Weaving with Recycled Paper

Earlier in the session my classes worked in teams to cover paper bags that I had cut open with tempera paint. We used rollers and brushes to cover every inch of the brown paper. This week I introduced chalk pastels and encouraged them to draw patterns and rub color over the top of strips I had made from the painted bags. The chalk pastel showed vividly on top of the painted paper bag, adding color and vibrancy.



  • construction paper – loom
  • brown paper bag – strips
  • chalk pastels, crayons, paint, or makers to decorate strips
  • fabric scraps (optional)
  • tape (any kind will do)
  • scissors (to trim strips at the end)


Drawing with any medium is great for fine motor skill practice. Chalk pastels are fun to blend with your hand. We practiced rubbing with both our fingers and palm.


Weaving was a stretch for children under 4, but my older kids enjoyed the rhythmic project. I created paper looms by folding a piece of paper in half length wise and cutting lines from the crease to one inch from the edge. I found that an odd number of cuts created a great woven product. For the younger kids I did five cuts, for my older kids I made seven.


Weaving is very rhythmic and required focus and fine motor skills. We used language such as, “under, over, under, over” and “push the strip through the tunnel” to explain how the strip fit through the loom. In addition to the paper strips that we hand decorated we also used ribbon scraps.


To keep the strips and ribbon from slipping out or moving around we tapped them down on the back. Since no one will see the tape job we didn’t worry about making it precise.


This was a brilliant example from a five year old student who wanted to show pictorial work. I love how the cats peak out from behind the weaving.


Some student decided to trim the edges of their strips to make them flush with the paper loom while others let the strips hang over the edge. I love how each weaving is a completely different color combination and has a unique voice.


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