Introduction: Tree Weaving: Elementary School Art Project

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Weaving is an art form that has been around for centuries.  It had very practical uses in society as well as being a true art form.   In this lesson students will gain basic knowledge and experience of weaving.  The students will create a simple leaving project and create a fun fall decoration!  With this easy design children will get the basic idea of weaving and be able to build on this knowledge with future projects.

Basic Weaving Vocab:

Weaving:  The art form of taking cloth or fabric on a loom by interlacing thread, yarn or other fiber.  For this project we will use paper.

Loom: The structure which a waving is created

Warp: These are the threads running lengthwise on the loom, it is placed on the loom first and is the basic structure you use to start the weaving art form.

Weft: These are the threads that are weaved across the warp to create the final product called the web.

Web: The product of your weaving

Step 1: Materials Needed

Materials Needed

One Green  9" × 12" sheet of construction paper

One Brown 9"X12" sheet of construction paper

Black & Brown Crayons

Several Strips of Fall color construction paper cut from 9"X12" Sheets in 1" strips

A bottle of School glue per student


Step 2: Green Paper

Take the sheet of green construction paper and fold it in half.  Remidn students to match up their corners before putting pressure on the fold.

Step 3: Make a Tree Top

Students will need to cut a tree top shape out of their folded paper.  Remind them they can not cut on the fold or their tree will wind up in two pieces.  For younger students, have them take a crayon and draw the top of the tree on the half of the paper first before cutting.  You will need to remind them to cut both pieces of the paper together.

Once the tree top is cut, have children keep the paper folded and cut six (you can do more or less, but I wouldn't do less than five) strips from the fold towards the top.  Again with younger children have them draw the lines first.  I have kids keep at least three fingers from the side of the tree (In this cake from the fold it would be the top).  That way they don't make a mistake and cut completely through the tree top.  Yes, this does happen, and if it does you can tape or have them start a new piece.  I always tell my students if they goof on this step it's 100% ok, we can just start fresh, mistakes happen even to me. 

Step 4: Unfold the Tree Top

When the students unfold the tree remind them to be careful.  Sometimes the cuts made for the warp get crossed together.  They can rip if they aren't careful.

Step 5: Opposites Attract

To keep a nice tight weaving you have to have your weft do the opposite every other strip.  Have the children put the weft strips to the left as they weave them, this will also help keep the weaving nice and tight.  I have my students make patterns if they wish, so they do not have several of the same color right beside each other.

Children will start to worry about the excess paper on the top and bottom of the tree top.  Tell them not to worry we will take care of that later.

Step 6: Weaving Is Fun!

Have them continue to weave, when they hit the half way mark have them check to see if they are on track.  I tell them every other color should be green, if they have a long strip of green they missed a weave. It's very easy to fix with paper, they can just pull out the strip and start again if needed.

Step 7: Trim and Glue!

now it's time to trip the tops.  I apologize my illustration was made on Microsoft paint so it's not the worlds best.

have them trip the tops so see green, yet have a tab to add a dot of glue.  I show them they can do this to the top then the bottom of the weft on top.  Then we flip over the tree top and do the other side, then glue away.

Glue is fun for kids, and because some have not built up the muscles in their hands they will want to squeeze the glue bottle as if their life depended on it and suddenly you have a bottle of glue on your tree top.  To keep that from happening remind the children to make dots of glue about the size of an apple seed.

Step 8: Make a Trunk

To create a trunk take your brown piece of paper vertical and draw a tree trunk using a brown or black crayon.

Step 9: Cut and Bling!

Cut out the trunk, then take your brown or black (or both) crayon and make lines on the tree trunk.  You can have them make knots on the tree as well if you like.  Then have them write their name on the bottom of the trunk, this will make it  look like their name is carve into the tree.

Step 10: Put It All Together!

Now on the top of your trunk make small apple seed glue dots and glue on the top of the tree.


Now they are finished.  If you have children who finish faster than others you can have them take the color strips of paper left and cut small squares they can glue those near the bottom of the trunk.  Then it will look like a lovely piles of leaves on the bottom.

Step 12: Student Examples

Here are some of my kiddos with their awesome trees.  Some kiddos got off on their weaving, we fixed that as I went around. :)

Step 13: PoofRabbit's Tips and Tricks!

* Glue: dot dot not a to say but doesn't mean a whole lot if you don't explain the size of a dot.  I always say an apple seed because 99% of kids have seen an apple seed and will get a good idea of size.

* A tree in two: It happens don't fret.  Some kiddo's will do this more than once, don't get frustrated, show them how the fold holds both pieces together, they will understand why they shouldn't cut that fold.