I know I am not alone when I say that I am loving this growing trend in weaving, especially in home décor. No longer is it relegated to trained fibre artists or that small group of ex-hippies and modern bohemians (you know who you are 😉 ) who prefer the unique and handcrafted over things mass-produced. Weaving, in all its forms, is now becoming increasingly accessible to the rest of us who love to mix one-of-a-kind pieces with our Walmart finds 😉 Part of the reason for this is the growing number of experts (like the incredibly talented Maryanne Moodie) and enthusiasts who are willing to share their passion and their knowledge with others.
As my own love of weaving continues to grow, I am finding myself wanting to amass more supplies and try new techniques. But then there’s that brick wall called a “budget” that is always in my way. Argh. So for today’s tutorial, I thought I’d share a recent budget-friendly DIY project of mine that shows you how to make a basic loom. I made it in order to tackle some new weaving projects that my lap loom was just too small to cover. I wanted it to be large enough – it’s about 2.5 feet by 2.5 feet – to cover a whole variety of small-to-medium weaving projects for the home.
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If you’d like to try your hand at making your own budget-friendly loom, here are the supplies you will need:
Making the Frame
- 4 long pieces of wood (mine were 3/4 inch by 1.5 inch)
- Measuring tape
- A basic drill
- 1 Drill bit (it’s the very long, narrow bit next to the screwdriver above – purchasing a set is often less expensive than buying a single, specialty bit – you can explore these affordable options)
- 1 Countersink bit (the wide bit between the screwdriver and drill pictured above – you can explore these affordable options)
- 4-8 Wood Screws like these ones (1-2 per corner of frame)
- A basic screw driver
- Compound Saw (we own and highly recommend any Craftsman Compound Saw; a far more budget-friendly option would be to use a miter box/saw set: like this one or this one)
Making the Loom
- 1 or 1 & 1/4 inch wire nails (look for these types of nails that have a nail ‘head’ which will prevent your yarn from slipping off your loom)
- Pencil & Eraser
Making the Frame
If you have a handy husband, you may want to enlist his help for this first part, as I did here 🙂
Using a compound saw or simple hand saw, cut each piece of wood to the desired length. (Or simply ask them to cut your pieces to size at the hardware store). Mine were about 2 ½ feet long. Then prepare to attach the corners of each piece. Attach the drill bit to your drill and make one to two holes in one of the corners of your frame. (By pre-drilling these holes, it will make attaching your screws a whole lot easier).
Next, replace the drill bit with the countersink bit and drill an indentation directly over the hole(s) created by your drill bit. The purpose of the countersink is to give the head of your screws space to sit flush against the wood.
Now take your screwdriver and attach your screws.
Repeat for each corner of your frame. Your corners should look something like this.
Making the Loom
Now you’re just a few steps away from taking this basic frame and transforming it into a working loom.
Taking your ruler, find the mid-point of the top of your frame and draw a line across. Do the same for the bottom of the frame. Then begin to mark points along the line where you will be adding your nails.
The space between each point will depend on how fine you expect your weavings to be. For mine, since I wanted the option of creating finer weavings, I marked 1 cm of space between each point. (If I ever want to use thick yarns or create more woven space, I can always use every other nail when creating the warp. There are simply more options for future projects this way. (For more on terms and other weaving basics, see “An Introduction to Weaving”)
Now simply hammer a nail at each point marked out on your frame.
Here’s a view close up. Each nail was hammered into the wood about a quarter of an inch.
And that is all. Really, it’s that easy. Now get ready to weave!
With this basic loom, you can tackle a variety of small and medium-sized weaving projects around the home.
Happy weaving 🙂