Weaving yarn through utility mesh Is a simple project that can yield beautiful results. Its origins were when women woven yarn through an open meshed cloth such as a curtain. Repurposing is not a new idea. It dates back at least to the Great Depression era and probably earlier than that.
It can be used as a craft that hones manual dexterity, artistic expression, and creativity. It takes only a few materials - utility mesh, a yarn needle, and some yarn. The projects shown in the instructions are larger pieces. They were mainly worked to raise money for Relay for Life. Your students could work on a piece as small as a place mat that will dress up the table with their handiwork and is still easily washed.
This is a great choice for a county fair entry or for a 4-H or scouting badge project.