This jellyfish weaving project was the perfect unexpected and unplanned experience for our 9-12 yr. old class!
We’ve wanted to do a radial weaving project with this older group ever since we did this amazing circle weaving project with our younger students. But to be honest, we had no idea that it would morph into this beautiful jellyfish weaving project! Our original idea was to incorporate a lesson on color and texture. We selected a wintery cool palette of shimmery blues, purples, grays & turquoise. The mix of textures included lots of different types of yarn, ribbon, twine, tulle & cellophane. We didn’t have a pre-conceived plan for the final presentation of the radial weavings. We thought perhaps we would give the students a few suggestions to either mount them or hang them onto a mobile.
First, we demonstrated how to warp the loom. We used 10″ cake circles with an odd number of pre-cut slits. Anything round will work – a paper plate, etc.
A wide assortment of fibers of varying textures and dimensions were available (ranging from fine to super chunky). It was a bit of a surprise how meticulously everyone was weaving, very slow & super tight. We envisioned each student whipping out about 3-4 in an hour long class period. Some students were just gravitating to the super fine and very thin strands. After about 30 minutes only had woven about an inch, so we had to suggest they incorporate some chunkier fibers to pick up a little speed!
When we snipped the warp yarn off the loom, someone thought they looked a bit like a jellyfish! We loved that idea and decided to run with it! Those who didn’t love the jellyfish concept had the option to mount their weaving or come up with their own idea!
One important step: after you snip the warp strands to remove it from the loom, you have to tie two tails together to make a fringe – this keeps the weaving from unraveling.
For the jellyfish lovers, they selected the strands of fibers for their tentacles. We secured them with a little twist of wire and cinched them underneath in the center. We hung them with fishing line.
The jellyfish were all very impromptu and unplanned. Next time we do this project we are going to intentionally set out to make jellyfish! We’re already imagining the backdrop the students could paint to display their jellyfish! They would also be cool swimming in a cluster on a mobile, with ocean inspired do-dads like shells and glass beads.