The Loom Journal

Lately I've shared about how much I love woven wall hangings. I've played around with macrame, and I'm still very interested in learning more about that, but I've gotten a serious urge to explore weaving. I follow MaryAnne Moodie and Brook and Lyn on Instagram, and that daily dose of the beautiful things they're creating has made me want to try it out.

As with most new adventures, I was hesitant to spend much money until I had a good idea of what I'm in for. It turns out that looms can get pretty pricy, so I started exploring ideas for how to make one myself. At first I had this plan to build something out of wood, but then I realized that I already own something that might work.

This frame was $3 or $4 at a garage sale one summer, but I accidentally broke the glass before I could put anything in it. I liquid leafed it and thought about trying the empty frame thing, but I couldn't make it work.

To turn this frame into a loom, I measured and marked every half inch on each short end of the frame. Then I hammered in these small nails that I found in my basement.

I saw the nails placed in two staggered rows on some looms like this, so that's how I placed mine. I'm still not honestly sure what options that will give me, but I went ahead and did it.

Next, I wound some thick jute around the nails, zig-zagging back and forth between sides. I used all the nails, although now I think that would make it hard to place the finished product on a dowel rod (like I said, I'm still not sold on the alternating rows of nails).

This first piece has just served as a practice piece so I can practice the techniques I've learned watching YouTube videos. I just grabbed the yarn I had stored in my classroom to practice with, but it wasn't long before I realized that cheap acrylic yarn isn't very pretty on something like this. For my second piece, I picked up some prettier cotton and wool yarn (more on that later). I wrapped the yarn around the first thing I saw-a crochet hook-to create a shuttle to pull back and forth.

So that's how I built my first loom. Since then, I've gone through two test pieces and finished my first complete wall hanging. I'm currently working on my second piece, so I'll be back soon to share what I've learned and what I've made.


  1. I am just starting out and love your idea of using a picture frame to make a loom. Did you ever discover the purpose of a double row of nails?

    1. Offsetting the nails in two rows makes it easier to warp. You can have the nails closer together without them crowding. When nailing, for example, every quarter inch you would do one the front row every half inch and the back row every half inch offset so you have a nail every quarter inch.

  2. I have built my own loom before and the second row of nails was used only when a warp broke and needed to be stretched to be tight again, or to help identify every other row, also if you only use one set - like the closer set, you have 1/2 as many warps and so the weaving itself would be overall different.


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