Weaving at home, with materials you already have!

Whether you’re looking to occupy kids, fill newly acquired spare time, or just get in touch with your creative side, weaving is an easy thing to do. Importantly, most people can do it without buying anything!

So here are some ideas to suit what you have on hand (the internet can provide further instructions where you need them):

“I have paper, scissors and glue…” – Take your paper, fold it into equal sections and then cut along the folds to make strips. You can then weave these over-and-under each other and glue the ends to hold it in place. Make paper place mats, a table runner or a bit of minimalist art for the wall.

“I have a small box / shoe box and wool…” – Wind the wool yarn around the box trying to keep the strands an equal distance apart . Pick a side of the box to create your weaving on, then use more yarn to weave over-and-under the first threads (easier with a needle, but you can use your fingers!). Slide off the box when you’re finished. Make a bit of wall art, a mat, or a little bag.

“I have an old picture frame and some wool…” – Wind the wool around the picture frame and weave, either one set of threads like in the box example, or weave the front and back strands of wool together to make a piece of art.

“I have some cardboard, craft knife, different coloured yarn/thread…” – Cut a rectangle of cardboard that you can hold comfortably, wind the yarn/thread around it. Cut your yarn into different lengths and weave it (fingers or a needle) over-and-under the first threads, in sections to make areas or lines of different colours, pushing the yarn/threads close together. This little tapestry can then hang on the wall, or be propped on a shelf.

“I have a matchbox / shoebox, thread, some small beads, a needle and something to make cuts with…” – Take the base of the box, cut little slits around the top edges to hold the yarn. Cut strands of equal lengths (you can go longer than the matchbox) and lay them across the base, using the slits to hold them. Weave over-and-under with the needle, adding a bead here and there. With a matchbox: Once you’ve woven the part on your tiny loom, carefully take it off, put a new section in the slits and keep weaving! Good for bracelets, teddy bear collars and other small decorations.

“I have some dense foam, nails and yarn/string…” – Make a pin loom using the nails as the pins and inserting them firmly into the foam. Then you wrap the yarn in a zig-zag between the nails. You can then weave over-and-under using your fingers or a crochet hook. Again you can make a little art piece, a bag, or make lots of squares and sew them together.

“I have a sturdy shoebox, craft knife, ruler and some yarn…” – This is all you need to make rigid heddle loom! Use the base of the shoebox as the frame and create slots and holes in the top of the shoebox, cutting it down in size to fit inside the bottom half. You can use the left over card to make small back and front bars if you want to get fancy! A bit more of a project, but a lot of fun. You can use it to make cloth for little bags, mats or pieces to be sewn together into a larger piece.

“I have a stiff cardboard, a craft knife, a hole punch and some yarn…” – This one is a bit more full-on, but with these materials make yourself cards for card/tablet weaving, and a cardboard shuttle. You can create a warp using your body and a doorknob back-strap weaving style, or make a frame out of a box. It come with a learning curve, but this makes beautiful bands.

“I have a picture frame / some wood for a frame / large piece of solid board, nails, a hammer and two colours of yarn…” – This is what you need to make a pom-pom blanket! It’s not what you’d traditionally call weaving, but includes a frame and the enclosure of threads so I think it fits! Worth watching a video on how to do this, but essentially you make a big version of a pin loom, and use one colour as a base and the other colour gets wound on, tied down and cut to make the pom-poms. Makes a fluffy fun blanket!

Happy weaving!

Looms, looms, looms!

A post or two from now, I’m going to start talking about looms. There are all kinds of looms out there, but I want to focus on what I’ve found useful as a new weaver, which means I will focus on rigid heddle looms and shaft/harness looms.

As I don’t want to leave the other types of loom weaving out entirely, I thought I’d do a pictorial list. I’m sure I’ll have missed some, but these are the main types I’ve come across.

First up is a frame loom, though this is a small version of what is used for tapestry and sometimes rag rugs.

image of a frame loom

Then there is the pin loom, which makes squares with bobbly edges.

Image of a pin loom

The rigid heddle is the loom I use.

A knitters loom by Ashford

This is a backstrap loom. Makes the most sense when you see it in use!

image of a person using a backstrap loom

This is an inkle loom for making bands.

image of an inkle loom

Here is a tablet loom. Tablets are quite an old way to weave.

tablet weaving loom

Peg looms are a very old type of loom.

Image of a peg loom

A table loom, so called because it sits on a table.

image of a table loom

Floor loom – well, that’s just self explanatory!

image of a Julia Floor Loom