Paper Weaving 101

Class taught by Annette W. on 10/14/05.


Link to gallery:

Paper Weaving 101 on Flickr

This is our first class in a series of 4 classes. Paper weaving 101 is designed to give you the experience to develop the knowledge and technique to weave paper and to help you learn the vocabulary necessary to understand the written directions. Weaving is simple, doesn’t take long, can use up trimmings that would otherwise be wasted scraps and create a lovely design to use on your card fronts.


Coordinating colors of LIGHTWEIGHT cardstock (no more than 80 lb.) Try not to choose glossy cardstock. I have chosen black and white for my demonstration, but you may choose any colors you wish.

(1) You will need an A2 card any weight cardstock. (choose vertical or horizontal; samples are below.) 8 ½” x 4 ¼” cardstock folded in half.

The fold is here


This A2 card is horizontally aligned. The fold is at the top. It is 4 ¼” high and 5 ½” wide.

The fold is here.


This A2 card is vertically aligned. The fold is at the top. The card is 4 ¼” wide and 5 ½” tall.

Make a note of the alignment of your card now!

(2) a piece of lightweight cardstock 4″ x 5 ¼”. This is your loom.

(3) a second piece of light-to-medium weight paper, a coordinating color with #2 above, cut the same size 4″ x 5 ¼”

(4) 1-3 Bold images

(5) Dye ink coordinating with your cardstock colors

(6) Glue stick, two-sided tape, tape or glue; your choice

(7) Sharp Scissors or an X-acto knife and a pad to protect your cutting surface.

(8) Papercutter, optional, but suggested

(9) A ruler and pencil with an eraser

(10) ___________________________


Step 1

Sign the back of your A2 card and set it aside. You’ll glue or tape your finished weaving to the front of this card.

Step 2

Choose a bold image and stamp it with dye or pigment ink on the 4″ x 5 ¼” cardstock. Don’t stamp your A2 card. Remember, my A2 card is black and my cardstock is white for this demonstration. Your colors will vary. Note: Be sure to align the image(s) to coincide with your A2 card alignment. Refer to examples below: 1st card is vertical, 2nd is horizontal.



Stamp the image as many times as needed to cover all the areas of the cardstock. I stamped the bamboo several times to cover the cardstock. I stamped each of the dancers once. I placed the bamboo on the black A2 card so you can see that there’s a wee margin around the stamped paper when it’s placed on the card.

If you’ve chosen a small image that is ¼ the size of the cardstock, consider stamping it in the four quadrants, top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right… If you’ve chosen a large image, consider stamping it in the center. Set it aside to dry completely. Heat set if necessary. Do not use embossing powder.

Step 3

Once the ink is dry, it’s time to make your loom. Set your stamped cardstock in front of you with the bottom edge against your tum.

Horizontal Alignment


This edge touches your tum.

Vertical Alignment


This edge touches your tum.

Turn the cardstock face down making sure the bottom edge is still touching your tum.

Next: Fold the BOTTOM edge UP to the TOP edge and fold gently.


My bamboo appears to be upside down because of the way it’s folded. If your image is upside down, you did it right! The ‘mouth’ is the edge directly opposite the fold.

Step 4

Place the folded edge against your tum. Is the mouth facing away from you? If it is, you’ve done it correctly. Fold the TOP lip of the mouth no more than ¼” down and crease gently. Do not fold down both lips of the mouth.

The picture shows the top lip folded down ¼”.


The fold is here at the bottom of the picture. The bamboo is still upside down because the cardstock is still folded in half. You can see the wrong side of the cardstock at the top where the corners have been punched.

Step 5

Unfold the lip and press the two layers together so they’re evenly folded at the edges.


The crease that you made by folding down the top lip is the boundary to Never Never Land.

Never, ever cut into Never Never Land.

Never Never Land is the lip that you created.

Never, ever cut into Never Never Land.

Step 6

Place the fold next to your tum. Gauge the center of the fold from the left edge to the right edge. Cut from the fold to the boundary of Never Never Land, but not into Never Never Land. Don’t cut into the lip.


Here’s the fold at the bottom. I cut from the fold upward to Never Never Land’s boundary. I scanned the bamboo with a piece of red cardstock inserted so you can see where I made the first cut.

Step 7

You have made 1 cut and created 2 halves. Now, cut those halves in half by cutting each half once from the fold up to Never Never Land. You will have made 3 cuts and created 4 fourths.


I inserted the washi strip to show you the 4 fourths. The bamboo is still upside down. If your image is upside down, you’re doing it right.

Step 8

You have cut 3 times and created 4 fourths. Now cut each of the 4 fourths in half. That’s right. Cut from the fold up to Never Never Land 4 times to create a final set of 8 sections. See the scan below.


You can see the 8 sections. I ran a strip of washi over and under the sections so you can discern them easily. The bamboo image is upside down. Your image should be upside down, too. :O) Set aside your loom. It’s finished.

Step 9

Take your second sheet of LIGHTWEIGHT 4″ x 5 ¼” paper and set it in front of you right side UP. You can use washi, wrapping paper, text weight paper, lightweight cardstock or whatever you have on hand that isn’t too heavy. Make sure it has the same alignment as your loom and A2 card. Be sure to do this step or you may wind up with strips that are too long or too short or too few.

Lift the bottom edge of paper that’s by your tum and fold it up to the opposite edge of the paper just as you did for your loom. Crease it. You should have 2 layers of paper, a folded edge by your tum and an opposite edge that is the ‘mouth’.

Place the folded edge against your tum. Fold the paper in half again. You’ve folded it twice and should have 4 equal layers. The edge by your tum should be a single fold and the opposite edge should have a fold and two lips. :O)

Fold in half again to create 8 layers. The single fold is by your tum and the mouth and two folds are opposite.

You can stop folding now or fold in half one more time. You decide.

Step 10

Open up the folds and lay the paper face down. Using a pencil, Lightly number the sections from left to right 1, 2, 3 et cetera on both ends.

Step 11

When the strips are numbered, cut them apart with scissors or on your papercutter.



Step 12

Place your loom in front of you face up. Realize there’s a mountain fold in the center. Weave your strips, starting with #1 in the center, then move it to the side. Weaving in the center helps keep the paper from tearing and there’s more room to maneuver. To weave, remember two words: over, under. Alternate going over and under the sections of the loom with your strips.


Here’s my first strip. It’s almost in the center, a bit above the midline. Over, under, over under….


Here is the weaving with more strips in place. Notice the next strip is woven in the center, ready to be moved? Be sure to use your strips in order.



Here’s the finished weaving, front and back. The scan doesn’t show the detail well, but the effect is terrific.

Step 13

Your final step is to attach your weaving to the A2 card you prepared ahead of time.


You can see that I ‘eyeballed’ the cutting. If you like the serendipitous look and feel, go for it.If you prefer a more perfect ‘view’, use an X-acto knife and a ruler. Once you have mastered this technique, you are only limited by your imagination and by the papers on hand.

Our next class will dive deeper into paper weaving and its myriad options. You’ll learn things you never thought were possible to do with paper and a pair of scissors.

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