How to Make & Use a Mini Hand Loom


Weaving involves the interlacing of two materials, such as cloth or grass, to form a structure. It is unclear what the origins of weaving are, as there is evidence of weaving from as far back as we have evidence of civilization. A frame loom, or hand loom, is a portable tool for weaving and was historically built from four sticks joined at right angles.

Things You'll Need

  • Old miniature picture frame
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Small finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Yarn needle
  • Yarn

Make the Loom

  • Remove glass from an old wooden, square or rectangular picture frame.

  • You will be using finishing nails around the edges of your loom to secure the textile. Use a ruler and pencil on the flat, back side of the frame, to mark out where your nails should go so that they are spaced in groups of three, with a slightly wider space after each group of three, across the length of each side of the loom.

  • Hammer finishing nails spaced in groups of three on the marks you have made. Hammer the nails in about 1/8 inch, enough to ensure the nails don't come out on their own. It will be easier for you to work with the loom if the nails are all the same height. How many you use will depend on the size of the picture frame you have selected, however 12 nails across each side will provide a nice square weave.

How to Use Your Hand Loom

  • You can hold your hand loom in your hand, place on your lap or set on a table.

  • Hook your yarn in the middle over the first two nails on the top, left corner of the loom. The yarn on the left side of the nails should be sufficiently long that it extends an inch or two below the bottom of the loom.

  • Turn your loom so that the right side is now the top and repeat the process from step three, creating a grid with which to weave. Once you reach the right side of the loom again, turn the loom again and repeat this process one final time.

  • Bring the yarn down around the bottom two nails that are directly opposite of the top two you have already looped. Cross the right strand over the left and pin the right strand down with your left thumb.

  • Bring the loose strand up with your right hand, skipping one nail and looping the yarn over the fourth and fifth nails. Bring down to the bottom nails, skipping one nail again on the bottom, hooking the yarn on the next two bottom nails. Bring the yarn up to the top of the loom again and repeat this until you have reached the end of the series of nails on the right hand side.

  • Wrap your yarn around the perimeter of the loom four times in order to measure sufficient yarn. Cut with scissors leaving a 2-inch tail.

  • Unwrap the yarn that you just wrapped around the perimeter of the loom. Thread the loose end of the yarn through a yarn needle. You will now use this yarn to begin to weave.

  • Take your needle and weave your thread through the yarn along the outside, left edge of the loom then rotate the loom one turn to the right.

  • Begin on the right hand side, after the second nail from the top. Weave your needle over and under the grid threads until you reach the end.

  • Rotate the loom until the needle and thread are again on your right side. Begin weaving across the loom again. Which nail you choose to weave after depends on how tight a weave you wish to create. Continue in this fashion until you reach the end of the loom.

  • Remove from the loom by lifting the woven square up off of the nails. Grasp the square on both sides, using both hands. Holding the square firmly, move each hand up and down opposite of one another to settle the weave.

  • Trim the tails with your scissors.

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