Ribbon Tartan complete

This fun craft activity is a great way for primary children to explore the cultural and historical significance of tartan, while developing fine motor skills and unleashing their creativity. By designing and then creating their own unique ribbon tartan, classes will be able to discuss the endless possible variations and begin to learn about the significance of specific patterns to geographical regions and even individual families.

To weave your ribbon tartan you will need:

Rainbow Weaving Cards

Weaving Materials Pack

Sticky Tape

Ribbons Assortment (optional)



1. Design your tartan, thinking about which colours and materials to use, and how complex or straightforward you want your pattern to be.

ribbon tartan initial

2. Take your first ribbon and stick one end to one of the back corners of your weaving card. Then begin weaving it lengthways along the card, ensuring to leave gaps in between each line of ribbon. Once you reach the end of the card, cut off the end of the ribbon and stick down to the closest back corner.

3. If you are using multiple colours in each direction, repeat this process for each ribbon going lengthways. The lines in this direction are called the ‘warp’.

ribbon tartan

4. Next, weave your horizontal colours (the ‘weft’). Start by taping the first ribbon down on the back edge of the card, and alternate between going under and over the existing ribbons. Once you reach the end of a row, tape the ribbon to the back of the card.

Ribbon Tartan completed

5. Continue this until you reach the bottom of the card, and repeat with any other colours you have in in your design.



Experiment with combinations of different materials as well as colours to create new effects, or try to re-create some well-known tartans as part of relevant history projects.


For more fun activity ideas, visit our Art and Craft page, or follow us on Pinterest.

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