We used some simple loom string to create the "loom". You tie the end off (around the CD) and just go 'round and 'round and 'round (it is VERY important that you have an odd number of warps! We've found that 11 or 13 warps fit nicely!)
I don't have my students tie ANYTHING, not even the selvedge edges of their weft threads. we just let them hang out and make sure the weaving is nice and tight. At the end of the project we just cut them off.
For this project I made sure that my students had SOME kind of direction as far as color choices. They were: monochromatic, gray scale, hot colors, or cool colors. I hate when kids do beautiful weavings and have the most bizarre color combinations like lime green, red, and periwinkle. Bleck!
The "yucky" part of the CD (the part with the writing on it) is the backside. The shiny part is the front of the loom. Some of my kids did theirs backwards on accident, but since the weaving covers up most of the cd and only shows the edges, they still looked nice.
Not only does this project focus on the creation of a woven mandala, when you put display all the CD's next to each other, it's also a great way to talk about how colors play off of each other, as in Kandinsky's Study of Concentric Circles.
When all of my students are finished with their weavings, we plan to display them as a full unit(yes, all 125 of them!) I sure hope it's as impressive in person as it is in my mind!! You can see more of these beautiful weavings on on "Make it...a Wonderful Life" here http://makeitawonderfullife.blogspot.com/search/label/kid%27s%20art.