Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recycled CD Weavings

What a Fun Project!
Most of my 4th grade students just finished a very fun weaving project. After learning or reviewing the basics of weaving by doing a paper weaving, students learned how to weave in a circle. Our choice of loom - discarded CD, DVD, and CDROM discs.

I had seen examples of these on Pinterest this past summer and couldn't wait to try it out. So I put out the word to staff and students in my three schools that we needed old discs to use for a project. I had quite a few staff members looking through their old music collections and gladly parting with many. They quietly turned over their Jackson Five, New Kids on the Block, and Flashdance Soundtracks. Before long I had plenty of discs to add to my old AOL discs I had saved for that project down the road. (Art teachers are savers if you didn't know!)

I went back to my Pinterest board where I had pinned the idea months ago. It led me to a great tutorial from Joanne at We Heart Art.   Check out her tutorial before you give it a try! I pulled some yarn together and set to making one myself. Listen to a veteran art teacher - Never do a project without first trying it yourself!! You're just asking for a disaster if you don't. Yes this is from experience! 
I had a blast making my example.

This project took 3-4 art times depending on the class (I did it with 5 different classes) and their abilities. As I figured it took most classes one whole time to watch me demonstrate how to warp the disc and for them to actually do this. I encouraged them to partner up to help each other with tying the knots. Of course I ended up plopping myself down at a table with a long line of students needing help getting the warp string tied tight.
After that first day the rest was easy! Once students got the hang of the weaving it went quickly. Students finishing early help reteach others how to do it. Great for team building!

I loved the way I had seen the finished weavings hanging all together so that is what I intended for displaying these. I've finished putting up the weaving display at one school but still need to do this at the other two. Small colorful paperclips were what I used to link the discs together.

I'm very impressed with how they look and have gotten quite a few compliments!


  1. These look really cool! Almost like a penny quilt. Did you notch the cd's or tape the back or something? Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. No notches or taping. We tied the warp string with the knot on the back leaving a bit of a tail of string - about 3 inches. Then after wrapping the string around so that there is 11 showing on the front we tied it off with the tail of string left from the first knot.

  2. I did this project too - isn't it the coolest?

    I love your addition of the beads - will try that out next time, thanks!

    1. The kids loved the addition of beads. It was a choice - a few didn't want them. I love the ones on your blog with the more textured yarn. Will need to get some for next year!

  3. Hi! I'm so glad you were able to use my cd weaving project! We had a great time making them, and I love how they look hanging together. It's been rewarding to see teachers and kids all over the world making them- the latest was a teacher working with kids in Colombia!! (It would be great if you could add a link back to our artwork too!) :D

  4. Sallgood - Thank you for your comments. It is great to see projects being done all around the world - it brings us all together as Art educators and Art students. Ideas bounce around the internet so rapidly. People take and try them as is and many change them to better suit their classrooms. I love it!

    I always try to link back to where my ideas come from if they are not mine originally. I did link back to where I found it on Pinterest and additionally to Joanne's blog where the tutorial was. I would be glad to add a link to your student's works. Pass that link onto me and I will add it!

  5. Theresa, here is a link to my blog: http://makeitawonderfullife.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-think-im-addicted.html
    I have three posts about making these. I made the first one with beads and wire, but then opted to use yarn with my students. The other posts are student work and a tutorial.

    I love to tell my students how people are enjoying their artwork and that it inspires others to make their own art too! :D

  6. I just made some of these yesterday, not with students but with residents at an assisted living senior care center. They enjoyed it so much my cousin and I plan to go back and do it again next month. They all needed help tying knots, but most could still handle "over and under"and they all loved picking from the assorted colors of yarn I had on hand. I had previously done this as a children's craft at the public library where I worked.