Overview

Make your own cardboard loom- Here is how!

Breaking out of a creative block is not always easy. At some point, we all struggle with developing new ideas and creating something worth working on and finishing. For a while now, I have wanted to return to my interests in textiles design. But before committing and purchasing lots of supplies, I decided to return to the basics and build my own loom with cardboard.

Why build your own loom with cardboard?

Cardboard is plentiful and sturdy – so, its great as a weaving base. I have used cardboard in other projects, and just love its texture and versatility.

When I first learned how to weave, I had to build my own frame loom out of wood. This grew my understanding of the basic functions of a loom and weaving techniques. The same can be done with cardboard. If this is your first time weaving or if you are experienced, this is a resourceful way to weave.

If you are new to weaving and would like more learn more basics, be sure to check out more video tutorials on Fiber and Design’s Youtube channel, FIbers and Design ( here is the link to the channel). 

Materials needed

pieces of cardboard

a cutting tool

ruler

a marking tool

hot glue

strong, thin cotton thread (warp)

Video Guide

Here is a video tutorial on this cardboard loom. You can find more tutorials in the blog section of this site and on my Youtube Channel- here is the link.

Instructions

The video tutorial for building a cardboard loom can be found above and the written version can be found below. In the video you can also find other tips for this project.

There are two main parts- building the frame of the cardboard loom and “dressing the loom”, which is wrapping the loom with yarn (the warp). 

Part 1: Building the frame of the cardboard loom

Step 1: Decide on the desirable size of the loom and cut the cardboard (used in this project : 2 pieces 15 in x 13 in). Try using the large parts of the board, and avoid using parts with folds. Luckily, I found a large piece of cardboard that had a fold in just the right place. So, it made it easier to attach the two panels together.

Tip: I chose to double the cardboard sheets. This makes the loom sturdier. You can achieve this by hot gluing the two sheets together.

make cardboard loom

make cardboard loom

make cardboard loom

Tip: Remember that you will be weaving in a vertical orientation. The wider the base of your loom is, the wider the woven piece will be.

Step 2: Along the top and bottom sides of the cardboard, mark every .25 inch. Be sure that the top and bottom markings match up.

Tip: Make the first cut .5 inch from the edge of the board. Then, cut every .25 inch.

make cardboard loom

Step 3: Along the 2 parallel ends of the cardboard sheet, cut each of the 0.25 inch markings. Each cut should be .5 inches long.

Step 4: Take 4 strips of cardboard that are of the same diameter of the loom. Cut the width of each strip to 1 inch. ( I will refer to this as the “spacer”.)

Tip: Adjust the height of this spacer to your satisfaction. If you will be working on a tapestry piece (to create an image or change colors) or need more space to get behind the piece, you might want to keep the height. If not, then you could just use one or two spacers.

make cardboard loom

Step 5: Hot glue the pieces together in a stacked position.

make cardboard loom

Step 6: Place a stack a half inch way from the cut edges. Place one stack on one end and another stack on the parallel side. The stacks should not over lap the .5 inch cuts.

make cardboard loom

Part 2: “Dressing the loom”: Warp cardboard loom

The base of the loom is ready. Now it is time to wrap the loom (“dressing the loom”) with the strong, thin yarn. This vertically placed yarn is called the warp.

Step 7 : Knot the end of the strong, thin yarn. Be sure it is secure.

Step 8: At the top of the loom, slip the knotted end of the yarn into the first .5 inch cut. The knot should be secured on the underside of the loom.

make cardboard loom

make cardboard loom

Step 9: Continue to move the yarn into the first .5 inch cut at the bottom of the loom.

make cardboard loom

Step 10: As you continue to wrap yarn from the top and bottom of the loom, loop the yarn through the cardboard sections. The yarn should always loop around the next cardboard section ( the next .25 inch cut) in order to secure the yarn.

make cardboard loom

Tip: Check the tension continuously. The yarn should remain taut as you wrap the yarns. Use your thumb to maintain the tension.

At the last section, secure the tension by creating a knot.

cardboard loom tutorial dressing the loom warping loom

cardboard loom tutorial dressing the loom warping loom

Your new loom is ready to use and you can start weaving.

Here are some images of the project I completed on this loom:

cardboard loom weaving

cardboard loom weaving

Conclusion

I really enjoyed building this loom. Soon after, I starting weaving a small piece. I couldn’t believe how fast I got back into a creative flow. Hopefully it sticks around.

I hope that these instructions have helped you create your own loom and if you have made any modifications, I would love to see what you came up with.

Thank you for visiting my site and stay tuned for more tutorials and projects.