Hands-On Crafts: Weaving in Circles

Whether children are intrigued or repulsed by spiders, they generally agree that spider webs are truly fascinating. This month’s craft takes from a spider’s web to bring a fresh and fun approach to weaving with yarn. Rather than a square or rectangular loom, a circular loom is used to create a unique round knit that can be used around the house or simply put on display.

Once the circular loom, a simple paper plate with a few additions, has been prepared, this project becomes very mobile and great for keeping little hands busy when they may otherwise wander into mischief, like at the doctor’s office, a restaurant, the car, or even at home when mom is busy!


Ages: 6-13

Time: one hour

Skills Required: cutting, weaving, tying

Materials: paper plate (8 or 9 inch), scissors, pencil, tape, embroidery floss, yarn

Ready, Set, Create!

1. Prepare the paper plate to be the loom for the weaving project. Cut an odd number of slits, about a half-inch deep, around the edge of a paper plate. If you make a slit about every half-inch around a 9-inch paper plate, you should have 29 slits. The slits should be somewhat evenly spaced, but do not need to be exactly the same distance apart. Then write a number at each slit.

2. Fasten the end of a piece of embroidery floss (about one yard long) to the back of the plate with tape, near the number one slit. Bring the floss up through the number one slit and over the front of the plate to the slit directly across from number one, number 15. Go behind the plate from 15 to 16 and then up through 16 and across the front of the plate to slit number 2. Repeat this pattern, going behind the plate to the next slit and then over the front of the plate to the slit directly across. Using this pattern will result in a series of criss-crossed floss on the front of the plate, but not on the back. This will allow the finished product to be taken off the loom.

FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Since there is an odd number of slits, when the floss is at the final slit there will not be an empty slit in the opposite position. Instead of taking the floss across to a slit, bring the floss to the point where the criss-crosses intersect and pinch the floss together. Wrap the floss around the center to pull them tight and tie them together. Now it is time to start weaving.

3. Use a simple, over-under pattern, going around in a spiral. As the end of the piece of floss nears, tie a piece of colorful yarn to the floss and keep weaving as before. It may help kids to recognize that they will go under all the odd numbers and over all the even numbers for one rotation of the plate and then the pattern will change and they will then go over evens and under odds for one rotation.

FONT-SIZE: 10pt">The patterns of the weaving can be varied in a number of ways. Use different colors and textures of yarn as the over-under pattern is continued to make a colorful weaving.

FONT-SIZE: 10pt">For more variation, reverse the weaving direction for several rotations or go over two loom pieces instead of one. Make sections of the weaving stand out by working back and forth on just a few loom pieces instead of going all the way around the circle. Work in beads, feathers, bells or other accessories if desired.

4. Weaving can be continued until it reaches about two inches from the bottom of the slits, about two and a half inches from the edge of the plate. Stopping at this point will allow the weaving to be removed from the loom. To remove the weaving, snip one of the pieces of floss on the back of the plate and tie the two pieces back together with a knot off of the plate. Be careful to not pull the floss too tight, as this will cause the weaving to bunch and gather. Continue around the plate, snipping where the floss is pulled between slits until the weaving is completely removed from the loom. 

The finished product can be used as a table decoration or coaster, mounted on cardboard and framed to display or simply hung as a wall hanging. Be sure to save the paper plate loom for other projects.

Jill Jolton is associate editor of Colorado Parent and the mother of two energetic and artistic sons.