Get Inspired by Navajo Textiles

Artist Unknown, Navajo Klagetoh Rug, c. 1930, natural wool and aniline dye (red), 20 feet, 8 inches. x 13 feet, 3 inches. Gift of Stephen H. Field, R2017.12.

Learn the method of weaving by using colored paper.

Weaving is a method of interlacing separate threads or fabrics to create a cloth or textile. The warp threads are organized vertically (top to bottom) and are parallel to each other. The weft is woven over and under the warp horizontally (side to side).

learn more about Navajo Klagetoh Rug


  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Pencil

Follow intsructions below

Step 1

Select three to four colors of paper, keeping in mind one will be used for the frame and the others will be used as “threads.” 

Step 2

Start with the colored paper that will be used as your frame and fold it in half horizontally. From the top of the fold, measure and mark equally spaced lines. These vertical slats will create the warp of your weaving.

The slats in the example are approximately 1 inch apart.

Tip: To create a smaller weaving, cut the frame paper into your desired size.

Step 3

While your frame is still folded in half, cut along the markings in straight lines towards the bottom, stopping before you reach the edge of the paper. (Do not cut all the way to the end.) Unfold the paper and lay it flat, orienting the slats vertically (top to bottom). 

Step 4

Select two to three different colors, then measure and cut strips of paper that are longer than your frame to create your threads. These will be used to create the weft of the weaving.

The “threads” in the examples are about 1 inch wide.

Step 5

Use the first color to weave under and over the warp until you reach the end. Using another color, weave in the opposite pattern as the first row. Repeat this process alternating colors and patterns until you have filled the frame.

Tip: After weaving each “thread,” push it to the top of the frame.

Step 6

Turn you weaving over and arrange the ends of the threads evenly. Apply glue to the tips and fold them over adhering them to the back of your weaving.

Optional: Glue a larger sheet of paper to the back and then decorate.