Lesson: Multiple Layer Weaving

Here is a little lesson to add some JAZZ to your ordinary weaving projects with any grade level!  I use this technique for 2nd graders and it seems to work well.

It’s  called the multiple layer weaving.

You start with the basic paper weaving on a loom. I have good luck pre-cutting my looms on the paper cutter, about 3 at a time. In the past, I would have students measure out their spacing with a ruler and cut their own slits, however, when our art time was cut, I decided the skill of weaving needed to shine and took on the prep myself. It made the lesson go much more smoothly for all involved. I don’t mind the extra prep.

After students have done a basic pattern with strips in the loom, there is one more fun step that makes these weavings even more special – The double layer! (cue music)

Here’s what to do: 

1. Have students choose leftover strips from the first part of the weaving and cut them in half or thirds. If you have them available, students can use fancy scissors with decorative edges to make these even more fun.

2. Take the smaller strips and push them through the weaving. Try to choose contrasting colors so the extra strips really pop.  Students really don’t have to “re-weave” the second strip, they just slide it through the path they have already made.

3. To work on patterning, I have students make a new pattern with the second layer of the weaving to make it more complex.

4. When they are done, I have students use a glue stick to fasten down the little edges that like to pop up.  The double layer will only show on once side.

5. If you are feeling fancy, you can fringe the end by adding an extra strip and cutting little slits in it.

Take your basic weavings from drab to fab! It’s that simple!

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Clare

    I just attended a workshop that was about art and writing. The one hands on workshop was about weaving….connecting textile and text. So the teacher made photocopies of text…..in this case Romeo and Juliet, and we could use the text to weave into our weaving. This was a great way to do some cross curricular lessons. I could always take a picture of my sample and send it to you.

  • I had first graders do a similar project, and some of them put the second layer going both directions. It really made them look more complex than they were. http://inartclass.blogspot.com/2011/06/simple-paper-weaving.html

    • Love your both directions idea Angie! So simple and yet so cleaver!! I’ve had my kiddos group the warm and cool colors. I have all pre-cut strips starting with wide 2 1/2″, then 1″ and finally 1/2″ strips. They are to glue and layer the 3 colors within the warm family then the 3 colors cool family…then once they have enough strips made they can begin to weave them. They turn out great and look a bit more interesting! Sorry can’t find the pic, I’ll try to post a follow up picture :)

    • See- This is why I blog! I get even MORE great ideas after sharing an idea!! Thanks, Angie and Clare for both of these ways to make the weaving even more “complex”… I’ll be taking note for sure, especially for those kids who like to finish FAST–I can challenge them even more.

  • I love this idea and those of Clare and Angie. Thanks for sharing.

  • Clare- I cannot WAIT to see those. And Angie I LOVED that lesson and filed it for next year a while ago. Now that I have pinterest I will pin this, Angie, and Phyl has one too. When I saw this it got me excited to weave again. Last year we did an intro with first grade (as usual) it was so difficult but I had a para and all the students GOT IT! So it was worth trying again (I will precut the looms though for the first grade especially). Usually I precut a bunch and after a kid tries twice I give them a precut one so it doesn’t get frustrating. Sometimes I draw on a black loom with white crayon so they have to cut it. I think the second grade is going to do it your way to reinforce the skill but in a new way and keep the first graders doing a traditional weave. I also saw a mud cloth weaving project I liked (maybe that could be for first grade?) this example could be for second and fibers could be for third or fourth? Now I’m just thinking and rambling!

  • Oh and the reason I stopped by your blog Jessica is because I’m looking for a “clicker” for my powerpoints next year and can’t figure out what it’s called or where to buy it! Off to search your blog!