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How to Weave Newspaper Into Mats

Your woven newspaper mat will look like this weave pattern.
Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

If you go camping, hiking, boating or even to the ballpark, you will need something dry and comfortable to sit upon--hence, the name of these woven newspaper mats. The sit-upon has been around for years, and the mention of their name always brings back memories of childhood arts and crafts projects. These woven newspaper mats are extremely versatile, can be stored easily in small spaces and are light enough to bring to any event. Weaving these mats costs very little and gives the newspapers a second life.

Things You'll Need:

  • 20 Sheets Of Newspaper
  • Ruler Or Tape Measure

Lay two thicknesses of full sheets of the newspaper out onto a flat work surface. Fold each side of the newspaper to the center fold line and crease the folded edge. Continue folding each side of the newspaper to the center crease line until each side measures 3 1/2 inches across. Fold the center crease closed to create 3 1/2 inch by 23 inch strips of newspaper. Repeat these steps until you have made a total of 10 of these newspaper strips.

Lay five of the newspaper strips out onto your flat surface vertically. Lay each strip flat next to the other and align them evenly at the top and the bottom.

Weave one of the remaining newspaper strips in an over-one-and-under-the-next fashion across the five vertical strips in a horizontal direction. Keep this strip straight and centered. Weave the next strip horizontally across your five vertical strips, starting under one first and then going over the next. Continue in this manner until you have reached the end. Weave the last three horizontal strips into the mat, with each stripe being woven in the opposite fashion from the one above it. Weaving in this pattern will cause an interlocking effect and will help your sit-upon stay together. Pull on your horizontal strips to even the sides. Push the woven strips as closely together as you possibly can.

Fold each of the newspaper strip ends toward the side of your mat with an over weave, at the point of the edge of each weave. Each end will be folded to the opposite side in a front-back/front-back pattern. Work these ends into your weave until they are all hidden in the woven mat. You should have a finished mat of approximately 18 inches square. This may vary with the tightness of the weave you were able to achieve.


You can spray your mat with waterproofing or polyurethane to keep the newsprint from transferring to your clothing. You could even cover it with a stick-and-peel waterproof paper, or make a decorative covering with handles.

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