My lovely bunch of crafters from After School Club were back after the Christmas break today and it was great to see them all again. We have a brilliant group and everyone gets on so well and helps each other, plus today we had a few new faces so it was great to welcome them to our gang. Today we started making a little woven wall hanging. I was a bit worried that weaving with kids might be a bit tricky but this little loom is perfect to get them started.
We made our own looms out of cardboard and then set to with the weaving. It was quite challenging at first but everyone soon got the hang of the under and over idea and the weaving is coming along brilliantly. This is a great one to do with the kids as they can really let their creativity flow with their choice of colours (rainbow in most cases, obvs), and the satisfaction of seeing the weaving grow as they work is brilliant.
So, here’s how you can do it at home to get weaving with kids.
First you need to make your loom. You do this by cutting a piece of cardboard into a rectangle. As my craft clubbers spotted, mine was from an Amazon delivery box. Then cut two strip of cardboard and glue them onto the main piece leaving a gap at the top and bottom. This just lifts the wool away from the backing cardboard and makes it easier to weave your wool.
Now cut little snips along the top and bottom of the cardboard from the edge of the rectangle to the edge of the cardboard strip. I did 12 snips on each side but it is really up to you and how big your cardboard rectangle is. Just make sure they are pretty much in line with each other at the top and bottom and fairly evenly spaced. Don’t worry too much though – it all adds to the rustic charm!
Time to wrap the wool around the loom to create the warp (check out the technical terms!) Leave a tail of wool and then start wrapping the wool from the top snip to the bottom snip and keep going until all the snips are filled and you have lines of wool across your cardboard.
Start weaving by choosing your first colour wool and cutting a piece about the length of your arm. Thread your needle (we use brilliant plastic needles at craft club and they are fab) and then you can start weaving. Make sure you leave a tail of wool at the end. There is no need to tie a knot as we will sort all of this at the end. This is the biggest learning curve when weaving with kids. The children took a while to get the hang of going under and then over the warp threads and the main thing to remember was that when you turn back to do another row you need to reverse what you do (over and then under) otherwise you undo the row you have just done. A tough lesson when you see your work unravel but they soon mastered it.
Keep going until you have enough rows of that colour and then switch to a different colour. Each time just remember to leave a tail of wool at the beginning and end.
When the whole loom is filled between the two strips of cardboard it is time to take your weaving off the loom. Turn it over and cut through the back of the warp wool in the middle and then careful take these lengths of wool out of the snips in the cardboard loom. Next, tie these lengths together in sets of two – so the two lengths of wool next to each other get tied together in a double knot.
Do the same along the edges by tying your loose tails of wool in double knots with the tail next to it. Give these a trim and then just secure round the back of your weaving with some masking tape.
At the bottom add beads or other decorations to the hanging warp wool tails. At the top tie the tails together again in twos to make a small loop on each one. If like me you started with 12 warp threads you should now have 3 (see the picture and this will make sense – honest!) I then tied this to a little twig to add to the rustic look and added a wool hook to finish it all off.
I think it is really cute and I very proud to add weaving with kids to our repertoire. The kids did so well mastering this new skill. I hope once they finish next week they display their weaving in their bedrooms with pride.
Want to join us at the next Paper Town workshop, visit our events page.