Sunday, March 14, 2010

Woven Tree Wall Hanging

As part of Grade 1's weaving unit we will be making this Spring Tree wall hanging.  This is also a good project in the Fall using autumn colors.

As a child I remember a macrame version of these trees on a metal hoop but I could not find the instructions anywhere for the life of me so I came up with this version for the students.

Another reason why this project works well during the Spring and Fall seasons is that this is when you are pruning your trees and bushes.  You need a willow type branch, one that is flexible and will not break while "green".

Form a circular loop and tuck the ends in to hold the shape.  You want a nice 10 - 12 inch circle.

Now you could also do a nice weaving on the willow hoop like this.

For the tree I used wool works especially well at the top of the weaving where it is then could add other materials in like bulky yarn or other natural fibers.

Now I dye my wool using kool aid or at this time of the year you can use easter egg dye.  Place the kool aid or dye in a glass jar,  add about 1 1/2 cups of boiling water, stir well, stuff your roving into the mixture and leave to cool.  Remove roving and rinse in cold water.

When you use Kool aid you'll find all the dye gets absorbed into the wool and you're left with clear water in the jar. COOL!

Tie and knot on 15 pieces of brown yarn positioned in an arc on the top of your twig hoop. You can add more if you wish just make sure you have an odd number.

I taped down my ends so they wouldn't bother me while weaving...this will be removed when finished.

Pulll the yarn pieces down and wrap around the bottom of the hoop.

Tie a knot.

And pull can always tighten this as you go if it loosens on you.

Taking a piece of roving start weaving on your hoop.

You don't have to weave all the way can stop part way and just weave a section...then you can add a different color in another section.

Wool sticks well to itself when the beginning and end of each weaving you do with the roving you want to twist the end back on itself. You can also tuck the ends into the back of your weaving as well.

Normally I would make a shuttle for the kids out of a piece of cardboard or a popsicle stick but I find with this project you just hold the roving in a ball in your hand.  With yarn you might want to use the shuttle. (I talk about making a shuttle in this post)

Continue weaving using different colors and textures if you wish.

I now want to seperate my first main 5 strands together from the middle section.

Now here I'm using brown roving but you could use brown yarn or even strips of brown felt or fabric.

Wrap around your 5 strands and tightly wind around going about 1 or 2 inches down...leave the loose tail of roving for now.

Add some more weaving in the other sections to bring them down a bit.  You are trying to make it look realistic so have one side come down farther than the other.

Wrap the branch on the one side in the same way as you did before...leave a tail....then wrap the other side.

Then wind them together bringing those 3 tails together.

See how the branches are not symmetrical...this looks more realistic.

Finally you can trim the knot ends and remove the tape.

And that's it....I'm looking forwrd to the Grade 1's versions.

We are also embroidering our names on burlap for our end of the year banners.   I just used a sharpie to write their names on the burlap and they will be doing a basic back stitch.

Here is the project Grade 5 is working on.  They are studying the Fur Trade so we are making headresses that have a beaded band and medallion.  The beads are drawn in but we are also making paper beads out of newspaper to decorate them with.  We should be finished tomorrow so I hope to have the how to and student work pictures for you soon.

We are having a bit of an art show for our Parent/Teacher interviews on Thursday night and Friday.  I hope to take some good pictures to show you next week.

Take care and I'll see you soon.


  1. That woven wall hanging is incredibly cool. will have to do this soon!!!

  2. You never cease to amaze me with the crafts you come up with! Brilliant wearings! I am going to just have to make one! Thank you again for another fantastic idea and well done tutorial.

  3. Thanks for the great tutorial! :)

  4. So lovely!! My grandmother has a similar tree hanging in her guest bathroom and I've been wanting to make one with my own daughters. Thanks for sharing such a great (as always!!) idea!

  5. wow! very very nice! you inspire me!

  6. I am looking forward to seeing your students come up with their versions too. And thank you so much for teaching my child as well through this blog - someday we will do this too.

  7. It is a great project again, Gail!
    I made a main modification with paper frame instead of a branch. For me it is more simple to prepare and it works well with my preschoolers. Thank you.

    I hope you "visit Hungary",and see the result.

  8. Your blog is wonderful!!! Thank you for the wealth of tutorials and information. I am teaching my first high school crafts class this year and I wish I could have seen your site sooner. It is inspiring and I will certainly try out some of these crafts with my kids.

    About the roving...any suggestions for purchasing it cheaply and in large quantities? I have 22 students and we're at a public school (tight budget).

    Again...thank you for your beautiful work!

  9. What a stunning (yet simple) piece. Thanks for sharing the tutorial

  10. wow, this is lovely. I'm on bedrest...looks like a neat project!

  11. Simply gorgeous!
    I will try one soon.
    Thank you!

  12. Hi Gail! I love this project! I am currently teaching a Good Earth Art class for kids and I am going to give this a try for sure. I found out about your blog from Nicola, at clasheen, who featured your tutorial and one of mine in the same blog post. Cheers!

  13. I absolutely love the woven trees. It will work perfectly for my second grade classes. Thanks!

    Kate Eshelman
    Crossroads Charter Academy
    Big Rapids, MI

  14. Your woven tree is such a beautiful project. I've linked to it today:

  15. Just saw this in the new Family Fun magazine. They must read your blog!

  16. What a wonderful project, we are going to try this using Autumn colours, thank you! :)

  17. Love, Love, Love all your projects...did I mention I love all your projects? :)

  18. Love the spring colors! We made this several weeks ago using the Autumn colors. It is such a great project!

  19. I tried this project myself, since I've been doing 30 creative things in 30 days (in June). I know that 6 year-olds can do it, but I had to unpick the first attempt! I had fun though, and the end result will pass muster (among 6 year-olds...)

  20. Wow, that is a neat way to construct a weaving! I never quite realized that a person could make the branches taper down into the tree trunk and to fasten it with one big knot at the bottom. That is so clever! I want to pin this important photo on pinterest so that I remember to try it this school year.

  21. Thanks for the tutorial. I'm looking for a simple hanging for my living room wall. This looks to be within my reach and adaptable for each season. It may be perfect.

  22. Good tutorial. I like all kind of tree of life in craft. Thanks for sharing your tutorial.