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Ever since I picked up my first lap loom a couple of years ago, I have been hooked on weaving. I simply love all the textures, designs, and colours that can be created out of woven yarns of all types. For this reason, I’m always excited when I get to share a new weaving project with all of you 🙂 Whether it’s a creamy white wall weaving (showcasing 5 ways to add texture), a boho-inspired pillow, or a framed art weaving, I love coming up with new ways to integrate woven projects into my home. Today’s project is no different. A cinch to make, these no-fuss DIY Woven Coasters are both pretty and practical, and are the perfect project for beginners. And the best part? You don’t even need to purchase a loom. It can’t get any simpler than that.
Let’s get started!
MATERIALS Needed To Make Your Own DIY Woven Coasters
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- Cardboard (to create your loom)
- Kitchen Fork
- Coasters (to assist with sizing)
- Large eye needle with blunt end (like these ones)
- Yarns (I used mainly inexpensive acrylic yarn)
Step 1: Create Your Loom
As I mentioned, there is no need to buy a loom for this project. Cardboard works just as well in place of an actual loom.
To create your own, cut a piece of cardboard approximately 10 by 5 inches. Then trace an outline of the size you wish for your coasters. I used a cork coaster I already had on hand to create my outlines.
Next, cut slits along the top and bottom of the cardboard. Each slit should be half a centimetre or 1/5 an inch apart.
This is all it takes to create a cardboard loom. It’s really that easy.
Step 2: Add ‘Warp’ To Your Loom
A weaving consists of both vertical and horizontal lines of yarn that are woven together. The ‘warp’ refers to the vertical strands and it is the first thing a weaver will do to set up the framework.
To create the warp, you will be wrapping yarn around the cardboard – so that you have vertical strands of yarn on the front and the back – that are held in place by the slits you’ve just cut.
To begin, start at the top left slit, pushing the yarn into the slit, and leaving about 2 inches of tail. Next, pull the yarn down toward the bottom edge and through the first slit on the bottom left side. This will create your first warp strand. Now pull the same yarn towards the backside of the cardboard and upwards until you reach the top again. Pull that yarn through the second slit along the top edge and towards the front of the cardboard.
Repeat this process along the entire length of the loom, going around the cardboard, front to back, until you reach the final slit. The front and back of the loom should look the same with warp strands going up and down. This will allow you to create 2 coasters, one on the back and one on the front.
Below is the back side of your loom. Notice the tail ends that start and finish the warp that you’ve created.
Step 3: Begin Weaving
Using the outline of the coaster tracing, place your ruler (or a thin piece of cardboard) at the base by weaving the ruler through, going over and under each warp strand. The ruler will be useful in keeping the base of your weaving in place.
Now you are ready to weave: Begin your first row of weaving by feeding your threaded needle from one end of your warp towards the other, going over and under each alternate strand.
Once you reach the end, pull the yarn through, leaving about 3 inches of tail at the side you started on.
Now begin weaving your second row, this time from the left side towards the right, going over and under each alternating warp strand, until you reach the end.
Tip #1: For a weaving to hold together, each row is woven differently from the row immediately below it. For example, I ended the first row with my yarn under the final strand (see picture above). To start a new row, I then began by weaving over that same strand (see picture below).
Tip #2: When you weave rows along a warp, unless you are careful, you could end up with the piece bowing in the middle, much like an hourglass. To prevent that from happening, avoid tightening the rows you create. A simple way to do this is by creating an arc as you weave, like the one below.
Now, taking a kitchen fork, push the arced row down towards the row below, creating two smaller arcs. Continue pushing the yarn down at different points along the arcs until they have completely leveled out.
By weaving arced rows and pushing the yarn into place, you will create the right amount of tension for each row of your weaving.
Continue working your way up the warp. When you are ready to switch colours complete the row and then snip off the yarn, leaving at least 3 inches of tail. Then thread your needle with a new colour and begin a fresh row of weaving. (I’ll show you what to do with these tail ends later on).
Continue changing your colours until you reach the top end of the coaster outline you created early on.
Step 3: Creating Shapes
You are now ready to create your second coaster. If you are comfortable with basic ‘over and under’ weaving and want to get a little fancy for this next one, read on.
Start by flipping your cardboard loom over so that the back warp faces up (notice all the tails of yarn from the first coaster sticking out along the edge).
To create your shapes, you can begin anywhere on the warp. For this coaster, there are 2 triangles, tips pointed toward the middle.
To recreate this particular design, begin in the center by guiding your threaded needle under the warp until you reach the center strand.
Pull the needle up and over the remaining warp strands toward the left until reaching the opposite end. Leave 2-3 inches of yarn tail at the starting end.
To create the tip of your first triangle, create a ‘knot’ by looping around that middle strand. To do this, guide the needle back towards the strand, going around it (over then under) and then pull the needle toward the left again. See the steps below.
Once the knot is in place, you can now create your triangle. To do this, you will add two additional strands of warp for each new row created.
Let’s take a look at the progress of the first triangle below, to see how this is done.
For the first row above the ‘knot,’ simply incorporate an additional strand to the left and to the right of the knot, so that you have 3 strands to weave (see pictures below).
It does not look like much, but trust me, it will all begin to take shape as you create more rows.
Continue creating your triangle, remembering to add 2 extra warp strands per row of weaving.
Once you have completed the first triangle, begin the second one. Starting at the tip, create one row at a time going in the opposite direction, until you’ve created the final row at the bottom of your second triangle.
Once you’ve got both triangles as you want them, complete the coaster by filling in the space around the triangles. For added interest, change your colours along the way.
Step 4: Removing Your Coasters
To remove your coasters, snip off the warp strands along the top and bottom edges of your loom.
Next, tie knots along the edges of your coasters, 2 warp strands at a time. The knots are an important step, as they will prevent the weaving from unraveling.
Once you’ve knotted both edges of each coaster, turn them over so that the back sides face up. Taking your loose yarn tails, weave them into the back sides. Snip off the excess.
Optional: Apply a bit of Mod Podge over both sides of the coasters using an inexpensive foam brush to add some protection from stains, and also to prevent the threads woven into the back sides from coming undone. The Mod Podge will stiffen the coaster material once dried.
**You can always skip this part and simply dab some Mod Podge only on the tails woven into the backs of the coasters. This will ensure that they stay put. Nail polish works just as well.**
Ready For Use!
Now you’re ready to use your DIY woven coasters!
If you are new to weaving or simply want to try it out without buying a loom, then this is the perfect project to get you started. I hope you give these woven coasters a try.
Happy weaving 🙂