Instructions & easy steps for a weaving loom

Updated November 21, 2016

Weaving looms come in all sizes, from floor looms that can fill a large room to lap-sized looms that weave simple children's potholders. You don't have to invest a lot of time or money into making your own woven creations -- you can build a simple weaving loom with scrap materials and follow basic instructions to weave in a few hours. You don't need any woodworking experience or weaving experience to make your own weavings.

Gather scrap lumber pieces from around your home or your local lumber yard or hardware store. The width and length of your woven pieces will be determined by the width and length of your lumber, so you need either one large piece or four smaller ones you can attach together.

Build the base of your loom. If you use one large piece of wood, you are already finished with this step; just remember that whatever you weave will be slightly smaller than the dimensions of the wood. If you purchased four pieces, continue with the next step.

Nail the four pieces of wood together into a rectangular frame shape. Position the two shorter pieces on the top and bottom and the two longer pieces on the sides, lining them up so that the shorter pieces are on top of the side pieces. The four planks should overlap at the corners; hammer two to four nails into each corner to secure them together.

Measure along the top of the loom and make a mark with a pencil every 1/2 inch from the left side to the right. Repeat this with the bottom piece, making sure that the marks line up on the top and bottom as closely as possible.

Hammer a nail into each pencil mark on the top and bottom of the loom. Leave the nail head sticking out of the boards by at least 1/2 inch. These nails will anchor your woven pieces.

Start in the top-left corner of the loom; tie a long piece of yarn in a knot around the nail there. Leave a tail of approximately 4 inches of yarn. This is the beginning of your warp, which is the set of vertical threads going through your weaving.

Bring the long end of the yarn down to the bottom-left nail; wrap it around this nail clockwise, then bring the yarn back up to the second nail in from the left on the top. Wrap this nail counterclockwise. Continue wrapping the warp thread around each subsequent nail, working from left to right and alternating top to bottom. When you reach the last nail, tie another knot to secure the warp thread.

Bring out a new piece of yarn to use as your weft -- this is the fibre that goes horizontally across your weaving. Leave a 4-inch tail in the weft yarn and begin weaving it across your warp threads, approximately 3 inches down from the nails at the top of the loom. Pass the yarn length over the first warp thread and under the second; continue to alternate over/under across the loom from left to right.

When you get to the right side of the warp thread, pass the yarn around the warp thread and come back in the opposite direction. If you ended going under the right-side warp, bring the yarn up and over that thread and then go under the next one in to the left, alternating over/under on your way back across. If you ended going over, go over the top and back under the right warp and go over the second one in. On your second row, you should weave opposite the first one; in other words, if you went over a warp thread on row one you go under it for row two.

Continue to weave over/under in rows, moving back and forth across the loom, until you have run out of space at the bottom. Tie a knot in the weft thread to attach it to a warp thread, then carefully cut the warp threads at the nail in pairs, tying them together in knots to secure them as you go. Remove the weaving from the loom and admire your handiwork.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrap lumber
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Yarn
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