Warped Weaving Wizardry

Sau Fen Chee · 66 ·

Can you change how other people see reality with just paper and a pair of scissors?

Is this some kind of magic? Or just a clever trick for the eyes?

Enjoying her internship stint so far as a VIVITA Crew member, Zhi Ru, shares with us this cool activity we can all try out at home.

How did you come up with the idea for your project?

I’ve always liked weaving and especially after attending a bamboo weaving workshop in Taiwan last year, I have been trying to find ways to do more weaving projects, but without bamboo (as bamboo/rattan weaving is not that common in Singapore). I saw an optical illusion the other day and thought to myself, why not combine weaving and optical illusions, using paper?

Zhi Ru’s bamboo weaving from a workshop in Taiwan

What makes this a cool project?

Optical illusions are just cool (or at least to me), and allow 2D to feel 3D sometimes. What’s even cooler is that you can make one yourself!

I googled and saw some pretty interesting ones that other people have done, such as this one https://thislittleclassofmine.weebly.com/home/category/optical-illusions.

It becomes especially fascinating when a whole wall is created out of it. 🙂

Could you share with us a bit about your prototyping process? What did you learn from the more memorable failed attempts?

I realised that sometimes we really just have to try it out. This is something I have not really done before (I have only done straight paper weaving in primary school) and how the illusion looked in my head actually turned out quite different in real life. I would definitely try out more variations to see the different optical effects I can create when I have time.

Making Warped Weaving Wizardry

What materials do you need?

  1. Paper (can be coloured paper, origami paper, newspapers, magazines, or even printed images)

What tools do you need?

  1. Scissors
  2. Glue (optional)
  3. Ruler
  4. Pencil


Step 1: On the first piece of paper, draw an evenly spaced-out grid as guidelines. With reference to the grid, mark out the lines to cut – it can be diagonal or curved, but it cannot be overlapping .

NOTE: If the pattern is symmetrical, you only need to mark out the lines for one side

Step 1

Step 2: If the pattern is symmetrical, fold it in half and cut. If not, just cut the pattern directly.

TIP: Leave the strips in the same sequence so you will remember later on. This is especially important if you are using an image and want to match the image correctly later on.

Step 2

Step 3: Draw a grid for the other piece of paper as well and mark out the lines to cut. It is optional to have the same or a different cutting pattern, but the grid should be the same.

Step 3

Step 4: Cut the pattern as marked, but do not cut through.

Step 4

Step 5: Carefully weave the strips of paper from the first piece of paper into the cut slots of the second piece of paper. TIP: You can check the grid that was drawn to ensure that it is aligned. Flip to the other side for a “clean”/”display” side without pencil marks.

(Optional – Glue down the edges of the strips.)

And it’s done 🙂

Step 5


Variations can be created through reducing/increasing the grid size or by rotating the grid. The cut lines can be curved as well and may not need to be symmetrical.


Do try out other colour combinations, or even “warping” a printed image or drawing.

What do you think you can make with a bunch of these woven squares?