Spiders… They seem to come out of the woodwork in the fall, right? That must be why they’re such a big theme in the Halloween season! Spider Web Weaving is definitely one of my favorite spider activities for the fall. It’s a simple activity, very hands-on, and requires very little in terms of materials. And it’s a great way to incorporate art into science, making it an ideal STEAM project. Plus, this project is a free sneak-peek into our Halloween ebook by STEAM Explorers!
Why Do Spiders Weave Webs?
Every spider spins silk but only some spin webs. Spiders spin webs to climb, to live in, to catch their prey, to protect themselves, and to create egg sacs. The webs are made of silk that the spider produces in silk glands and ejects through its leg. The webs vibrate and lets them know that something has entered the web. Different spiders spin their webs in different ways. Orb spiders spin their webs in spirals. They first weave base supports that connect the web to branches, rocks, buildings, and more. Then they finish their web with a sticky silk they spiral around the web supports. This sticky silk catches other insects.
Watch the Spider Web Weaving
To help you through this really fun project, we made a video showing you how to set up your loom, use the spiders, and more.
Spider Web Weaving Supplies Needed
You’ll need just a few supplies for this project which is one of the reasons it’s great for a crowd… Here are a few notes on what I used.
I used 9″ dinner-sized paper plates which made pretty big weavings. Have less time or younger kids? I would recommend using the smaller 7″ dessert-sized plates. I’ve linked both of them below for you.
You can use any type of yarn, but the more varied the types, the more interesting the weaving. We used all black and white versions, but more colorful webs would be amazing too. And the plastic spiders are optional, but definitely make this project way more fun. And help the kiddos envision the science, too.
- A sturdy paper plate with lines on the rim (9″ dinner-sized paper plates or 7″ dessert-sized plates)
- Yarn of various textures and weights
- Plastic spiders
How to Make a Spider Web Weaving
Now it’s time to have fun! This project takes about 30-45 minutes but is easy to put away and start up in another session if the kids need a break.
How to Warp the Paper Plate Loom
The first part of the project is to set up the loom. This is called warping a loom. If you want to do this project with little kids, you can warp the loom first and then have them do the weaving part.
- First, grab a round paper plate. Note the lines on the sides of the plate where the paper has been overlapped when it was made. Use these as your guide and cut a 1/2″ notch into one of the line.
- Then skip one line and cut another notch. Repeat until you’ve cut all the way around the loom.
- Now grab your first type of yarn. This will be used to make your warp threads in the loom. A thin, strong yarn works best here. This is just like a spider uses strong dragline silk to make the supports for its web.
- Take the yarn and insert it into a notch. Cross directly opposite to the other side of the plate and insert the yarn into the notch.
- Cross on the underside of the plate to the opposite side of and go one notch over from the original notch.
- Repeat until you have warp yarn in all of the notches.
- To finish the warp, pull the yarn directly across the plate and wrap the center of all the warp threads to pull them together. Then continue across the plate, cut one more notch between the two existing notches and pull the yarn through it.
- Cut the yarn off the ball, flip over the plate, and tie the two ends together tightly.
How to Weave the Spider Web
Now it’s time for the spider web weaving fun!!
- Pick your first yarn and cut a 3-foot length of it off the ball. Tie one end to the center of the loom’s warp threads.
- Tie the other end of the yarn to a plastic spider. The spider acts as a needle to help you go through the warp threads but this is optional.
- Weave the yarn under the first warp thread, then over the next warp thread, and repeat around the circle. Treat the two notches where you finished your warp as one thread. When you get to the end of the circle, push the yarn toward the center and weave another circle just outside the previous woven circle. Continue spiraling and weaving outwards from the previous circle until you have about 6″ of yarn left attached to the spider, pushing woven yarn toward the center as you go.
- Now it’s time to change yarns. Cut the end off the plastic spider. Cut a 3-foot length of yarn of a different type and tie the end to the yarn that you used before. Tie the plastic spider back to the other end of the new piece of yarn and continue weaving.
- You can tuck the knots under the weaving as you go.
- Continue until your piece is complete. Cut the yarn end off of the spider and tie the end to one of the warp strings, tucking the knot under the weaving.
- If desired, tuck the plastic spider into the weaving for decoration.
Just like that you have your very own spider web weaving art piece and got to learn how spiders weave their web in the process.
This super fun STEAM project is a sneak peek into our STEAM Explorers Halloween ebook.
More Halloween Fun for Kids
We have so many great Halloween-themed projects for you to try on Left Brain Craft Brain! Here are a few of my favorites.
Looking for quick & easy ideas to make October more fun? Try these Halloween STEAM Challenge Cards!
Need something fun for quick finishers or after school? Kids love this Halloween Color by Coding.
And our absolute favorite is the Halloween Ebook by STEAM Explorers! This Spider Web Weaving project is a free sneak peek of this activity packed edition.
Looking for some fun Halloween activities to do with the kids? Try some STEAM! Join us as we explore all the favorite themes of October with STEAM Explorers like bats, and pumpkins, and spiders, oh my! Kids will love building a spider bot, exploring famous artists, making spooky sound machines, and more! You'll love the helpful standards-based learning, printables, and tools that make STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, & math) exploration easy!