Even the pretty blue and gold paper was donated. Since I had mostly younger students, I cut the paper into strips for them.
I didn't cut all the way to the top. I've done paper weaving both ways and it is so much easier to weave when the top is kept together.
We used a strip of painters tape to anchor the weaving to the table, which is also another life saver, and will keep your students from being frustrated.
The only problem with this project was gluing to the black background paper. The basket weaving strips wanted to curl. So I buddied up kids that used these strips and they helped hold down while they were weaving.
I had them add a bit more glue than normal, and then we placed tubs of markers on top for 20-30 minutes to make sure the art attached to the black background. It also flattened out the basket weaving strips so they laid flat.