Make a place mat to decorate your Kwanzaa celebration table. These simple-to-make woven construction paper place mats represent a straw place mat (called mkeka in Swahili).
- Red, black, green, and yellow construction paper - one sheet should be extra large
- Glue or tape
- Optional – Ruler
Start with a large piece of construction paper. Fold it in half.
While the paper is still folded, draw a series of lines across the fold, but do not draw them all the way to the edge - leave about 1 inch at the edge. For younger children, an adult should draw the lines. For a very neat-looking place mat, use a ruler to draw the guidelines.
Cut along the lines. When you’re finished cutting, unfold the piece of paper.
Using other colors of paper, cut many strips of paper about an inch wide, and the same length as the height of the large piece of paper used in the last step.
Start weaving the strips of paper onto the large piece of paper. Make sure that each new piece of paper is pushed up next to the previously woven piece.
When you’re done weaving, secure each strip of woven paper using glue or tape. You might also have to trim the woven edges a bit to make the edges of the placemat even.
You can now use your place mat at your Kwanzaa celebration table.