How to weave with paper

Hello lovelies! It’s Ashley here, and I’m so excited to share a new technique for you to try in your art journals. When I was a child I loved all sorts of paper crafts, and one of those was paper weaving. It was so much fun weaving the strips over-under-over-under and creating a beautifully unique piece of art. Now, when I need to keep my hands busy, I enjoy the same process, and every now and then I incorporate the technique in my art journal. Not only is paper weaving a unique way to add visual interest to your journal pages, but it’s also a great way to use up scrappy bits of paper in your stash. While brainstorming ideas for the Season of Contrast, I realized it would be an interesting way to depict contrasting themes in your art journal as well. After settling on a theme, I searched through my paper stash for inspiration.

Paper Weaving In Your Art Journal

For this technique you will need two images. I chose one main image for the base of the weaving and used a second image with smaller details for contrast.

Paper Weaving In Your Art Journal

After you gather your images, decide how wide you want your weaving to be. Then, use a paper trimmer to cut your second image into strips of the same size horizontally. I purposely made my strips 0.5 inches so the woman’s eye wouldn’t get distorted too much.

Paper Weaving In Your Art Journal

Once you have your strips cut, set them aside for a moment. You can number them on the back if you’d like to keep them in order. Because the image with the flowers wasn’t the same width as my main image, I used a pencil and a ruler to mark where I wanted the weaving to begin.

Paper Weaving In Your Art Journal

Next, glue your main image down on the page and use your ruler and a pencil to mark where vertical lines will be cut. I made my marks 0.5 inches apart, the same width as my strips. Before you start cutting, be sure to place a cutting mat underneath the page to protect the other pages in your journal. Then, lay your ruler down on the first line and apply firm pressure to the ruler and your X-ACTO knife. Use the ruler to guide your X-ACTO knife for clean, precise cuts. Depending on the thickness of your paper, you may have to make a couple passes.

Important Notes:

  1. Be sure to skip a page in your journal before you glue your image down! The woven pattern will be visible on the backside of the page, and you don’t want to ruin your lovely art on the other side.
  2. If your main image takes up the entire page in your journal, start and stop your cuts at least 0.5 inches from the top and the bottom of the page.

Paper Weaving In Your Art Journal

Once you have made all your slits in the page, it’s time to start weaving. Grab one of your strips and weave it through over and under, over and under. Grab another and alternate starting under this time then over. To prevent the strips from sliding around, glue each one in place as you go. You can trim any excess with a pair of scissors. Now continue this process until you’re happy with the look or you run out of space.

Paper Weaving In Your Art Journal

You can opt to weave the entire image, but as you can see here I decided to weave only a small section and created a staggered look. I also decided to glue the off-cuts on the opposite side of the page.

Paper Weaving In Your Art Journal

Finally, I grabbed my watercolors and a brush to write one of my favorite quotes from Anaïs Nin:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anaïs Nin

I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. I love how the paper weaving depicts a sort of transformation in progress. Please view a few alternative ideas below, and after you try this technique in your journal feel free to share your pages with me so I can marvel at your awesome paper weaving skills!

Alternative Ideas

  1. Mix a black and white image with a colored image for high contrast.
  2. Use strips of book text and create your own story/found poem.
  3. Experiment with strips of complementary colors (i.e. red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple).

Action Steps

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Find two images that represent total opposites (e.g. life and death, light and dark, day and night, etc). Juxtapose the two images using this paper weaving technique and journal your thoughts.

Ashley

Ashley is just an artsy-craftsy kinda girl trying to make it in the world. She loves everything from scrapbooking to sewing and art journaling to jewelry making. Her motto is “Make it ’til you make it. And then make some more.”

21 Comments

  1. Katie Smith

    Paper weaving is such a fun technique and I love your page Ashley!

  2. Amber Coulter

    This is so fun Ashley! Can’t wait to try it out!!!

    • Ashley Rodgers

      Yay, please share when you do!

  3. Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

    ooooh! I love that it is only a partial weaving! Off to try this!

  4. Laura Rahuba

    Oddly, I had never tried paper weaving until just a few months ago…and I liked it WAY more than I expected to! I’m so excited to try the variations you suggested! Good tutorial, Ashley!

    • Ashley Rodgers

      Oh, I just love paper weaving. I find it so relaxing. Woohoo! Thanks, Laura!

  5. Gilly Welch

    Love the effect with the partial weaving…off to try and find some magazine pictures that i think will work well. Thanks for all the different ideas to try!

    • Ashley Rodgers

      Yay, Gilly! So happy to hear. I would love to see how yours turns out.

  6. Riet

    Whoa, this looks so rad! I have to try this!

    • Ashley Rodgers

      Thanks, Riet! It’s super fun.

  7. karen davis

    Your pages are so beautiful! I have tried paper weaving before but not like this!!!!

    I am eyeing up my magazine stash as I type!

    I am inspired 🙂

    Love your writing too – what type of brush do you use and are the watercolours just regular water colours?

    Thanks

    Karen

    • Ashley Rodgers

      Thanks so much, Karen! I hope you decide to try it. For the writing I used a basic Crayola watercolor set and a small round brush.

      • karen davis

        I did it! and I am going to do it again it was so much fun!!!!

        Thanks for the info about the brush and watercolours – I love how your writing looks 🙂

  8. Melody Willoughby

    Have never tried this but I am off to find contrasting pages. I love the idea of using book pages. Such a great idea!

  9. Sasha Zinevych

    Oh, Ashley! I finally got around to trying that! I think, I might be hooked now! The most interesting part for me is searching 2 images that would look interesting once weaved together! 🙂

    • Ashley Rodgers

      Woohoo! That’s one of my favorite parts too! There’s so many possibilities.

  10. Jaimee Ulmer

    This is FABULOUS!!! I can’t wait to try it. THANK YOU for sharing your inspiration : )

  11. gwenaelle ALLEAU

    I love this idea, which inspires me a lot, for a page on the season of nature. Thank you