Learn how to make beautiful origami weaved paper mats, use them for display or as real placemats or coasters. You can re-inforce them with varnish. The mats can be made as large as you like. Made with strips of paper, weaved together using a traditional technique.

This video will teach you how to make weaved mats from square paper.  I also included instructions for using any size rectangular paper, which is useful if you want to make a lot of strips from A4 or letter paper.

I am using mine as decorative mats just for display, until I can buy some waterproof varnish!

This weaving technique can be used to make massive mats.. you could frame them as wall art.

Design: Traditional Method
Level: ★★★☆☆

You will need:

▸ Square paper x 4 (for a small mat)
(12 strips needed for a small mat) (24 for larger mat)
▸ Scissors (for cutting the strips)
The strips will be 1:4 ratio.

Square paper:
Paper size used: 15 x 15 cm
Final model size: about 10 x 10 cm

Rectangular paper: You can use any size paper, you just need the ratio of 4:1
Example, using A4 paper – cut the A4 paper in half so that you have two long strips. You can then make the pre-creases. After that you can cut the strips. The height of the strips will be the width of the paper divided by 4.

Using very thick paper or card: The strips will need to be 1:8 ratio. You will not fold the strips in half. Just weave them as they are.

Optional: Glue or varnish to protect the paper.
I used water based varnish from an art shop, it’s not waterproof, just protective… probably water resistant. You could use many different kinds of varnish. Please test first on a scrap piece of paper.

My favourite result, made with old music paper, it’s not that thick, but it seems a lot higher quality than the origami paper.  It also did not discolour with the varnish. I applied several coats to each side, and it has become very tough.


When varnishing, don’t forget the raw edges on the outer edge. I would think that’s the first place that would get damaged, if you were to use them for anything other than display.

Check out my paper recommendations for more information on where I get my paper and also ideas and money saving tips.

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