Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cup Weaving

I love to weave with my students. Paper, yarn, sticks, ribbon, pipe cleaners what ever I can russle up to weave with we do.
One project I have done for what- like 15 years (off and on) is cup weaving. I wanted to try posting some pictures and instructionson my blog.
So away I go------

How to Cup Weave

I generally do this project with 4th or 5th graders after I have already taught the basic paper weaving and weaving around a paper plate previous years.

1) The top edge of each cup needs to have dots marked around the edge so that there will be 9 warp (vertical) tabs. I pre mark these so we don't have to mess with it in class. It is easier for me to use a ruler down the edge and mark a bunch at a time.

2) Cut from each dot down to the bottom of the cup. Stopping along the same point each time. When done count and make sure that there is an odd number of warp tabs, 9 works great with cups size 9 oz.- 16oz.

 #2                                                                                 #3                                                                        
3) Look for any snags. You want to cut these off or tear carefully so that they don't cause problems later with the yarn.
4) Measure out a piece of yarn as long as your arm span, finger tip to finger tip. I generally demostrate this and show exactly how to drop the one end so I can pick up the scissors and cut the other. They all want someone else to cut it for them but this is fine.

5) Tie one end of the yarn on to the bottom of one tab. If they tie it too high an slide it down it will look loose. Now turn the knot to the inside of the cup and get ready to weave! Now by this point you may be wondering if this was such a great idea showing 25 4th graders how to weave, but never fear it will get better. For you and the kids. I always say if they can get through this first piece or two of yarn they can do it all!
6) From this point on I try to get the kids to work with the bottom of the cup now facing up. I always go "to the right, to the right, to the right" as I weave. Left handed people can try both directions and see which feels better to them.

7) Now that the knot is on the inside, it is the first "over" stitch in the endless over/under repetition of the weft (left to right). So on the next tab you go under then come back up to go over the third tab. As you work your way around the first time the yarn will make a "dash" line (everyother tab). See picture at right. Then as you go around with out stopping the second time it will look like a solid line. So after every two times around it will add one line around the cup.
8) As the students work through that first piece of yarn make sure they do not put too much space between the rows. I show how I gently tug up as I bring up the yarn each time I come from under to over. Pulling too hard makes the cup out of shape, and not pulling enough will make it look loosey-goosey.  When this happens I show the students how to put one hand/ thumb on the inside one on the outside and use the thumbs to push together the layers. They say better as you add layers.

9) Tie a slip know to add a new color and keep weaving until the cup is full.
Note: You really do not want to see the cups under the yarn. That is why I use clear. Red or Blue are fine but can sometimes clash.
Here are some works "in progress" from this weeks classes.


  1. Hi Kathy - Josey here from Georgetown Elementary - have been trying to email you about my room dimensions but keep getting errors - so I'll try a comment here! (By the way, I LOVE these cup weavings!!) Anyway, my room is a generous 26'x40', plus a separate storage and kiln room. I also have a nice long entry hallway (6' x 27') where I can display student artwork. My art tables (8 of them) are 42" x 72". Let me know if I can answer any other questions! Tx -

  2. This is a great weaving tutorial. I've only ever tried paper weaving with students, so will definitely try this project one day (adding it to my Pinterest board). Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi there, I'm planning on doing this project for VBS this year. I was just wondering about how many feet of yarn is needed to complete each project? We are planning on 150 kids so I want to make sure I have enough yarn!!! Thx!

  4. How do you finish? Do you tie a knot or just tuck the yarn in somewhere

  5. NOW I know how to do cup weaving

  6. Thanks for the great detail! So helpful. Hey, and I'm a Bartz too!

  7. I know this post has been around for a long time, but you deserve credit for putting together such great directions. I've made three this afternoon in prep for teaching my 16 homeschoolers at our co-op. Thank you!!