Sunday, January 4, 2015

In the Art Room: Straw Loom Weaving

Hello, weaving friends! Welcome to the second installment of The Weaving Series during this Wonderful World of Weaving month formerly known as "January". In case you didn't know, I'll be sharing with y'all some of my favorite weaving projects all this month each complete with step-by-step photos and short video clips. So, what's in store today? Drinking Straw Loom Weaving!

Straw Loom Weaving is a great follow up project to Paper Loom Weaving as it builds on all of the previously learned skills. The youngest grade level I've done this sort of weaving with is second grade. However, I believe upper grades would enjoy this fun, easy and totes educational weaving project as well. Let's get started, y'all! 
Supplies:

Large Drinking Straws: I like the big ones without the bend in them. I've scored them at fast food joints and the grocery. I cut the straws in half. Each kid will need four straws.

Scotch Tape: You'll need this to adhere the yarn to the straw. I like this kind of tape better than masking because it can lie flat against the straw and not impede on the weaving process. And don't nobody like their weaving process to be impeded upon.

Yarn: Four strands cut to the desired length of the finished weaving. In this demo, mine was cut to about 9". 

Even More Yarn: For weaving. Let's get started!
You'll begin by warping your loom. This is the fun part, at least according to the kids, a you'll be "drinking" the yarn. If you watch my clip, you'll bet an even better idea on the process. Start by holding the end of the yarn at the bottom the straw. Place your mouth on the opposite end and inhale. The yarn will pop out the other side! Warning: do NOT inhale too much as you'll end up with a yucky mouthful of yarn. 
Yee-ouch, nice nails. Tape down that little yarn tale with some Scotch tape.
And do that four more times.
Tie all the ends together with an overhand knot.
Once you're warped (and, admit it, you've always been warped), you're ready to weave! If you watch this short clip, you'll get the process.
Hold the straws together in your non-dominate hand with a tiny bit of space between 'em. Use your thumb to hold the end of the warp string while your other hand begins the process of over and under.
When you reach the end of the row of straws, go around the end straw and begin the process again.
Lookie there, just like the paper weaving
In this final clip, I'll show you how to finish off the weaving and remove it from the straw loom. Take heed: the kids will often want to slide their weavings completely off their straw loom as they weave. It's important that they do not! Their weaving should slide off the ends of the straws naturally as they are weaving along. Also, they will freak out when their weaving begins to slide off because it will look a little loose. Set their minds as ease and tell 'em that it's perfectly normal. No need to freak out.
So what do you do with a straw loom weaving once it's complete? Well, my kids love to make them into bracelets by simply tying the ends of the warp strings together. They've also made belts, bookmarks and wallhangings. I'm personally dying to get some yellow and blue yarn and create woven Minons. 

What about you? Have you done this kind of weaving with your kids before? If so, what have y'all created! Please keep the convo going in the comments, kids.

ALSO! ARTSY BOOK CLUBBIN' KIDS (that's you, you can join the fun here!) don't forget that we'll be reading The Art Spirit by Robert Henri beginning Monday, January 12th! 

The winner of the Artsy Book Club Giveaway is...Leah! Congrats, buddy! 
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23 comments:

  1. I am going to try this with my second graders who recently completed their paper weaving project! Thanks, Cassie, for the wonderfully easy to follow video tutorial!

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    1. They'll love it! So glad the video was helpful :)

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  2. You just saved me a LOT of work! I have wanted to do these for so long and just haven't got around to doing it. You gave me all the supporting material that I need!!!! I'm so excited to implement this right away in this new year! ThAnKS... so... much my friend!

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    1. Yay!! I know the kids will love it, have fun :)

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  3. Thank you so very much for sharing this technique! I tried straw weaving last year and I think your approach to it will make it work better in my classroom for me this year! Last night, I also tried an example of the kumihimo weaving demo you posted awhile ago for pouch weaving cords. It was such a helpful demo and the pictures made it so easy, that I think I'm going to give that a try with my 3rd graders too.

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    1. Oh, my kids love weaving those kumihimo cords! I plan to revisit that post with a video tutorial so if you get stuck, be sure to drop back by. It's all weaving all the time until the end of the month on this here blog :)

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  4. I used to do these with third graders. It was always a big win with the boys, go figure, they loved to weave!

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    1. They always do! It's a tactile thing, I think :)

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  5. OH! And already ordered my book...ready to read!

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    1. Awesome!! So excited to dive into that book, been meaning to for years!

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  6. This has always been one of my favorite third grade weaving projects! K Hymanl is right, boys do seem to enjoy this project. We often add pipe cleaner antenna and beads or google eyes to make snakes and other "critters". I like the idea of making them into bracelets, too. Never thought of that!

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    1. And I've never thought of the idea of adding pipe cleaners! Genius!!

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  7. My 4th graders loved straw weaving. Your sucking on the straw trick is pure genius!!! Why didn't I think of that? We threaded a needle and dropped it through the straw. Your way is SO much better! Thank you!!!!

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    1. You're welcome! That whole drinking the yarn thing is just about their fave part. They find it hilarious!

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  8. I do the same lesson with my third graders after a paper weaving review-they love it, especially when I show them how to suck up the yarn-they go nuts! Loved watching your video :)

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  9. My kids love this project- I'm going to have to watch your video, because we did it differently- your way might be easier! I saw a version on Pinterest where they added googly eyes, arms and legs- that was cute too! Here is a link to one my kids made-
    http://jacksonsartroom.blogspot.com/2014/06/straw-weaving.html

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  10. Your instructions are the best!

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  11. Aw, thank you! Glad to help ya out :)

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  12. This may seem like a silly question... but what did you do with the loose ends of yarn where you changed colors or ran out of yarn? Do you just make sure they are sticking out the back?

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  13. Dear Cassie

    We are a small publishing company based in Namibia (South West Africa).
    Currently we are developing educational material for the Senior Primary Phase.
    We are devoted to providing quality affordable educational material to schools in the different parts of the country especially to rural areas where children hardly have access to proper textbooks, computer labs, or teachers.

    I am currently working on the Home Ecology grade 5-7, a book designed to assist learners in becoming entrepreneurs via creating products with their hands (craftwork), as well as general home economics etiquette.
    I would thus like to request your permission to use an image found on this page.
    You will be attributed and if you have any other request we are happy to discuss it with you.

    Please get back to me as soon as you can, as we are pressed for time to prepare the material for print.
    I look forward to hearing from you.

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    1. Hedwig, you are welcome to use the image with my name included :) I appreciate you asking. If you'd like to contact me, you can find me at cassieart75@gmail.com. Thanks!

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  14. I saw this on pinterest one time and did it with my sister but i didn't know you could make it into scarfs or bookmarks let alone take it off of the loom haha thanks for sharing I will be doing this in the future :)

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    1. YES! I know, the possibilities of what you can make once they are off the loom is endless! Have fun!!

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)