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How to Weave Without Special Equipment

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18 Comments

You can create woven pieces without purchasing a loom or other special equipment. Use this tutorial to weave with an old wood picture frame and nails.

This tutorial comes to us from Jenya of MyEvaForeva, who had no special knowledge of weaving before trying this out! 
 

Weaving 1

Materials:

  • An old wood picture frame
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Strong thread
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
     

Instructions:

Weaving 2

Hammer nails through the top and bottom of the frame about leaving about ¼ to ½ inch spaces between them. Please don’t judge my sewing by my nail hammering!

Weaving 3

Using any type of strong thread or yarn secure one end over the first nail. Then just weave through each one making a zig-zag like in the photo. Secure the end over the last nail.

Weave 4

Pick a yarn (or whatever you’d like to use) and …start weaving. I just used my fingers to weave (guide) my yarn though the threads but it would be SO much easier if I’d have a special tool for that but for the purpose of this tutorial for a first time weaving experiment just put your fingers to work.

Weave 5

When I ran out of yarn I made knots so it doesn’t unweave.

Weave 6

This is your finished product. Pretty!

Weave 7

I carefully took two loops of the nails at a time and made knots so they would hold. Now it's up to you what to do with this. You can make a pillow or a scarf. 

Weave 8

Weave 9

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Reviews

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Excellent photos with the step by steps!

I have made this loom and it works great1 However, I used macrame yarn and would like to use that woven side as the front of a bag and material for the back. How do I sew the two sides together? There are a the exposed strings of yarn.

I was wondering how I could weave a belt with the perfect colors, I think this just might work. Thank you for the inspiration. YIsakson

I wasn't sure exactly what it was you were tying off. Were you tying the two loops left to right to each other, or just tying the top and bottom loops into knots? I really want to thank you for your lesson though. It was great! ReasonsTreasures

i love this its great i always wanted to learn how to weave this makes it simple

Jenya - This is very clever, and ingenious. It is something that I think all of us who have wanted to weave but haven't because of the price of looms will want to do. I know I will be trying this soon. gb

To DEE777, When you finish the piece,tie off the warp at the ends with each other and cut off or weave with a needle back into the fabric. Fortunately, you don't have to tie the sides of the weft or woof (your yarn filler). Will that help?I'm used to larger looms that you have to roll the warp on at each end, but I' ve worked on some smaller projects too. A weaver wo a loom

Awesome Tutorial! Thank you soooooo Much!

If you tie knots on one end, what happens to the other end? I'm having a hard time figuring out when you get to the end of a row, do you go back under the string? There for only one side would be knotted. Pleae enlighten me.

Reminds me of the cardboarde loom we used in girl scouts when i was in junior high... nice memory

I love it! And by using an old picture frame as the frame for the loom, you are helping to keep it Green!

To weave the yarn more easily, any large needle with an large enough to fit the yarn through will work. Or you can make a small shuttle from two pieces of heavy cardboard glued together then cut with a utility knife to shape. An elongated oval with notches cut in the ends works well. Wrap your yarn around the shuttle lengthwise using the notches to hold it in place. Don't put too much yarn on it at a time or it will be too thick to pass between the warp threads (the zig-zagged thread on the nails). Before you use that old frame, make sure it is 'squared up' the corners are tight. If it's crooked you'll have a crooked piece of hand woven fabric -very disappointing after the effort you've put into your beautiful craft . If the frame is wiggly loose at the corners, you'll be fighting with it the whole time and your weave may come out uneven. Use wood glue (generous amout immediately wipe off excess that squeezes out). Small nails help to tighten it up, too. Let dry at least 6 hours. This extra step will save you much time trouble.

to weave do you go in and out of the string with your yarn and what do you do with the string when you are done?

Did she sew the woven piece to a premade coin purse? I hate to put in zippers, and there are loads of cheap coin purses out there. Very cool project for all ages!

Try small DOUBLE headed nails, with the warp placed between the heads. This would hold the warp above the frame. It should be easier to pass the weft yarn back and forth. Double headed nails have two heads about a quarter of an inch apart. They are designed to be driven in fully, and be pulled out later using the top head. The smallest size (6d?) may be usable on a frame if small holes are pre-drilled so the nail doesn't cause the frame to split. OR, you could drive larger ones into any piece of wood, or 34" plywood. This would allow you to make ANY size shape perimeter. If your local hardware store doesn't have these nails, try a lumber yard or a home improvement center... Weave away!

www.woolery.com is a site you might check. I believe the item you're referring to is a weaving needle or weaving sword.

Thanks, Jenya. To all you child-educators, this can be a great project to get children interested in weaving. I have also seen looms made from a thick piece of cardboard. They cut slits along the top and bottom of the cardboard piece to hold the warp threads.

Lovely .. and so easy, I remember I learned some way close to this at primary school and I made a few projects.. but now I can't even remember where they've gone... Thanks for the reminding !

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