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Make your own box loom

making a box loom

Making a box loom was the last Studio Box and usually I wait a few months to put instructions up on the blog, but I thought that making a box loom would be something that lots of people could do - whether they are looking for something simple and creative to do themselves or are entertaining children inside.

1 - What you need

  • Single walled cardboard box - a large shoebox will work as will any of the boxes that my kits and gift sets are in. The card has to be strong enough to take a tensioned warp (the vertical threads) and easy enough to cut slits into.
  • Ruler to measure out the slits
  • Tape to reinforce the slits
  • Strong yarn for the warp
  • Spacer, something to create a space at the bottom of the loom (another piece of card cut slightly wider than your threads works)
  • Materials to weave with - if you don't have yarns, cut up plastic bags work, as does long grass and strips of fabric
  • Large eyed needle - this makes it easier to get the yarn through the loom
  • Fork to squash the weaving down
  • Scissors
  • Stick or pencil to hang the finished weaving.

Make the loom

Use your ruler to mark lines at 0.5 cm spacing right along one edge of your box. Then mark the same spacings on the opposite side of the box.

These need to match each other so make sure you start at the same point on each.

Use scissors to cut 1 cm deep slits as each mark.

Run tape right around the box at the bottom of the slits to reinforce them.


making a box loom

Threading the warp.

Take your warp yarn, secure it in a slit at the bottom of your box, about 3 cm from edge, and then take it up and down the box between the slits so that you have parallel threads, 0.5 cm apart across your box. Stop about 3 cm from the other edge (so you can get your fingers in to weave.

Put your spacer at the bottom of the loom, threading it under and over the warp.

beginning to weave

Begin weaving.

Take some yarn, thread your needle and begin to weave, under and over for the first row, over and under for the second.

Weave 3 rows and then gently squash down to the spacer with your fork.

Weave 10 rows in total.

making tassels

Making tassels.

Cut lengths of yarn 4 times the length of the tassels you want.

The tassels are made sideways round the warp threads and then gently turned vertically - see the photos.

You can make several layers of tassels if you like and can trim them into shapes when you have finished.

If you are using grasses then just omit the tassels.



Thread your needle and begin weaving in the centre of the back (this means that the ends are hidden) - alternate over/under and under/over rows and squash yarns down every few rows.

End each colour by taking the needle to the back and leaving a training end.

You can create shapes by making short rows of colours - when the. weaving is all filled in and you have squashed it down you won't see gaps.

Unless you deliberately want vertical slits make sure that you interlock the weaving at the edges of your colours by making sure that they overlap slightly.

Stop weaving about 7-10 cm from the top, so you can secure the threads.

tying knots

Finishing off - bottom edge

Carefully remove the weaving from the box loom and turn over.

Remove the spacer and knot the pairs of threads together so that the weaving is secure. The tassels will hide these.

stick through top

Finishing off top

Thread stick through the loops at the top and carefully cut each loop and tie it tightly to secure the stick to the top of the weaving. You might want to make the knots at the back of the stick so they are hidden.

When you are confident that the stick is secure trim the ends. You can also trim all the hanging threads at the back of the weaving at this point.

making handle

Making hanger

Create a hanger for your weaving by attaching yarn with slip knots at either end of the stick and then knotting together at the top - make sure the stick is hanging horizontally when you tie the yarn together.

finished weaving

I would love to see how you get on - let me know - Instagram is @snapdragon.life or on the Facebook page.

