my children at home this summer:)

    Going Nutty!


  2. Stacey says:

    Thanks so much for doing the step by step, with pictures, Molly!! That definitely helped me! Yay! I can't wait to try it myself, and looking forward to using it next year! Thank you! I love to watch kids teach each other too, so fun!


  3. Dana says:

    Super cute!!! And thanks for sharing the directions! This sounds like a great activity to do after our state testing is over! I will pull up your blog/pics on my projection screen and go through it with the kids!

    3rd Grade Gridiron

  4. brit says:

    LOVE these! They are such a neat POP in your room 馃檪

  5. Laura says:

    So cute!! How long did it take your kids to finish?

  6. Thanks for sharing the directions! I don't think I could do that with my whole class of first graders, but as a summer activity with my own kids…That is a real possibility!

  7. Totally cute! I will have to try it out first before I go with it for kids. Do you prep the plates for the kids by creating the looms before giving them to them? I would think I would want to do that, but I have 29 kids! Maybe I'll have a mom who is willing to give a hand…

    Thanks again!

    Lifelong Learning

  8. Janaye says:

    Neat idea! Thanks for sharing!


  9. Jennifer says:

    What a great idea! I could start this project at the begining of the year and have it as something students can do when they are done with other work.

  10. Hi,
    I have a question about the weaving- can you take it off of the paper plate or does it have to stay on it…thanks! Allyson S.

  11. Hi,
    I have a question about the weaving- can you take it off of the paper plate or does it have to stay on it…thanks! Allyson S.

  12. Jocelyn says:

    Thank you for sharing this activity. I am trying to have activities that actually show students different aspects of Native American life without they just be "cute".

  13. Mama Goose says:

    Thanks for all the detailed photos…as I was not quite getting it otherwise.

  14. rhiannonqb says:

    Question…Can you take it off the plate?

    • Molly says:

      I have never tried before! You might be able to, but it would probably be difficult and may get all tangled. You may be able to go around the entire woven circle with a thick layer of glue and then cut around it when it dries. Let me know if you try it out!

  15. rhiannonqb says:

    Question…Can you take it off the plate?

  16. I think to take it off of the plate you would have to have the string frame all on the front of the plate.

  17. Peggy says:

    Tried this with the girls during arts and crafts at camp. Colored / decorated the plates, first, with markers because I was concerned we would run out of time and not have a lot woven before we had to quit. 5 – 7 year olds had difficulty but the 8 – 10 years olds did very well. It was time consuming and had to be finished on Day 2 but it was worth it and the girls were proud to pose for a picture with their “flowers.” Wish I could post it for you!

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