Weaving can be a fun and rewarding hobby to pick up. And all you need to get started is a weaving loom and some yarn.
There are many different types of looms you can buy to begin weaving on. But with a little work, you will be able to make a homemade DIY weaving loom for half the cost.
This great for anyone that want to try out an online weaving lesson or two without investing too much money upfront.
In today’s article, we will discuss how to make a simple weaving loom at home so you can save yourself some money when just starting out.
How To Make Your Own Hand Weaving Loom
When just starting out, there are many different looms to choose from. The type of loom you will need depends on the kind of projects you are planning to do and your budget.
Although making a rigid heddle loom or inkle loom is pretty difficult, making a simple frame loom is totally possible if you have some basic woodworking skills and the tools necessary.
Besides being easy to make at home, frame looms are also a good place to start for beginners.
If you are all thumbs, you might want to ask a kind husband, friend or neighbor to help you out.
Although there are a lot of DIY loom ideas out there, we will loom at the wooden frame loom made by Sam Granger.
- Wooden Bars
- Fluted Dowels
- PVA Glue
- Wood Saw
- Tape Measure/Ruler
Step 1 – Preparing And Sawing The Sides
The first thing to decide when building a weaving loom is the size and shape. In the video a rectangular loom that is 450 mm by 350 mm is made.
If you are planning to do only small projects or only very big projects, you can easily change size right now.
So take out your measuring tape and indicate on the wooden bar two long pieces for the side and two smaller pieces for the top and bottom section.
Cut the 4 pieces to size using your wood saw.
Step 2 – Measuring And Drilling Dowel Spaces
To evenly space out dowels along the top and bottom bar, you will need to use a ruler and some precise measuring.
First, find the horizontal and vertical center of both bars and indicate it with thin lines.
From the center outward, you will then measure where the dowels will go by evenly spacing them. About 10 to 12 mm distance between two dowels is a good place to start.
If you are planning to work with very thick yarn, you might want to use slightly bigger increments to make the weaving easier later on.
Although it might be a little tedious precious, working precisely is crucial since you want both top and bottom bar to be identical.
When you are absolutely sure that your measurements are correct, you can use your drill to make the holes the dowels will go into. Make sure you are using a drill bit of the right size for your dowels.
Try to drill only halfway through the wood. You can put some tape on the drill bit that will function as a reference and prevent you from drill too deep.
If the holes are a little messy and rough, you want to clean it up using a scalpel tool or sanding paper.
Step 3 – Hammer In The Dowels
Position one of the dowels above one of the holes you just drilled and use a hammer to firmly put the dowel in place.
You might want to use a wooden hammer to prevent any damage to the dowels.
If you want to make absolutely sure that the dowels are well secured, you can apply some glue to the holes before hammering in the dowels.
Step 4 – Putting Everything Together
To attach the side, bottom and top bars all together you can use glue or screws.
For maximum stability you might as well use both of them!
The screws are probably too short to go all the way through one of the bars so you will have to use either extra-long screws or prepare some pilot holes and counter-sink holes.
Measure on the bars where the pilot holes and countersink holes are going to be, drill the holes and clean them with sandpaper.
Apply some PVA glue where the sides and top or bottom bars are overlapping and drill the screws in. You want to partially drill in all 4 screws first to check if everything fits together without and angle before drilling in the screws completely.
After letting the PVA glue dry overnight you are ready to get started with your new frame loom.
Alternative Ways To Build A Weaving Loom
We understand that not everyone might have the necessary tools, materials or skills ready to make their own DIY loom at home.
There are two quick tricks that you can use to make a loom without most woodworking tools.
- Buy A Canvas Panel: most canvas panels use a wooden frame to stretch the canvas. If you don’t have a wood saw available this can function as an alternative since most panels aren’t very expensive. Simply remove the canvas and you will be left with a nice wooden frame for your loom.
- Use Nails: without a drill it will be difficult to use wooden dowels. Instead, you can simply hammer in a nail instead of a dowel. Hammer in the nail halfway to make it stand firm but with enough sticking out to wrap your yarn around.
If you want to avoid working with wood completely, you might opt to make a loom out of cardboard.
Of course, a cardboard loom isn’t very stable or durable so it’s a very low budget alternative. But it can be a fun project to do together with children.
A Little More Difficult Than Expected?
Even after reading our guide on how to make a weaving loom you might still be a little hesitant to start. Especially if you have no previous experience working with wood or don’t have the tools necessary.
In that case, you can always consider buying a loom for beginners rather than making on yourself. It might be a little more expensive, but at least you will know you have a quality loom and it will save you the hustle.