Newspaper Weavings

Timeframe: Summer Camp Setting, approximately 3 hours
Grade Level: 2nd-5th
Materials: cardboard, newspaper, fabric scraps, ribbon scraps, glue, staples, stapler, acrylic or tempera paint

This project used materials that would normally have ended up in the trash. The cardboard was donated by a parent who works in that industry. He saved the rectangles cut from the middle of cardboard mattes. If we hadn't used these, they would have been thrown away. The fabric was "rescued" from a local arts festival and torn from old clothes. The ribbon was left from the last bit of rolls purchased at Hobby Lobby. Local subscribers donated old newspapers. Of course, the glue and the paint were purchased for this project, but everything else was salvaged. 

(Note- Instead of paper towels, we used newspaper and old t-shirts.)

Here's what we did:

Each student rolled 7 sheets of newspaper. Holding the sheet as if reading it, they rolled from right to left so that the end product was a long roll instead of a short roll. They squeezed the ends and middle of the roll to help hold the shape.

Because I only had one stapler at this camp and because it was tricky, I stapled the ends of the rolled newspaper to the cardboard rectangle for the students. This created a loom on which they could weave.

Depending on how "fat" the rolls were, students had 5-7 on their loom. We saved the leftovers from the original 7 to use to clean the tables.

Next, they painted designs on a sheet of newspaper. They really liked this part because they could paint freely. There weren't many instructions. They just needed to get some color onto the paper. I advised  them to use either warm or cool colors only. A couple of students came to me to discuss why they felt they needed to use both; and after listening to their reasoning, I allowed them do so. I think it is awesome when a student can explain why they want to do something with their art, especially when they can talk about color theory!

After the paper dried, they cut it into at least 7 strips from top to bottom. The strips were long rather that short. The fabric scraps had previously been cut into strips. They wove the newspaper strips and the fabric strips (alternately). Every time a student thought they were finished, I told them to push their strips closer together and add more. This part took up the most amount of time.

They glued the loose ends to the back of the cardboard after weaving. The back looks messy, but that is why it is the back!

They folded ribbon and fabric strips in half for the fringe at the bottom. I stapled the center to help hold the halfway point. Then, they glued it to the bottom of the back so that it would hang down. This is what it looks like from the back.

This is what it looks like from the front. 

I let the students staple a hanger at the top using fabric.

Some beautiful finished weavings.

 Copyright 2012 Amanda Koonlaba-There's a Party in the Art Room