How to Weave Without a Real Loom

Perhaps you have seen some beautiful woven scarf, shawl, or coaster, and wished you knew how to weave. However, you may have been unable or unwilling to purchase a fancy, expensive wooden loom, afraid that the loom would end up at the back of your closet. Did you know that you don’t really need a real loom, or specialized tools, to weave? You can create simple woven projects using supplies that are readily available at home. This tutorial will teach you how to weave a simple, stylish coaster to protect your table from liquid damage. The best part? All that you need is cardboard from a cereal box, some yarn, and scissors!

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

1. Thin cardboard (Cereal boxes work well)
2. Sharp scissors
3. Yarn of choice (I recommend variegated yarn to create a pattern without changing yarn)

Step 2: Create a “Loom”

First, cut a rectangle of cardboard from your cereal box. It must be several inches larger than the project you plan to weave.
Next, cut small slits on two opposite sides of the cardboard. Place them about 1/2 inch apart, and make sure that you have the same number of slits on each side. I cut 8 slits on each side to create a small coaster. If you plan on weaving a larger coaster, I recommend adding more slits.

Step 3: Create the Warp

The warp on a loom is the threads that are held in place to be woven around.

Place the end of the yarn in the bottom left slit.

Pull the long end up and into the top left slit. Bring it behind the loom, and pull it from behind through the second slit on top.

Bring the yarn down into the second slit on the bottom. Wrap it around the back, and into the third slit. Repeat until every slit has yarn.

Turn the loom around carefully. Tape down the loose ends.

Step 4: Start Weaving

Cut a length of yarn a yard or so long.
Tape the end behind the loom.

Pull the long end of yarn underneath the first string. The yarn should go over the second, under the third, and so on. Repeat the over-under pattern until you reach the end of the row.

Look at the last warp thread that you woven through. If you went under, pull the string back over in the opposite direction. If you went over, go back under the yarn. Keep weaving over and under, and going back and forth.

Step 5: Finishing the Weave

When you are happy with the length of your weave, carefully pull it off of the loom. Cut open each loop. Tie the end of one warp string to the end of the next. Tie the other loose ends in with the warp strings. Repeat until there are no more loose ends.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Coaster!

Your coaster is now complete! Make as many as you want, and create a set. These coasters would make a very nice gift.

“Ooh, soft!! The guinea pig approves!”

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    4 Discussions


    3 months ago

    I used to do this, but I folded the cardboard in half so you can make a mini purse!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 months ago

    I have tried things like that before, mini purses are fun! However, this tutorial was attempting to teach the very basics of weaving, so I didn’t want to make the project much larger or more complex.

    23mkrobertsPenolopy Bulnick

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you! I’m not a very experienced weaver; this is new for me. I wish that I had a real loom, though.