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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.

weaving

Weaving

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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Between the plum trees and the studio is a sloping space that was created when we flattened a patch of land to build. It is a mix of subsoil, rocks and odd seams of rich pasture land. ⠀
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As grass began to grow there about 7 years ago,  I sowed a perennial meadow mix, I planted lots of random plants from the cutting beds, I worked without a plan, without knowing what would thrive and what would gently vanish. ⠀
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Now there is minimal gardening involvement - I try and keep the nettles from taking over, we dig out brambles - and in the autumn and winter I lure the chickens there to scratch out patches of bare soil for the wildflower seeds. ⠀
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It’s a patchy space, caught on the cusp of abandonment - but it is the most beautiful space in the garden, buzzing with insects, rustling with birds. ⠀
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Low light, bright petals, setting sun. ⠀
A couple of days ago I got a message from a friend asking what I thought about all the 'picking wild flowers' photos on here and the fact that a country style magazine was promoting it as a
My Gran had hangers like these.  Knitted from odds and ends of wool, hanging softly squashed together in the big dark wardrobe in her bedroom.⁠⠀
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My cousin and I would take the fancy silky 1960s dresses from them and transform ourselves into glamorous detectives, spying on passers-by from behind the net curtains, making notes.⁠⠀
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Now the hangers are my favourite things to make from wool scraps - each takes 37 grams of wool and you only need to be able to do a plain stitch to make it. ⁠⠀
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As well as being chock full of nostalgia for me, they are also the most practical kind of hanger, as the garter stitch keeps even the flimsiest of straps in place so clothes don’t end up on the floor.
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This week's business improvement was deciding to make the postcards that go in with orders more useful, getting Kate Stockwell to turn them into activity cards for me. ⁠⠀
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This is the first, going out with orders from today.⁠⠀
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I’m always amazed at how many plants from sunnier climes take to the garden. ⠀
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Sicilian honey garlic - Nectaroscordum siculum - is one of the plants that grow in rows in the orchard - ghosts of the flower field, buzzing with bees, happy in grass, a strong whiff of onion as I pass. ⠀
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This month I’ve been experimenting with solar dyeing- using plants and sunlight and a jar to dye wool on the windowsill. 
I was amazed at what bright shades were possible and at how easy and self contained it turned out to be. 
It was part of the Studio Membership mini “Introduction to plant dyes” course but I’ve also put together a kit in the shop with full instructions and everything you need to get started with solar dyeing wool (there are mini skeins in the kit). The photo is my drying rack on the dye deck - part of the studio where I used to prep flowers when I sold them. 
The wood rack used to be for shoes and wellies.
Inspired by @josephinepbrooks I’m still using this time for some serious decluttering of my business - looking hard at which parts have descended over the years into one of those drawers stuffed full of things.  Which bits are muddled, useless, impossible to open without everything falling out. 
Last week was the turn of the blog - so many out of date things, so many broken links, pretty much impossible to browse. 
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So if you are looking for tutorials, nature notes, gardening, recipes or musings on life you can find them without scrolling through hundreds of pages. 
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The poppies are from Friday’s blog about how they make wonderful cut flowers.
Another week. Another new morning 
I was chatting to a friend yesterday about what was the best thing about running my own business - and I decided that it was probably being excited about each day and all the things I want to do. ⠀
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That I now rarely need to force myself. ⠀

Today it’s finishing off this week’s Studio Members lesson about solar dyeing and putting together these activity postcards which I am getting printed to go out with orders. ⠀
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What are you looking forward to doing today?
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About Snapdragon

At Snapdragon we 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.

Through our communities, both free and paid for, through Jane's writing on the blog, through carefully hand crafted gifts and activity kits, and through our online and in-person workshops we aim to bring people back in touch with the rhythms of a seasonal life.

Learn more about why here

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