How to Make a Simple Box Loom Weaving

Easy box loom weaving for kids | TinkerLab.com

Easy box loom weaving with kids | TinkerLab.com

My older daughter, age six, is obsessed with fiber arts, and has been engaged in all sorts of weaving activities lately. We have a book case full of inspiring crafting books, and she and her friend pulled Eco-friendly Crafting with Kids (affiliate) by Kate Liley off the shelf. After paging through it they landed on Box Loom Weaving, and wanted to give it a go.

The tutorial is very well articulated, and once we gathered all the materials (and there are only seven supplies…phew) we had no trouble tackling this easy and rewarding weaving project. I’ll share all the steps here. If you enjoy this project, do check out the book for more hands-on ideas like this. If you’re like me, you can’t have enough crafting, making, and tinkering books!

Supplies for Box Loom Weaving

  • Cardboard box without a top. We cut ours to be about 2 inches tall.
  • Something sharp to poke holes in the box, such as a seam ripper or fat needle.
  • Ruler
  • Yarn. If you like 100% cotton, I’m a big fan of this brand and here’s an organic option for you. (affiliate links)
  • Scissors
  • Darning Needle (affiliate) or other fat needle. In lieu of a needle, you could tape your yarn to the end of a popsicle stick.
  • 2 popsicle sticks (or chopstick, heavy piece of paper, cardboard, ruler, etc.)

Easy box loom weaving for kids | TinkerLab.com

  1. Start with a box.
  2. Poke about 10 holes across two edges of the box. The holes should be roughly 1/2 inch apart.
  3. Tie a knot at one end of a long piece of yarn (sorry, I don’t have an exact length – it depends on the size of your box) and run the yarn through the holes, from one side of the box to the other.
  4. When you reach the other side, make sure that the yarn is taught and tie another knot so that the yarn stays put. This vertical piece of yarn is called the warp, from the old Norse word varp meaning “the cast of the net.”

Easy box loom weaving for kids | TinkerLab.com

  1. Run a new piece of yarn through your needle and tie one end of the yarn to either the left or right bottom side of the warp. This new piece of thread will be called the weft, from the old English word wefen meaning “to weave.”  In the world of weaving, the needle would be called the shuttle.
  2. Run the yarn from one side of the warp to the other, going under and over the warp yarn.
  3. Straighten it all out. After weaving the yarn back and forth a few times, weave a popsicle stick below the weft. This will keep the yarn straight.
  4. Keep weaving!

Easy box loom weaving for kids | TinkerLab.com

  1. Place another popsicle stick at the other end of the weaving to straighten it out.
  2. To add another color, simply tie the yarn you’re done with to another color, or tie it to the warp and then tie a new color to the warp. Trim your yarn.
  3. Keep on weaving and adding more colors.

Easy box loom weaving for kids | TinkerLab.com

  1. When the weaving is done, make a know of the weft to the warp.
  2. Cut the ends of the weaving away from the box loom
  3. Tie two yarn together to make a knot. If you have five dangling warp yarns at each end, you should tie a total of five knots.
  4. Your weaving is done!

More Eco-Friendy Crafts

Check out Eco-friendly Crafting with Kids (affiliate) for this idea and more step-by-step projects for preschool kids and adults to create together with found, natural, and recycled materials.

Eco-friendly Crafting with Kids

More Fiber Arts

Even Toddlers Can Sew

Sewing Cards for Preschoolers

Machine Sewing with a Preschooler

Recycled Weaving Fence


 

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Easy box loom weaving for kids | TinkerLab.com

 

Recycled Weaving Fence

DSC_0114

When I saw this awesome weaving installation on display at the Bay Area Discovery Museum I knew it was something that I wanted to recreate at home. If I were running a preschool I think I would have taken the time to build such a structure because it would be a stellar group project, but as the parent of one curious, yet fickle, preschooler I thought it might be prudent to build a simple test-model first to see if this would be an idea worthy of further exploration (and investment!).

After scratching my head over this, I came up with this prototype made from wooden skewers (two on each end), painters tape, a deconstructed fruit sack from the market, and assorted ribbon.

It was a beautiful day, and N was up for the challenge.

With four ribbon spools to choose from, she cut  what she wanted and worked on figuring out how to get it through the mesh.

It was tricky, but she kept at it until she figured it out. Real challenges give kids the opportunity to celebrate their successes and gain confidence in their problem-solving abilities.

She also tried this shiny, elastic ribbon, and found it was easier to push through the holes. What a nice surprise lesson in compare and contrast!

And she even wrapped it all the way around the edge of the wood post.

N likes collaborating with me — it seems that she takes her work more seriously if I get involved too — so you can see a few of my ribbons woven in there as well. We worked on this for about 20 minutes and I left it up so that we can revisit it over the course of the week. And if there’s still energy around weaving, and this project in particular, I may just invest in some garden fencing like the stuff I saw at the children’s museum.

Has anyone made one of these? Did your child/children stick with it for a while?

Related Ideas

  • If you have a chainlink fence, you could weave through it with fabric or crepe paper. I’m thinking about bringing a basket of crepe paper with us next time we visit the park. Do you think anyone would mind if we made a fence weaving installation?
  • Check out this yarn heart-weaving from Outdoor Knit.

What else could you build a weaving fence from?

This post was shared with Craft Schooling Sunday. Childhood 101, It’s Playtime

Looping Twisties through Paper

binder rings

Today I’m so excited to share that I’ve been invited to write a guest post for one of my favorite blogs, Not Just Cute. Sooo, bonus for today is that there are TWO TinkerLab posts for your enjoyment. Hoorah! The Not Just Cute project will take you outdoors to make a Book of Textures, which is a great activity for kids of all ages. After you read all about it, come on back and read about looping pipe cleaners and such.

My daughter recently enjoyed building a colander sculpture with pipe cleaners, so I thought we’d push the pipe cleaner envelope and see what else we could do with them. I put the following materials out and let her figure out their purpose:

  • pipe cleaners
  • markers
  • small paper shapes with holes punched in them

She picked up the paper and immediately began weaving the pipe cleaners through the holes. Go-go fine motor skills. She worked at this for a few minutes – standing – and then I guess she got tired and/or decided to commit to the project because she eventually pulled up a seat.

Poking the pipe cleaners through the holes was easy enough, but she was challenged to bend them into the twists and hooks that she wanted in order to link them together. She wove one or two pieces together, making about eight of these mini-assemblages. She returned to the project later in the day to add little drawings to the papers with the markers.

I saved the papers, and the next day replaced the pipe cleaners with binder rings. I also added the hole puncher to the mix in case she wanted to give hole punching a go. Our hole puncher is a bit surly, and not the smoothest tool for a preschooler to use. Any recommendations for a kid-friendly hole puncher?

While she found the binder clips difficult to open, this didn’t faze her because she was intrigued by them (the novelty factor can go a long way!) and wanted to learn how they worked.

She made a handful of these before calling it quits. For older children, it could be fun to make little loose leaf books with binder rings. You could also use this technique to make a texture rubbing book, like the one we wrote about today at Not Just Cute.

What other materials would be fun to loop through holes?