How to Make Your Own Card Weaving Cards

Written by clare edwards
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How to Make Your Own Card Weaving Cards
You can use discarded playing cards for tablet weaving. (queen on playing cards image by Nikolai Sorokin from

Tablet or card weaving is one of the oldest known ways of weaving textiles. Strictly speaking, it's an off-loom technique, though you can construct a tablet loom to make things easier. When card weaving, you thread the vertical threads (the warp) through holes bored in the corners of square or rectangular tablets, or cards, and twist these cards to change the pattern of the warp threads as you weave. Weaving cards can be made from virtually any stiff, smooth material; the Vikings used horn or bone, but you can use an old deck of playing cards or polished wood.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Deck of playing cards
  • Steel ruler
  • Hobby knife, scalpel or scissors
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch
  • 7/10-inch thick sheet of wood (hardwoods are best)
  • Box cutter
  • Set square
  • Electric drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • Medium sandpaper
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Wood varnish

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  1. 1

    Cut the playing cards so that they are square, using a hobby knife or scalpel and a steel ruler to keep the cut straight. You can use scissors, but a knife will help create a straighter cut and won't bend the edge of the card.

  2. 2

    Round off the cut corners and ensure the cut edges are smooth; rough edges can catch on your yarn.

  3. 3

    Mark the centre of a hole in each corner of the cards. Punch out with a hole punch, making sure they are all even and that the holes in all the cards match up exactly. Your cards are now ready to use.

  1. 1

    Rule a line 2 inches from the edge of a sheet of wood, checking that it is exactly 2 inches from the edge for all of its length. Lay the steel rule precisely against this line. Working slowly and pressing hard, cut along the line with a box cutter, using the steel rule as a guide. If you have to make more than one pass, ensure that each cut is exactly on top of the last. Carefully snap off the 2-inch strip of wood.

  2. 2

    Mark lines 2 inches apart along the wood strip, using the set-square to check that they form squares. Cut each square section off with the box cutter, as before.

  3. 3

    Mark holes at the corner of each tablet. Drill out the holes with a 1/4-inch drill bit. Sand the edges and the holes with medium sandpaper, and then with fine sandpaper. Ensure there are no snags. Give each tablet a thin coat of varnish and allow to dry.

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