The Royal Weave

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The Royal Weave
Total Time 1 hour Ages school-age

The West African cloth was traditionally worn by royalty; this kente mat will make your table or wall fit for a king. Kente cloth's elaborate patterns are made by weaving yarn into thin strips of cloth. The strips are then joined together in a checkerboard pattern to make a larger piece ofcloth. This project starts the same way, by making the patterned strips.

What you'll need

  • Paper grocery bags
  • Acrylic paint
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Iron
  • Glue Stick

How to make it

  1. The Royal Weave - Step 1

    Cut two or three paper grocery bags into several large panels.

  2. The Royal Weave - Step 2

    Paint patterns on the panels with acrylic paint that's been thinned with a bit of water to make it easier to spread and less likely to flake (A).

  3. Let the panels dry, then sandwich them between two clean pieces of paper and iron them flat on low heat.

  4. Set aside one panel for the base and cut the rest into long, one-inch-wide strips.

  5. Trim the base panel into a rectangle roughly 11 by 18 inches. Fold the paper in half lengthwise. Mark a line one inch in from the unfolded side and make slits at one-inch intervals from the fold to the marked line, as shown (B).

  6. Unfold the paper and weave the strips into the base. Secure the ends of the strips to the base with a glue stick.

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