Saturday, January 11, 2014

Learn To Make A Loom Out Of Cardboard And Weave With Scrap Fabric

I've always wanted to learn how to make these!!  Etsy posted a great tutorial for these this week, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Here's how mine turned out. Not too bad for my first try! 

Want to make one for yourself? Click the Etsy link above or follow my instructions below!

What You'll Need:

Craft Knife/Box Cutter
Head Pin or Closed Pin
Glue Gun and a Glue Stick
Yarn (Any Color.Works)
Packing/Masking Tape
Scrap Fabric (at least 30" long) or Yarn (Get Multiple Colors)
Hard piece of cardboard (see what I used below)

You can use a large needle to weave the fabric or yarn through the loom. I just used my hands and it worked just fine.


Making Your Loom

For my loom, I used the back of my watercolor paper book.
You can use any type of cardboard as long as it is sturdy. 

Next, get out your tape. 
Fold a piece of tape over the top and bottom edges.
This will give your loom a little more support.

Now, we will mark our slits on our loom.

I am using a 9" X 12" board.
I measured in 1 1/2" on each end.

The more inches you measure in on each side, the narrower your piece will be.
The less inches you measure in, the wider your piece will be.

I would suggest placing a mark 1"-1 1/2" in on each side.
Once you have done this, make a mark every 1/2" until you meet the other side like so...

Do this on both sides, so your loom looks like this:

Now, get your craft knife out.

Cut a slit into the cardboard.
 My slits are about 1/8" deep

Threading Your Loom

Now, tape your yarn about halfway down on one side.

Starting from the back, where you tapped, go up to the first slit and put the yarn into the slit. 
Begin wrapping your yarn top to bottom.

Wrap the yarn tight 
enough so you could strum it if you wanted to have a mini jam session.

Continue wrapping the yarn until you reach the end, then cut and tape the end piece to the back of the loom like I did below.

Cutting Your Scarp Fabric Strips

Now, it's time to cut your strips. 
I cut 1/8"-1/4" strips that were at least 30" long.

If you are weaving with yarn, cut a piece that is at least 30" long.

Here are what my strips look like:

Here comes the fun part!!


1. Start from the right side: Thread the fabric Under-Over all the way over to the opposite side.

2. Pull the strip through the loom until there is a 5" strip left on the right side.

3. Now, weave the opposite way, Over-Under, back across the loom.

See Below.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

When you are weaving, you want to keep the strand fairly tight. 

If it's too loose, it will be baggy. 

If it's too tight, the loom will start creeping in on itself.

Don't worry if this doesn't make much sense right now, you will find a rhythm. 

4. Keep weaving until you have about 5" of your strip left. Allow the ends to just hang out for now.

To Start Weaving A New Strip

1. Start on the right or left side of the loom. 

2. Begin to weave the strand opposite (over-under or under-over) of the weave above it.

3. Once you get through to the other side, pull the strip through the loom.

4. Leave a 5" tail like you did before.

Once you are finished with a strip or want to start a new color,

Push the strips up.

Bunch them together.

Continue the above steps until you reach the bottom of the loom.

Make sure you continue to push the strips up as you go along.

Hiding The Extra Fabric Strips On The Sides

1. Take your pin/needle/closed pin and put it through the tip of the fabric strip.

There are two ways to finish your weave:

1. Weave the strand back into the loom until it is blended in with the rest of the fabric


2. Weave the strand a little bit into the loom, but not all the way. Just enough to get it away from the side. Weave the strip so it rests between the middle of the loom and the piece.
You will glue it down later instead of weaving it.

See "Gluing Down Your Extra Fabric Stands" below to get a visual.

Cutting Your Strings

1. Once you have your side strands hidden or tucked under, flip your loom over and remove the tape.

2. Take your scissors and cut the strings in the middle of board.

Securing Your Yarn

1. Take the first two pieces out of the loom slits and tie them with a box knot.

2. Do this to the next two strands until you reach the other side.

3. Do the same thing to the bottom of the piece.

Gluing Down Your Extra Fabric Strands

I dont believe this is the proper way to secure your fabric strips, but after all this hard work I would hate for the loom to fall apart! 

1. I took my extra fabric strips, that I weaved to the back of the piece, and tied them to each other.

Make sure you do not make tight knots that are really close to the piece. You dont want to alter your weaves.

2. Next, I glued down any extra strips just to make sure they were secure.

Feel free to add glue anywhere else. 

Making Your Hanger

You should have a bunch of little yarn strands on each end.

1. Find the top of your piece. 

2. Cut the extra strands down to the knots except for two strands on each end.

3. Tie these strands together. This how you will hang your piece.

4. Cut the strands at the bottom to your desired length.


 Hang and Enjoy!

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