Introduction: Make Your Own Tablet Weaving Cards

Make your own tablet weaving cards out of regular playing cards!

Tablet weaving (sometimes called card weaving) is an ancient type of weaving that uses tablets to create long narrow strips of fabric that are very strong.  Supposedly plastic tablets can be purchased...but I have no idea from where.  The original tablets were usually made of bone, horn, or leather, but one book I read mentioned more modern ones made of playing cards.  Not only are playing cards cheap and easy to find, they are both stiff and thin, making them ideal for tablet weaving.

Step 1: Materials

Playing cards - new or used (must be in good condition if used)
Single hole punch - one that makes nice, smooth holes
Corner trimmer - found in the scrapbooking supplies
Craft knife
Metal ruler or straight edge
Cutting surface - cutting mat or cardboard

Optional: permanent marker

Step 2: Make a Square

First, lay one card horizontally across the top of a second vertical card.  If the edges are lined up correctly, you will have a nice guideline for a square.  Mark this line and cut the card.

Step 3: Trim Corners

Using the corner trimmer, round all but one of the corners of the card.  Leave the last edge in it's original shape to mark "corner A".  This corner can also be marked with a permanent marker.  (This makes it easier to tell where the starting point is while weaving.)  Let the marker dry for a moment before continuing - even permanent ink doesn't stick as well on the shiny surface of the card.

Step 4: Punch Holes

Punch a hole in each of the four corners, at least 1/8 inch from the sides.  Make sure the insides of the holes are smooth so the threads won't catch during weaving.

Step 5: Center Hole

Cut a square hole in the center of the tablet using a craft knife.  This allows you to tie the cards together when not weaving, or to run an extra cord through the middle for extra strength.

Step 6: Repeat

Repeat steps 2-5 with the rest of the deck.  The first tablet can be used as a template so all the cards match.  Matching tablets are not necessary, but they are much easier to use.

Step 7: Weave!

String up your new tablets and weave!

Other ideas: punch an extra hole in two of the sides for a tablet usable for 4-hole and 2-hole weaving, or use the discarded scraps of card to make tiny 2-hole tablets.  Or cut the cards in a triangle for 3-hole tablets, a hexagon for 6-hole tablets, etc.

Note: if a card tears or is cut unevenly, toss it in the recycle bin.  Don't bother trying to tape it together.  The tape will curl and catch on your threads while weaving, and it's incredibly annoying.  Enjoy!