The warm weather inspires so much creativity and I just love being outside. While relaxing at the park, I realized that it would be so nice to bring some nature indoors. So, I decided to give nature weaving a try.
3 Nature Weaving Projects
These projects are to practice creativity– if this is your first time weaving, think of this as a fun creative exercise. Enjoy experimenting with various types of leave, textures, and color.
If you are completely new to weaving and would like to learn some basics, you can learn more in my blog post and and video tutorial How to Weave?Weaving for Beginners in 5 Steps.
While creating theses projects, I realized how much of a perfectionist I can be with my own artwork (perhaps many other artists feel the same about their work too). But, with these nature weaving projects, it was great to just relax and not worry about warp tension, weft density, or keeping the edges straight. Perhaps what took the longest time was choosing the plants that I wanted to weave-which wasn’t a stressful task.
Here are three nature weaving projects and they are each created with a specific concept in mind.
Project 1 uses only natural material– therefore if you just go into nature, you can create with out bringing anything with you.
Project 2 requires yarn or some type of long fiber to hold the wooden frame in place and create the warp.
Project 3 requires various yarns for weaving onto the tree branch.
If you are look for more design ideas, you can take a look at a previous blog post about color theory and building a color palette here and weaving patterns here.
Safety Tips for choosing outdoor plants to nature weave:
If you are at a park or somewhere public collecting plants, you may not be familiar with the plants. Some may have insects on them or even be poisonous. Be careful and do not touch plants that you are not familiar with.
2.Take a pair of scissors or shears.
Avoid pulling the plants out of the ground and use shears to cut down the desired plants. Only cut what you need and come back later if you need more.
3.Watch your step
If you are searching for plants in a place with mixed terrain, be sure to watch your step. Rocks, water and animals can be around, so keep your balance and stay safe and dry.
Tips for collecting plants to nature weave:
1.Select a variety of plant types
There are various kinds of plants to choose from and they can give your weaving texture and pattern. Here are a few ideas to choose from:
2.Look down first
Before breaking branches or cutting plants down, scan the land to see what plants have been shook loose.
3.Consider plant flexibility
Some plants are more flexible than others and require more care when dealing with them. Choose plants with more flexible stems to support the weaving, but also choose plants that are stiffer to add more texture and support. Bend the plant to check how much it gives.
Project 1 : Nature Weave with all Natural Materials
In this project, I collected plants with long sturdy stems to use as a warp. Then collected other plants as the weft.
Step 1: Lay down the stems and fix them to a surface. The stems will act as the warp in this project.
(I know that using tape isn’t a natural product, so I broke my rule on this one- so an alternative to tape is using a large rock to fix the stems in place.)
Step 2: Begin weaving a plant leaf or stem through the stem warp.
At the beginning of the project, try using material that will hold the stems well together. This will become the base of all the weaving. Ending this project will also follow this step.
TIP: Also, in between rows of more delicate plants, weave sturdier plants to hold them in place.
Project 2 : Nature Weave with a Branch Frame and Natural Materials
This project is created by tying 4 branches together to create a frame loom. The loom is then warped with yarn.
Step 1: Collect 4 tree branches or twigs.
Step 2: Secure the branches by tying them together into a frame. This is your frame loom.
Now, if you are feeling really ambitious, you could try finding some plant fibers that are strong enough to hold the branches together. But, here I just used some synthetic string.
Step 3: Decide which two sides of the loom will be the top and the bottom. At the top of the loom, the yarn is looped through.
Step 4: Guide the two yarn ends to the bottom of the loom. Then loop the yarn ends around the bottom branch and tie it twice. This is the weft.
Its all right if the yarn is not too tight. Preferably, the weft will remain loose -which will make weaving the plants easier.
Tip: To avoid the yarn being uneven, tie the yarn from the center out to the ends of the loom instead of tying them left to right, or right to left.
Tie as many warp yarns as you wish.
(You can also use a quicker method for dressing the loom, which can be found in the third project in step 3 . The branches in this project were thick, so I didn’t want there to be large gaps in the warp, so I chose this method.
Step 5: The warp yarn may have loosened. You can tighten them by retying them.
Step 6: Weave the plants through the yarn warp.
TIP:If you want to be really “naturey”, use a thin branch to move the plants into position.
Step 7: Tie the loose ends. Send one end through the bottom branch.
Step 8: Turn the loom over. Tie the two ends together at the back, then cut the remaining ends off.
Once cleaned up, it will be ready to be displayed!
Project 3 : Branch weave with yarn
This final project is woven on the arms of a tree branch. By warping your favorite yarn around the branches or twig, create a brilliant design.
Step 1: Find a branch/es or twig/s that you want to weave on.
Check the flexibility of the branch you use. Do a flex test by bending the arms to see if it can stand the pressure of the warp.
Step 2: Tie an end of yarn twice on one arm of the branch.
Step 3: Guiding the yarn to the opposite arm, loop it around the arm twice. Continue this up the branch until you have reached your desired length.
At the end, tie the yarn twice around the branch.
Tip: Unlike Project 2, be sure to keep the tension of the warp yarns, but don’t pull too tight especially if your branch arms are a bit more flexible.
Step 4: Begin weaving your desired design with the yarn. Use a loom comb and tapestry needle to weave the yarn.
Design Tip: For more nature accents, between rows of yarn weave some flowers or other plants.
Step 5: When all weaving is completed, flip the piece over, and trim down the yarns. You can secure the ends with a little glue, but the ends usually stay in place with enough tension.
What to do with with your nature weaving projects?
Here are a few ideas:
decorate your home or office
hang it from your curtains or window
use it as a privacy fence
decorate an event
use it as a
These 3 nature weaving projects are just a start to getting you out and trying something new in weaving. I love weaving on a traditional loom and frame loom, but it’s also exciting to revamp your creative work and learn how to weave and work with other materials.
Hopefully this has inspired you to go out and find some plants or other media and weave something new with it.
As always, thank you for visiting my blog, and leave a comment below if this tutorial inspired you or helped you make something new today!