How to Make a Paper Mat Weaving

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Weaving paper is a simple and economical way to make place mats for the dinner table. Use colorful paper, such as washi paper, for elegant mats. Get the kids involved and make place mats using bright construction paper. Although woven paper place mats require little effort, they can become works of art with the right type of paper. Make a placement for each seat at the dinner table and for each holiday. Use them again year after year.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pieces of 12-inch by 12-inch paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Fold one piece of paper in half horizontally.

  • Rest the ruler vertically on top of the paper so that the left edge of the ruler lines up with the left edge of the paper. Draw a line as close to the right edge of the ruler as possible to make a straight line. Draw from the bottom of the paper until you reach one inch from the top of the paper. You must leave a one-inch gap at the top.

  • Move the ruler over so that the left edge now lines up with the line that you drew. Draw a second line from along the right side of the ruler and until you reach one inch from the top.

  • Continue to move the ruler and draw lines until you reach the end of the paper.

  • Cut along the drawn lines with the scissors and then unfold the paper. The paper has several cuts and rows of paper connected by an outer frame.

  • Repeat steps with the second piece paper, except this time, draw and cut the lines all the way to the top. Do not leave a one inch gap. This makes strips of paper for weaving.

  • Turn the framed paper upside down so that any pencil marks are facing down. Slip the end of one strip of paper over the first row on the right side of the framed paper. Slip it over the first row and through the first cut, under the second row, through the second cut and over the third row. Continue to weave the paper over and under until you reach the other end. Push the strip up as far as it will go.

  • Weave a second strip of paper on the mat, but this time begin by slipping the end under the first row of paper and over the second. Continue to weave the paper in that manner until you reach the end. Push the paper up so that it rests just below the first paper.

  • Continue to weave strips of paper, alternating between under and over the first row.

  • Flip the mat over. Fold down the ends of the strips that stick out from the edges of the mat. Tape the ends to the back of the mat.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make the place mats last years, laminate them after weaving. This also makes the place mats washable. Wipe off any food with a damp cloth.
  • Nearly all rulers are 1-inch wide, which is the size required for the strips and cuts. If your ruler isn't 1-inch wide, measure one inch from each line and then turn the ruler vertical at that measurement to make the vertical lines.
  • Use any type of paper for the place mats. Use shiny paper, construction paper, washi paper or wrapping paper. You can even use material such as silk, cotton or satin.
  • Try to cut as straight as possible. Use the ruler and make sure that the lines are straight. If you cut crooked, the strips don't line up evenly when weaving.
  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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