Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do


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 or on the Facebook page.

Tags: tutorial

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When I was at University it was the time of the Poll Tax, an unpopular tax made even more unpopular by being implemented in Scotland a year before the rest of the UK - 'Thatcher's guinea pigs'.⁠⠀
It was a time of demonstration and violence with 50,000 marching in Glasgow, 1 million Scots refusing to pay. ⁠⠀
It was a time Sheriff's Officers and poind sales of possessions. ⁠⠀
Coalition student groups were formed - Socialist and Feminist and Anarchist and so on - there were big meetings in the Union, debates about a name and a logo and a manifesto. I remember lots of young, middle class, white men talked at length.  I remember that very, very little got done - a bus was organised to take students to Glasgow for the protests. ⁠⠀
In the meantime, up the hill from the campus, three women (I thought of them as old at the time but I'm sure they were the age I am now) simply stood outside the auctions and asked nobody to attend.  They stood by the front doors, they explained their reasons, they prevailed.  They possibly looked randomly menacing in that way middle aged women can.⁠⠀
People calmly bought back their possessions for 50p and their debts were squared. Action, meaningful results, a recognition that the personal is political - all while the student groups still debated their slogans.⁠⠀
I've been thinking about those women a lot recently. If they were the age I think they were, they will be queuing up for their vaccines this month.
In my happy place.⁠⠀
In the winter months The Studio is the centre of my working life. ⁠⠀
This was yesterday.  Trimming pieces of vintage velvet fabric for the Studio Club shop; alpaca socks drying in the dispatch room behind me (we now have size 8-10 in stock too); a roll @scottishlinen seconds to experiment with hogging the cutting table.⁠⠀
Bright and light and inspiring.
Starting the week with a photo from last year (simply because I lost a lot of this weekend to fatigue, so didn't take a new photo.)⁠⠀
Budgie, my beautiful and psychotic cat, with a windowsill of white amaryllis. ⁠⠀
Worth a second outing.
The proposed airstream conversion is in for planning permission approval at the moment, so that we change change its use from (neglected) artist's workshop into beautiful holiday accommodation.⁠⠀
In my vision for this we get to use the paid holidaymaking element to subsidise some artist's residencies - painters, writers, musicians, makers coming here to soak up the landscape and be inspired.⁠⠀
At the moment though I'm still at the stage of answering environmental health questions about quite how loud I am in my Studio and how we will light the path to the compost loo.
Yesterday my elder daughter, who lives in London, messaged me to say that our local DPD driver Slav was being given an award by for his outstanding service. 

It was because of the hundreds of messages that they had been sent commenting on his helpfulness, incredible good cheer, and parcel based problem solving.⁠⠀

Slav has been an important part of my lockdown life here. ⁠⠀
When roads look like this, good delivery drivers are a vital (and hopefully appreciated) part of life.⁠⠀
As my younger daughter chimed in “Go Slav!
This photo is from last week - but I see through the gloom that it has snowed overnight .⁠⠀
This part of the garden is outside our bedroom, the beech hedge borders the road, it used to be a drive when our bedroom was a garage.⁠⠀
Now it has a birch tree (symbolic for me of my miscarried babies, as I had to leave their actual birch trees behind when we moved here) surrounded by lots of box grown from small plants and cuttings.⁠⠀
We buried Jasmine, my scruffy miniature schnauzer, here in the summer, so in some ways it is becoming a garden for sitting on the bench and remembering and watching the birds.  I shall ask my ever generous  friend Nadja for some snowdrops to plant in the grass.⁠⠀
In my mind, eventually, the box balls will become like the ones on the front of @arnemaynardgardendesign book Garden Design Details - but this year they remain unclipped. ⁠⠀
I suspect box blight in the back garden and @jekkamcvicar points out that unclipped box does not get blight.⁠⠀
I love old gates - particularly old gates that stand in the middle of old unused spaces, leading to nowhere, keeping nothing in.⁠⠀
A memory of another time.
Last year - while I was dyeing socks out on my Studio deck, I was also dyeing wool yarn. ⁠⠀
Wool dyed with docks and nettle, gorse and meadowsweet, onions and plum bark all from the garden and lane.⁠⠀
Over the winter I gathered the wool skeins together - all the soft bright colours - and knitted myself an oversized stripy jumper. ⁠⠀
@rhiannonconnelly described it as wearing 'a hug from my garden' and I think she was spot on. ⁠⠀
The pattern is the 'After the Rain' sweater by @heidikdesigns but with random stripes as I wasn't sure how much of each colour I had. #aftertherainsweater

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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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