Here is a great project to teach kids how to weave a coaster. This project takes a couple hours for kids to complete and some adult supervision and help is needed. However, the art of weaving is ancient and there were many weavers, most of them male, who were creating a great variety of fabric and patterns using large looms.
You will need:
- a piece of cardboard from a cereal box
- a pointy object for making holes in the cardboard, e.g. a 1/16 hole puncher
- a ruler
- knitting yarn
- a yarn needle
- a pencil
- a hair comb
Prepare your loom:
Cut the cardboard into a rectangle of about 6″x 4″. Mark two lines at the bottom and the top about 1/2″ away from the edges. Mark points for holes about 1/4″ apart as seen in the picture above. Cut a long piece of yarn, long enough to thread through all the holes over the front and back. You can calculate the length of the yarn: (number of total holes in the cardboard) x (length of the cardboard). For example: if you have a total of 30 holes (15 on each side) and your cardboard is 6″ long, your yarn should be 180″ or 5′ long. Be careful to avoid knots when you thread the yarn through the holes. The string goes over the back and the front.
When you have finished threading all holes, secure the strings by knotting the ends diagonally at the back.
Cut a long piece of yarn and thread it through the needle. Start weaving through the strings on the cardboard loom alternating by going over and under the strings. Be careful to avoid knots in your yarn. The longer your piece of yarn, the more likely it will tangle; but if your yarn is too short, you would have to add new yarn more often. Try a length of 4-5′. At the end of each row, use a hair comb to comb the yarn to the bottom. Start a new row by alternating in the opposite direction.
If you run out of yarn, start a new string, maybe a different color yarn, by making a knot. This knot will not be seen if you put the knot to the underside of the coaster in the end.
Cut the strings in the middle of the back and carefully pull each string through the hole out of the cardboard. Knot two strings together and cut the ends.