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).
pieces of cardboard
a cutting tool
a marking tool
strong, thin cotton thread (warp)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 5: Hot glue the pieces together in a stacked position.
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.
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.
Step 9: Continue to move the yarn into the first .5 inch cut at the bottom of the 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.
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.
Your new loom is ready to use and you can start weaving.
Here are some images of the project I completed on this loom:
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.