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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Visit the carle


Making Art Together

Ribbon Window Shade

We often get questions from curious Museum guests about the window screens we have created, hanging in The Studio's windows.

The Ribbon Window Shade uses some of the same materials as our Plastic Cap Window Screen and is a good way to explore the art of weaving.  It also provides some shade during the sunny weather that should be on its way soon!  Here is a list of supplies you will need to make a window weaving for yourself.


Materials: Two tension rods that fit your window (We purchased ours at Target), Duct tape to secure the rods, Colorful wire (We purchased ours at Home Depot), Ribbons, strings, fabric strips, yarn or any other weaving material


First, you will want to put both tension rods in your window and secure them well so that they don’t move or shift when you start weaving.  Our window is 58 inches wide and we hung the two rods 36 inches apart.  We found that we needed some duct tape around the ends of the rods to attach them to the window. If you try this at home or in your classroom, you may need a temporary support to keep your rods stable once you begin wrapping the wire and weaving the ribbons.


The wire that we used is the same cable wire that was used for the Plastic Cap Window Screen.  It is colorful cable wire that comes in a gray or black casing which can be easily peeled off to reveal the colorful wires.  I suggest cutting the wire while still in the casing into lengths that are double your window length, at most.  I began adding the warp (the vertical strands in a weaving) by looping the wire around the top and bottom rods and securing the wire into place by wrapping the wire back onto itself. We ended up doing 60 strands of wire (just under an inch apart) to fill our window, but you may need to do more or less depending on the size of your window.


We have quite a collection of ribbons, strings, fabric strips, and yarn and we found that starting the weaving at the top with some of the wider ribbon works well to get the pattern started.  To weave you should begin by pulling the ribbon OVER the first wire and UNDER the next and continue this pattern until you reach the other side. Starting the next ribbon with an alternating pattern will create a fabric-like weaving.  Don’t be afraid to mix up your weaving  by going OVER two wires and UNDER the next one or making up any other weaving patterns you would like.  Whenever you run out of one ribbon or string pick up a new one and keep going.  We tucked some of the ribbon ends into place behind a wire but  also stapled a few together so they would be more secure.  We liked adding some of the thinner string in front of the thicker ribbons so that there were a few layers on top of each other in the weaving.  It is fun to experiment with whatever materials you are using to see how the textures and colors look with each other. Just be sure that you don't pull the ribbons so tightly that they pull on the end pieces of wire.


I hope you get to try out making your own window weaving and please take a look at our other window display tutorials:

Window Color Wheel

Rainbow Window Shades

Plastic Cap Window Screen

We would also love to hear about any other method you used to make a window weaving so please leave a comment to let us know what you did!    



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



by Sarah Johnston

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 8:00 am and is filed under By Sarah Johnston, Displays & Window Shades, Special Events, Found Materials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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