Showing posts with label straw weaving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label straw weaving. Show all posts

Monday, March 21, 2016

In the Art Room: My Fave Fiber Arts Lessons!

Hello there, long lost friends! Sorry I vanished for a pinch, I was living it up at NAEA Chicago. I promise I'll share with y'all that fun and fab experience (although if you are an art teacher and have been on any sort of social media for a hot minute then you've prolly seen it all!). Today I thought I'd give y'all a smorgasbord of some super sewing, weaving and fiber arts projects!
Every year, when we return from winter break, we start our big fat -n- fuzzy fiberin' units. I think we all have those areas of art teaherin' that we absolutely love and for me, this is it. From embroidery to needle-felting and weaving, all of my students seam seem to eat it up (sorry, that was my sad attempt at sewing humor). Last year, my third graders got a taste of embroidery with the Our School Has Heart mural. My current thirdies are working on a different kind of embroidery project which I'll be certain to share with you soon. Here's an Intro to Embroidery video I made just for them (and y'all, of course!).
Burlap is my fabric of choice when it comes to kids and embroidery because it's inexpensive and the blunt needles work perfectly with this hole-y fabric. However, because burlap is woven, it does like to unravel easily. For that reason, when prepping burlap for stitching, either draw a line of glue around the outer edges the day before sewing (which locks the fibers in place) or simply tape the bottom and top of the fabric with masking tape. Embroidery hoops aren't necessary...but I do love to give the kids the complete experience. For me, that means embroidery hoops! You can find 'em super cheap at the thrift stores or craft shops. Shoot, send out a school email and I'm guessing you'll end up with a stock pile!
Last year I also gave needle felting a go with my fourth graders! Because the kids work with very sharp needles, be certain you work with kids who are responsible. This would also be fun with small groups or with parent volunteers in the room. More here
I remember the summer my grandma taught me to embroider and cross stitch. I was instantly hooked and I do believe that's what's made me such a lover of all things fiber arts since. I have taught several after school sewing classes over the years and this embroidered and stitched pillow was one of 'em
This time gingham fabric, embroidery floss and sharp needles were used. 
And sewing machines! I have been fortunate enough to have about a half dozen machines for my art room. The kids LOVE using them!
Another project I did as a kid that I recently introduced my students to is string art. I remember making one of these in fifth grade and it being just about the best thing ever. My fourth grade students loved making these last year! 
We created these in celebration of Dot Day but I'm pretty sure you could make 'em whenever. I can't wait to do this project again!
What's that? You've never taught fiber arts before? Friend, don't you sweat it. Here's a great project to ease your students (and yourself) into the concept of fiber arts: paper weaving! Not only is this project great at introducing your students to the look and process of weaving but you can also throw in so much math and literacy (there are so many fab books on weaving, y'all!).
Use this loom-making lesson to focus on math skills...and make sure it's a day you are being evaluated. It's all sorts of STEAM-y. You'll look good, trust me!
Word to the wise: some students will understand the concept of weaving immediately while others will struggle. 
For that reason, I often introduce weaving on an oversized loom made from laminated paper. More info here
And I do a whole lotta peer tutoring. The kids are much better at explaining things to each other than I often am!
The following year, I introduce my second graders to circle loom weaving. This project is one that is a HIT with those kids who usually don't dig painting or drawing but do love working with their hands (boys are the BIGGEST fans of weaving, ya'll!). There will be frustration in the beginning but I make sure to warn the kids: This is something new. You've never done this before. Be patient with yourself, me and your friends. We'll ALL get there, I promise!
I have my second grade kids for 30 minutes, twice a week. After spending two art classes painting their plates, we notch our loom as seen in the video above...
And warp our loom. That usually takes us one 30 minute class. 
And then we spend the next couple of classes weaving. Hint: if you use the thicker yarn, weaving goes a whole lot faster! 
 Tree weaving is a slightly different spin on circle loom weaving. I have done this project with my third graders and I love it because I can also teach the concepts of landscape painting. These are always so pretty when complete!

If the kids have completed the circle loom weaving the year before, they'll understand the concept of tree weaving. 
Straw weaving is easily the class hit! I mean, who doesn't love to drink yarn, y'all!?

What to do with finished straw weavings? The kids have made them into bracelets, belts and even little people. Really, the fun is in this making.
Dunno if you have a stock pile of old CDs like me, but I've been hoarding them for this reason: CD weaving!

I was kinda leery of CD weaving for the longest time thinking that the slickness of the CD would cause the warp strings to move. Not so! It's so easy and fun to do. AND it's a quick alternative to circle loom weaving if you are sort on time (and patience as the warping process is MUCH easier).
Ojos de Dios weaving is just as popular as straw weaving in my art room. The kids could crank these out all day long! Once they've gotten the concept down, you might wanna consider expanding on their expertise. Just google Ojos de Dios and you'll see the wonderful ideas out there. 

Right?! Cake! Watch out, you'll end up with mountains of these in your art room.
 Pouch weaving is a project I reserve for my fourth graders. It is def a project you wanna build on from previous years as it's a lil advanced. AND time consuming. I usually allow my students to take this project home to get further ahead on. No videos on this project however, if you follow that link above, I'll hold your hand and walk you thru the process. Weaving the cord is my favorite part...
And it's a nice break from regular weaving. I love having the kids add the cord as it really finishes the piece.
Now if you are feeling inspired (or have older/advanced students), you might wanna try tapestry weaving! It's so fun but does require some focus. However, you won't regret the end results.

And that's all folks! I'd LOVE to hear your fave fiber arts lessons as I'm always on the lookout for more. Please lemme know what you and your students love to create in your art room or at home. 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

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! 

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! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »