Early American Weaving

Experience the Native American and Colonial American art of weaving with this activity that uses a modern twist on a traditional craft. Follow these simple instruction and create a woven belt or sash.


  • small beverage straws
  • 4-ply yarn - solid color
  • 4-ply yarn - variegated
  • thin wire
  • masking tape


Setting Up Your Loom:

  • Cut solid yarn into lengths three times the desired length of the finished product. You will need five of these - one for threading each straw.
  • Cut approximately 10 yards of variegated yarn and roll into a ball.
  • Bend thin wire to form a "needle."
  • For each of the beverage straws: Thread the wire "needle" with a length of solid yarn, pull the wire through the straw, and tape one end tightly to the straw.
  • After all straws have been threaded and taped, begin weaving.


Weaving Your Belt:

  • Hold all five straws, with the taped ends up, in one hand.
  • Using the end of the ball of variegated yarn, begin weaving with an "under/over" pattern from the bottom of the straws (where you are holding them) to the top (taped edge) . When you have woven to the top of the straws, carefully push the weaving down a few inches. DO NOT push all of the weaving off the straws.
  • Continue until you have reached a desired length and tie off ends.