Woven Place Mats
These woven place mats are easy to make and require very few materials: paper, scissors, and tape (or glue). They are fun to make and can be used as place mats for picnics or at the dining room table. Young children will practice their hand-eye coordination with the up & down (in & out) pattern of weaving. For older children, encourage variations and fine detailing.
How to Make Paper Woven Place Mats
Part A: prepare the paper
- Get a piece of white paper and fold it in half.
- Cut the folded paper in half but leave an uncut space at the edge of the paper that is about ½” to 1″ long.
- Cut the two dangling halves in half again to make quarters. Continue to cut each of the 4 sections in half again.
- Unfold. You will have a piece of paper with 8 slots.
Part B: prepare the strips
- Use colorful paper. Fold the sheets in half.
- Cut the sheet into strips as above. This time cut all the way across the paper so you get 8 strips of paper.
Part C: weave
- Use the strips of colored paper made in Part B to weave into the slotted paper made n Part A.
- Weave the strips up & down through the slots of the white sheet. Alternate the strips: start with up & down; then weave the next strip down & up. You will get a checkerboard pattern.
- When the white sheet is filled with weaved strips, flip over the weaved mat. Fold the protruding strip-ends to make them flush with the white page. Use tape or glue to secure the ends in place.
- Turn over again and voila! You’re ready for a picnic!
Left: A woven place mat made by an 8 year old child. Here, the strips are made with a paper cutter, so they are very narrow. Makes a great pattern with contrasting colors.
Middle: The white paper is cut into a circle before the slots are made. Makes a great variation of the same theme.
Right: Another variation: the white paper is cut into a square and then the slots are cut at an diagonal. Results in a visually stunning pattern.