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I am a bit of a womble.  My Studio is a layering of things that have been found, things that have been saved, things that have been given to me - I like to be surrounded by a bit of history. ⁠⠀
I am known as an avid skip diver so people kindly keep me things.  This weekend I am off to pick up 13 sash windows rescued from a skip.⁠⠀
This is my dye cupboard - the mordants and other powders, the piles of fabrics and yarns, my newly started record book and the glue to paste the swatches in.⁠⠀
It has had a hard life - the back is patched with hinges as plates, there are many, many layers of paint and a door has gone missing along the way.  It is perfect.⁠⠀
Back when I grew flowers commercially the area that is now ‘the orchardy bit’ was rows and rows of spring bulbs.⁠ In the years where the deer didn’t eat the tulips they looked magnificent, stripe upon stripe of pure pigment. ⠀
When I turned my back on growing for money, we simply took out the beds and levelled it, turning it back to grass.⁠⠀
The tulips quickly gave up - never brilliantly perennial here anyway, they took the opportunity to fade out fast.⁠ Well if you don’t want us . . . ⠀
The narcissi loved it though and every year appeared back in their serried rows through the grass. ⁠There was something disturbingly grave like about them.
My planting  ever since has all been an attempt to disguise that - feathering the edges, making little islands, trying to make it all look haphazard.⁠⠀
Gradually it is working - this is the edge of what would have been a bed of Narcissi geranium (best vase life, along with best scent) - now happily interspersed with a pheasants eye and a little lemon coloured one I have lost the name of.
And the hedges beginning to vibrate with that gloriously specific spring green.
This week has been about experimenting.⁠⠀
Experimenting with all the ways to dye with daffodils, experimenting with the new e-course part of my website, experimenting with shooting and editing videos on my phone.⁠⠀
My business hero is @sethgodin and his mantra is 'ship it' - a way of saying that the best way to learn is to make things and get them out in front of people before they are polished and 'perfect'.⁠⠀
So I took his advice and combined all three experiments. Today's newsletters will have links to a free e-course all about dyeing wool with daffodils.⁠⠀
I have been absolutely amazed by the colour you get from faded daffodil flowers (see the second photo). It is a bright, yet somehow soft, golden yellow which is now adding an amazing zing to my pile of plant dyed fabrics.⁠⠀
I am prone to obsessions.  My brain hones in on topics and rabbit holes away, a constant background chatter to my life.⁠⠀
It annoys the people I live with as my world shrinks to one topic. ⠀
My camera roll shows me it is three years ago this week that I returned to natural dyeing with plants, concentrating on using only the plants growing within a couple of miles.⁠⠀
Three years of experimenting with plant after plant, three years of googling and reading obscure articles and piling up samples. ⁠three years of conversation about mordants and modifiers. ⠀
Three years is a short time in such a slow craft. A blink of an eye. ⁠⠀
But already I can see a difference in my skill.⁠⠀
This is a corner of the cupboard where I stash my fabrics and yarns building up enough for a project.  These have all been dyed this year - with barks and cones. ⁠⠀
This week I am dyeing with bright deadheaded daffodils and the golden yellows will join these soft terracottas and pinks while I dream up something to make.
I grow very few white flowers. ⁠⠀
White summer flowers tend to mark in the rain - white roses look like discarded tissues, white dahlias spot brown.  Even cosmos purity - which I do grow - goes droopy and grey in a way that the coloured versions don't.⁠⠀
The petals of spring bulbs however seem rain resistant - so I can indulge my love of white flowers and enjoy them backlit by the morning sun on the Studio window shelf.
Bright and light and pretty.
I am spending a lot of time in the greenhouse at the moment - playing an endless game of jenga with my seed trays.⁠⠀
Many of the seedlings are for the community gardens - being planted out gradually under fleece. We are biding time, taking the cautious route so that we minimise the risk of everything being wiped out by a very cold night.⁠⠀
We still have a full month of frosts to go here - little ones of -2 or 3 are manageable, an extra covering of fleece, some bricks to act like a storage heater.  Most hardy seedlings will recover from getting their tips nipped a bit.⁠⠀
Last year though we had a really cold night in mid May, when growth was going well and sappily. It blasted the blossom and killed many of my hardy veg too. Slightly too late to resow.⁠⠀
Speak to the older generation of gardeners and they all sowed and planted out much later than is the fashion today.  They perhaps had a point.
I wrote in my Friday letter this week about the sudden lifting of the uncertainty and inertia that had been dogging me for a few months.⁠⠀
It's always easier to write about these things once they are resolved - do you find that?  Once I am unstuck and lolloping along happily again, I can look at it all and not get sucked down.⁠⠀
Of course all this talk of getting going again, of new plans and exciting things . . . . it all actually means hard work. ⁠⠀
Head down, working through an actual written plan kind of hard work.  Not always my natural strength.⁠⠀
So yesterday I rearranged the studio window shelves and cleared the working table, ready for an uninterrupted start today. ⁠⠀
An attempt to keep momentum.

About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.


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