Today I’m sharing a project with you that seems complicated, but a 10 year old can do it. No really, I did it with 10 year olds. Let’s weave some coasters!
Step 1: Make your loom
Cut your cardboard into a square, 5.5×5.5 inches. Use your exacto knife to cut 10 slits, 1cm deep spaced 1cm apart.
Step 2: Cut and wrap your warp
I chose white yarn for the warp. When it’s finished, the only part of this yarn that will show are the tassels. Cut a piece of yarn 110 inches long. Fit the yarn in the first slit of your loom, leaving about 3 inches extra which you can tape to the back. From the top slit, pull the yarn through the first bottom slit, then wrap around the back. Pull the yarn through the top second slit, down through to the bottom second slit, and continue to wrap it around, snuggly fitting it through each slit, until you reach the end. Tape the excess yarn on the back of the board (doesn’t matter where).
Step 3: Weave your weft
Your next piece of yarn will be the weft, the coaster, the main piece. Cut a piece 310 inches long, or leave it on the yarn ball but give yourself that much length. Thread your large needle, then pull the thread through under-over-under-over until you reach the end of the row. When you’ve weaved it all the way through pull the yarn until you have about 3 inches left. Tape this to the back of the loom with the other taped ends. Push the yarn down the loom, making sure it’s even across the bottom.
Step 4: Continue Weaving
When weaving you’ll be constantly zig-zagging back and forth on the warp. Remember, when starting a new line, you must do the opposite of the last step. If you went under the last line of the warp, you must go over it when zig zagging back. Always maintain the under-over-under-over. After each line, push your yarn down.
Remember: It’s really easy to pull tightly at the end of the line. Don’t or your warp will, well, warp. Being pulled in from the sides you’ll end up with wide ends and a skinny center. After each line, tug the yarn away from the warp a little to retain a straight line on your sides.
Step 5: Tie it off
Once you’ve woven to the top of your loom you’re ready to tie off. Remove the tape on the back of the loom. Cut the first two pieces of yarn in the centre. Tie the piece you just finished weaving with the first piece of yarn you just cut, then take all three and loop knot them together, securing the knot close to your coaster. Do the same knot with the bottom two strands. Continue to cut the warp in the back two pieces at a time and knotting them together. When you reach the end you should have three pieces of yarn again on one side. Do the same action of tying the first two together, then knotting the three.
Step 6: Trim
Trim the edges to the length you’d like. If you want to keep all your tassels white you’ll have to cut the two black strands from the weft short.
Voila! You have your first woven coaster! Aren’t they fun? Once you get the hang of it one of these take about 20 minutes. You can have a set of 4 made while watching an episode or two of your favourite show. You can even include different colours of yarn to have stripes. You’ll just have to tie the ends together then trim then when you finish one colour and start another. And just in case you feel like you want a little more of a visual, here’s a little video I shot with my husband Sunday morning. I hope it inspires you to start weaving!
DIY Woven Coasters from Tan Rutley on Vimeo.
If you’re really ambitious, you can take this kind of weaving to the next level. Change the size of your loom to weave a scarf, of even a blanket! Or maybe a baby blanket for Gemma…that’s a much more manageable size 😉
If any of you start weaving I’d love to see your projects so be sure to let me know!