How to construct a rag rug loom

Written by margaret mills
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How to construct a rag rug loom
Create handwoven rag rugs on a simple loom. (braided rags image by Al Mueller from

While many rag rug artists use heavy floor looms for their work, especially those who create custom rugs as a business, it is possible to make a workable loom from inexpensive materials. A few basic tools and beginner's skill in woodworking would be enough to make a loom that will enable you to create attractive and functional rag rugs for your own home use, or for sale at craft fairs. One advantage of a small handmade loom is the ease of storage. Sizes are optional. Create a small beginner's loom, then build a size that suits your needs when you become more experienced.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 12 feet of 1-by-2-inch board
  • Measuring tape
  • Hand saw or electric skill saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Hand or electric drill
  • Wooden dowels or nails
  • Carpenter's glue (optional)
  • 4 bolts, 3 inches long, with matching wing-nuts and washers

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  1. 1

    Measure and cut the 1-by-2-inch board into two 48-inch lengths and two 24-inch lengths. Sand any rough edges.

    How to construct a rag rug loom
    Cut your boards with a saw. (woman and saw image by Elena Vdovina from
  2. 2

    Drill 1/4-inch holes through the ends of all four pieces, about 2 inches from the end of each board. Marking off 1-inch segments across the short pieces of board, drill holes evenly all the way across. Both short boards should match.

    How to construct a rag rug loom
    Drill holes in the boards. (electric drill image by terex from
  3. 3

    Cut the dowels into 4-inch lengths. Insert each dowel into the holes on the two boards, except for the final holes. Add a drop of carpenter's glue to the end of each dowel for greater security. You should have a total of 38 dowels.

    How to construct a rag rug loom
    A few drops of glue for security. (bottle of glue on black marble image by phizics from
  4. 4

    Place the four pieces of board in a rectangle, aligning the holes in the ends, shorter boards on top of the longer pieces. There should be a bit over overlap with the end of the boards sticking out beyond the intersection. Place the bolts through the aligned holes and fasten on the washers and nuts.

    How to construct a rag rug loom
    Connect with nuts and bolts. (nuts and bolts image by Edsweb from
  5. 5

    Wait for the glue to dry, check the tightness of the bolts in the corners, and you are ready to warp your loom.

Tips and warnings

  • Drill the long boards and insert dowels along the sides, for greater versatility in your loom.
  • Use 4-inch nails instead of dowels.

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