Ribbon Tartan complete

Creating their own ribbon tartan is a great way for young children to develop their creativity and fine motor skills, while learning about a key part of traditional British culture. Through the process of designing and creating their own unique tartans, there will be ample opportunity for your class to discuss the countless possible variations, and begin to learn about the significance of individual patterns to geographical regions and specific clans.

 You will need:

Rainbow Weaving Cards
Weaving Materials Pack
Sticky Tape
Ribbons Assortment (optional)


1. Begin by designing your tartan. Think about which materials you would like to use, as well as which colours and how complex you want your pattern to be.

ribbon tartan initial

2. To create you tartan, take your first ribbon and attach the end to one of the corners on the reverse side of your weaving card using sticky tape. Begin to weave it along the card between the teethed ends, ensuring to leave reasonable gaps between each line. When you reach the far edge, stick the end of the ribbon to the nearest back corner of the weaving card.

3. Repeat this process for each ribbon in the same direction. In weaving, this  initial set of lines of material is called the ‘warp’.

ribbon tartan

4. Now you’ll need to weave the ‘weft’ (your horizontal lines). Secure the first ribbon the back edge of the card with sticky tape, and alternate between weaving the ribbon under and over the existing lines. Continue this until reaching the end of your row, then tape the end ribbon to the reverse side of the card.

Ribbon Tartan completed

5. Repeat this process, adding second colours if required once you reach the end of the card.

EYFS learning goals supported by this project

ELGO1 Communication and language development: listening and attention

ELG02 Communications and language development: understanding

ELG04 Physical development: moving and handling co-ordination

ELG06 Personal, social and emotional development: Self confidence and self awareness

ELG12 Mathmatics development: shape, space and measures

ELG13 Understanding the world: people and communities

ELG16 Expressive art and design: exploring and using media and materials

ELG17 Expressive arts and design: being imaginative

For more fun art and craft ideas, visit our dedicated page, or follow us on Pinterest.

Visit The Consortium Early Years’s profile on Pinterest.