How to Use a Butterfly Loom

Written by brandy burgess
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How to Use a Butterfly Loom
Experiment with different colours of yarn to create elaborate patterns. (ULTRA F/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Butterfly looms are handheld tools used to create designs for textiles or clothing. The looms are generally made of a lightweight wood and come in five sizes: baby, small, medium, large and rectangle. Weave yarn back and forth across the tool to create items similar to those made by crocheting or knitting. Once you have created your design on the loom, you can easily release the piece from the tool without affecting the structure of the pattern. Butterfly looms are great for beginners who have no previous knitting experience.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Butterfly loom
  • Yarn
  • Pattern
  • Large crafting needle
  • Adhesive tape

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    Loom Preparation

  1. 1

    Turn the butterfly loom over so that the back is facing you. Secure one end of your yarn to a corner of the loom with a piece of adhesive tape. Turn the loom back over so that the front is facing up.

  2. 2

    Bring the yarn from the back of the loom to the front. Begin at the top left corner of the loom and bring the yarn down to the bottom left corner.

  3. 3

    Bring the yarn around the bottom left tooth before wrapping it back to the front. Pull the yarn up to the top of the loom and wrap it around the second tooth from the right.

  4. 4

    Continue wrapping the yarn around the teeth of the loom, rotating the butterfly loom 1/4 turn counterclockwise as you wrap the yarn. Stop when you have reached the same corner in which you started. Repeat the process in the same fashion until you have wrapped the yarn around the loom to your desired thickness.

  5. 5

    Bring the loose end of the yarn to the back and turn the loom over so that you are facing the back. Leave approximately 5 inches of excess yarn and cut the yarn. Remove the tape from the other end of the yarn. Tie the two ends together and cut off the excess yarn.

    Loom Design

  1. 1

    Thread the large crafting needle with an 18-inch piece of yarn. Tie the other end of the yarn to the woven yarn at the top left corner of the butterfly loom that you wrapped during preparation. Fasten it securely.

  2. 2

    Bring the needle through the intersection of yarn to the back of the loom. Slip the needle back up through the intersection, and pull the yarn until you are left with a small loop. Thread the needle through the loop and firmly pull the yarn to make a knot.

  3. 3

    Bring the needle through the same intersection again, but in an opposite diagonal to the first stitch. Create a second loop, insert the needle through the loop and pull the yarn tight. This should create an "X."

  4. 4

    Repeat this process until you have created an "X" in every intersection of the loom. Move down one row, and then move up the next row. Continue until you have reached the bottom right corner of the butterfly loom. Secure the yarn with a knot and cut off the excess yarn.

  5. 5

    Release the catch located on the back of the loom. Fold the loom in half and carefully remove the completed square from the loom tool by pulling it forward off the teeth.

Tips and warnings

  • Make several butterfly loom squares and sew or crochet them together to create clothing or garments.
  • The more times you wrap the yarn during preparation, the thicker the squares will be. Less yarn means that the squares will be more open and flexible.

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