Nov 22, 2010

I Love Paper Weaving!

I spent almost the entire weekend with the computer turned off and was impressed with (but not surprised by) just how much more time it felt like I had.

I recently read about using a paper shredder to make paper strips for crafts instead of having to cut them all by hand... what an awesome thing!  So many types of paper (please see disclaimer at bottom of post) can be fodder for the shredder - magazine pages, the cool patterns on the inside of security envelopes, sturdier wrapping paper, paper bags, drawings, paintings, colouring and art journal pages you don't need any more, coloured envelopes you receive in the mail, construction paper, sheet music (which you can photocopy if you want to keep the original - thank you S. for that awesome idea and for sending me sheet music in the mail! :)

The strips of paper can be used for many different crafts but my favourite is paper weaving.  If you have a paper shredder and think you may like paper weaving, I encourage you to try it out!
I tried coating them in glue afterward and the one that used about 50% construction paper did very well and stayed flat.  The one made entirely with thinner paper warped but I will try putting it under some heavy books to see if it will flatten out.

Here are some photos:
Christmas-y colours.  I will likely cut this piece up to decorate cards or make ornaments with.  This is the piece that had construction paper and survived the glue very well.

Music weaving start.

Music weaving finished.

I found it a bit boring all white and black and decided to try stamping on top of it... not very happy with the results but I find it interesting enough that I will try this method again :-)

An abstract watercolour painting on paper was the source for this weaving.

If you experiment with paper weaving and post online, I'd love if you'd include a link in the comments section!  I love seeing other people's experiments :-)

*disclaimer and warning*
I have no idea if any of the paper suggestions could jam your paper shredder... please proceed with caution! :-)  With the shredder I used, the super thin, flexible papers ended up shredding in a slight curve and were not straight-edged.


  1. Great idea! unfortunently our shredder really SHREDS, as it little bits of unidentifiable bits. Love what you did with the sheet music!

  2. Fantastic idea! Thanks so much for the photos; they kind of take me back to the good old days of cut and paste and homemade Christmas cards for mom and dad. I really love the way the music page turned out - stamps and all!

  3. oh my Amy! I hadn't even known they could shred that small! I'm glad you told me so that I won't go around blithely telling people how great it works... when it fact it may not work for them at all!

    The strips of paper don't actually have to be of uniform thickness so cutting by hand would work fine for this project.


    Christie I'm glad you like the idea! I love that sort of homemade Christmas feel you mentioned :-) In the same vein, I'm making some paper garlands too with little circles on strings - lots of fun.


    It's neat that you both liked the music weaving! It's growing on me and I definitely will do more. I will try some different stamping colours. :-)

  4. I love your paper weaving! It's a pretty cool analogy for life, too, that whenever it gets boring, you can just weave it together differently and make a whole new one. I always love the way you use color in your art, but I also like the pattern that the music score creates in the weaving. Beautiful!

  5. Thank you Ames! I like your analogy!!!

  6. I love that you have been having so much fun with paper weaving. I attempted to make a weaved coaster from old magazines once, but I think I got rattled as I had my strips too think. I think you have inspired me again to get back into it. I like the idea of paper weaving a book or a notebook and then giving it to someone as a gift. The paper shredder idea sounds great especially as you don't have to cut it all by scissors. I know someone who has one, perhaps I can ask them if I can borrow it or at least some already lined paper. Hope you are well and thank you for sharing ~

  7. hi Ana, I hope your nest try at weaving is more fun. Amy above kindly let me know that some shredders reeeeeally shred - not make strips. just wanted to warn you! :-)
    I think a coaster and a notebook cover or something like that would look really neat paper woven. the stiffer the paper, the easier it is to do and the more sturdy it is.

  8. oops... I meant your neXt try.. not nest LOL!

  9. I love the paper weaving you have done on here the color choices and the music sheets are beautiful.

    The other night I tried paper weaving for the first time and posted it on my blog

  10. thank you Dianna :-)
    I'm so glad you shared the link to your blog! What an awesome piece you made - I never would have guessed it was your first time doing paper weaving!


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