Paper Animal Weaving

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Students will create woven paper animals (such as a bird, snail or turtle) by following these directions.

By: Sandra Damoulakis [Sandra is an art teacher at Strathmore Primary School in Australia]

What You Need:

  • Strips of paper – painted paper, coloured paper, left over paper from previous art projects, cut into even long strips
  • Coloured sheets of A3 and A4 paper (8-1/2″ x 11″)
  • Glue, scissors etc
  • Feathers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pre-cut bodies of different animal shapes with horizontal slits for weaving

What You Do:

1. Students look at simple animal shapes and decide on which animal they would like to create.
2. Work on one animal at a time so that you can give explicit instructions. (I felt that this worked best).
3. Let children explore the weaving concept of over/under to ensure their weaving is even and well spaced. (They can stick down the ends with glue to secure the strips once they have finished).

Woven paper animals art lesson.
4. Once their body is completed they can start to add the features (you can have these pre-drawn for the children to cut out around depending on the age group. For extension students they can design their own). I taught these steps one at a time with all students following my instructions.
5. For birds, add a beak, feet, wings, eyes, feathers and a worm.

Woven paper animals art lesson.
6. For turtles, add a tail, feet, head and neck, eyes and mouth.

Woven paper animals art lesson.
7. For snails, add a long body, antennae, eyes and mouth.

Woven paper animals art lesson.
8. Students choose their desired background by placing their work on top of all the possible colours to see which one suits their artwork best.
9. Arrange the body pieces on their background.
10. Stick the work onto their background and add any finishing touches. Students can embellish their work with feathers, pipe cleaners, sequence etc.
11. Extension students could add features of the animal’s habitat using cut out paper.


This lesson was submitted by Sandra Damoulakis, art teacher at Strathmore Primary School in Australia. Visit her Instagram feed at @talesofaprimaryartteacher