Make a weaving loom with Cardboard

Tutorial to make a simple handmade CARDBOARD LOOM for Handweaving and start weaving your own fabric

fabric made on a cardboard loom

Learning to weave your own fabric is quite an appealing pastime – even more so because, making your own hand weaving loom (cardboard) to start hand weaving fabric is ever so simple and easy.

If you do this right, you can make small towels, scarves, mug rugs, table mats with the fabric you made yourself.

Option 1. Assemble a kit

If you have a weaving kit (which you can buy from shops) you do not need to read this post. You get the kit as small wooden blocks which you piece together and then start weaving. 

Pieces to assemble the cardboard loom for handweaving fabric
fabric weaving done on the Cardboard loom for handweaving fabric

If you can multitask, you can even watch a movie and do this and before long you have made your own fabric. Yes, I finished this while watching a movie. But you need to look at  where your needle is going every once in a while. Not recommended the first time you are doing it.

Making your own cardboard weaving loom is as easy as assembling this kit.

How to make cardboard loom at home

What do you need to make the cardboard loom?

You must have a piece of cardboard which measures a little more than what you want the fabric size to be all around.

For the warp thread (the initial binding thread you use vertically) you can choose a thinner thread than the one used horizontally (weft thread).  You can use mercerized cotton thread or thin packaging string or knitting yarn for this.

For weaving of weft thread you can use knitting yarn, yarn made from old t shirts, thin cords you have.

You can also use chopticks, scale or icecream sticks or a pencil to hold up the thread when weaving. You also need a thick needle or bodkin to weave.

Steps to make the loom -cardboard

Cardboard for the loom for handweaving fabric
Gridlines on the cardboard for the weaving loom

Cut grooves along these marks – they need not be deeper than 1/2 inch.

Snips made on the cardboard loom

Pass the base thread (warp thread) through these grooves as in the picture below.

The yarn stretched on the carboard loom from one end to the other through the slits

Turn the thread to the seond cut through the next groove in the manner shown in the picture below.

The yarn passed from one groove to the other on the cardboard

Continue in this manner; it will look like this, whenyou have finished the work.

The yarn passed through all the grooves on the cardboard loom

Cut out some 40 inches or longer piece of your weft thread and pass it through a needle or bodkin. Tie a knot or two at the eye of the needle. This is your weaving tool.

Scale used to seperate odd threads and bring them up

Use a scale or dowel or stick to separate odd warp threads from even warp threads – this will prepare an opening through which you can pass your weft thread. This is optional. You can simply go through the threads counting as you go.

Thread your weft thread through this opening, till you reach the other end.

Pass the needle with yarn through the pushed up yarn on the cardboard loom

Then turn to the other end . Now you may want to again separate the opposite set of threads in the warp (now, get the even thread up) to create a second opening for your needle and weft thread.

AT the end of a row Repeat the weaving to the other side

Bring the weft thread neatly and tightly up against the first row of weft thread. Continue in this manner repeating the step one and then step two, till you have completed the thread in your needle.

When you have finished the first thread you need to start a new thread on your needle – You can choose to end the thread either at the middle or the sides –  make a small knot with the new thread, use it on the needle and start weaving again. You can cut out the tails and the knot will not be so visible.

Weaving yarn on a cardboard loom with a bodkin

As you finish you can prop up the yarns with a pencil.

loom crdboard use pencil to propr yarn

Other weaving methods : You can choose to make different patterns by following different ways of weaving.  Instead of one thread do the over 2, under 2 weaving. 

When you have finished the weaving you can cut off the base thread along the top edge and bottom edge and then tie the tails with a separate yarn or to each other.

The end yarn segments are tied to gether to prevent unravelling

Cut off or leave the fringes as they are.

handwoven fabric made on a cardboard loom

When you have had some practice you can even design with your own patterns and your own motifs.

To make a placemat you can make a frame of about 10-14 inches wide and 18 to 20 inches length.

For a table runner you will need to make the frame about 12 to 15 inches in width and 38 to 40 inches in length.

Related post : 50+ Fabric manipulation and other techniques for making fabric with texture.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Make a weaving loom with Cardboard”

  1. Thanks for this crafty idea. I think kids would love it, as well as adults. AND – what a great way to use up old scraps and use cardboard (that is free) !!!
    How do you keep the weave from being smaller in the middle than it is on the ends, as it is in the photo of the woven green and white example?

    • Hi Barbara
      Yes, that is a problem which automatically happens as you weave but it resolves itself when you cut the cloth out of the loom. You can adjust the woven thread and make it straight

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