Who doesn’t like presents? Especially adorable handmade gifts? Making, receiving – I’m all about pretty little packages tied up with string!
Today I’ve joined forces with a group of 14 other bloggers to bring you an inspiring roundup of DIY gift ideas and tutorials – perfect timing for getting a jump start on handmade holiday gifts!
(You know, if you aren’t a black belt procrastinator like I am… Personally, I feel like half of the so-called “holiday spirit” is generated by running around like a maniac four days before Christmas stitching and gluing and waiting for things to finish baking/drying/etc., but that might just be me.)
So here’s my contribution – a trio of adorable miniature woven wall hangings!
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I picked up three laser cut wooden frames (with a 4.5×6.5” opening) at Michael’s. I bought mine in a clearance sale, but you can find similar styles for $3.99 each. You will also need a package of 18-gauge 5/8” wire brads.
We’re going to turn this little wooden frame into a loom by using the nails as pegs! Use a ruler and a pen to mark the placement for your nails – I placed a dot every quarter of an inch along the top and bottom of the frame.
Next, lightly tap in your nails. Do your best to keep them perfectly vertical, and hammer gently to avoid bending the nails.
Once all your nails are in place, you are ready to string the warp (the vertical threads that form the foundation of the weaving)! I used thin cotton crochet thread.
Tie a knot on the first nail on top and then string the thread down around the corresponding nail on the bottom, then back up to the top, then back down, until you reach the end. Do your best to keep the thread taut as you are stringing the warp and then tie it off tightly on the last nail.
Now, you are ready to go crazy with some basic weaving techniques! Gather up your favorite colors of yarn and jump right in!
I’m guessing you probably understand the very first element of weaving – over one warp string, under the next, over, under, over under; when you reach the end, turn back around the other direction going over the thread you went under before, etc., etc. I used a large plastic needle threaded with my yarn.
Quite honestly, if I attempted to give you a detailed tutorial on basic hand weaving techniques, it wouldn’t be very helpful. I borrowed a book from my mom, who has had a love of weaving for many many years #beforeitwascool, and I basically just played around.
Some things worked, some things didn’t work. If I didn’t like the way something was looking, I pulled my yarn out and started that section over. In the spirit of a “sampler” – those lovely stitched pieces young women would work on to practice different stitches and show off their handiwork – I just tried different things and had fun.
I realize those are about the least helpful instructions ever, so I do want to point you to this very helpful tutorial by Honestly WTF full of close up action shots, tips and tricks, and some simple weaving techniques.
And you can actually pick up a whole lot by just studying a weaving, so here are some close-up shots of mine:
I went with three different color schemes – shades of blue/green, shades of red, and shades of cream, with some sparkly gold thrown in for good measure.
Use thick chunky yarn. Use thin silky yarn. Use fringy yarn. Skip over two warp strings. Use several strands at a time for a thick section. Pass the yarn through without pulling it taut and then use the needle to pull loops up for the fluffy looped effect you see above. Use rya knots for long shaggy sections.
I was able to complete each wall hanging in an afternoon/evening. I love having something like this to keep my hands busy while watching Netflix – I have a bit of a hard time sitting still, even when I’m “relaxing”!
What do you think? Would you try your own miniature weaving? It’s a nice starter-sized project, I promise!
Here are the other AWESOME gift ideas you can find as part of this blog hop! I encourage you to visit, become inspired, and pin away!