Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Woven Person Mixed Media

Here is a woven person project that I've been working on.

The weaving is not that difficult so I could easily do this with Grade 2 and up (even grade 1 with a little extra help).

It has added text so it is a good thematic art project that encompasses weaving (art), language arts, and computers.

You need a piece of cardboard to make your loom.

I cut 9 notches in mine at the top and the bottom.  You can make it bigger if you want.

Now you need to wrap the warp (say that 10 times fast). Knot the first one and then wrap the string into each notch around the back and back to the front until all notches have string. Knot off the last one.

Now start weaving.  The first 9 weft strings will also form the arms so cut 9 pieces about 24 inches long and weave them in one by one leaving the same amount of extra yarn on both sides.

Don't forget to alternate "over, under".

Move your cardboard sideways and divide the yarn ends into 3 groups of 3.

Braid a loose arm. You want it a little bit longer than 1/2 the length of the cardboard loom when it is in the upright position.

Repeat on the other arm.

It should look something like this.

Now knot on your yarn and continue weaving the sweater of your person.  When you come to the end of one side just continue back again alternating "over,under".
You can use a fork to help you push the weft up to keep it tight. When you get to the waist you can also pull it in tighter to get the shape of a person.

When you get to the waist change colors by knotting the 2 ends together and start to weave the pants.  After a couple of inches separate and weave a single leg.

Please note if you have an odd number of warp strings just group 2 together and treat it as one.

Knot off the leg at the end and then go back and do the other leg.  You can flare the pants out a bit at the bottom by adjusting how tight you weave.

It should look like this.

Cut the warp strings in thru the middle of the back and then tie off 2 at a time.  For a clean look you can pull the ends thru the weaving on the back side a bit and then trim ends.

Now you have to decide what to do with your person.  I wanted to mount it in a picture so I made heads out of heavy watercolor paper.  If you wanted to leave it as a pure textile you could make a head out of fabric.

Here I'm painting the faces.

Paint a background.

When I cut the heads out I left a long neck which I glued to the woven body, I then glued it into place on the background.

I added some shoes out of felt.

I wanted to add some text to it to make it an art project with extra layers to it.

I printed out on the computer all the words for yarn and string I could think of and copied it down the page.

I printed this off and painted it with some light watercolor.

I cut the words SWEATER from it but you can do whatever concept suits for your class.

I also added a little text line to pull viewers thru the picture.  You could have students write a Fall poem or a poem about wind, having to wear sweaters, etc.

That's it.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I am taking a few days off  to present at an Early Childhood Education conference in Saskatoon.

I won't be back with a post till next week.

See you then.


  1. I love this idea! My kids would be too young still...but maybe in a year or two. I love that it's okay that it gets pulled in tighter in the middle since that would be likely to happen anyway.

  2. What an awesome project! Might work well for pioneer unit for my grade threes!
    Thanks for sharing such detailed plans.

  3. This is fantastic! I love it! I am sharing it with a link to you on my site section of crafts for kids! Awesome idea!

  4. ooopss... PS I did not share the image or post, just the title and a link back to you. Sorry I did not add that-

  5. Such a fun idea for kids.

  6. Elizabeth Kay PinderOctober 14, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    This would make a GREAT scarecrow picture!! Adorable...

  7. This is great. I always wanted to do a weaving project and since it natural takes on the concave shape when we try, it will be an excellent project.

  8. Hey, I wanted to let you know that my girls and I did a simplified pinecone hyacinth! Thanks for the idea!

  9. These are amazing ... can't wait to try them with my kids. Thanks for sharing ...

  10. My 4th graders are trying this in art right now.
    It was a challenge for them but they are turning out really nice.

  11. What a great idea! Finally, something they can use the weaving for!