How to Build a Simple Frame Loom

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This page contains instructions on how to build a simple frame loom. This is the first page in a three part series showing how to build, warp, and weave a frame loom. The frame loom is easy to make and use, and offers a great introduction to weaving and fiber arts for adults and children alike.

2 pieces of wood

3/4 " x 1 1/2" x 11"


2 pieces of wood

3/4 " x 1 1/2" x 16"


Sand all pieces smooth with the long edges rounded slightly


8 pieces of dowel

5/16 " x 1 1/2"


1 piece of wood

1/4 " x 2" x 12"


This piece can really be of any width but it shouldn't bend.

You will need a drill with a 5/16" bit. A mallet or a small hammer. Some wood glue, sandpaper, and a clamp.

Tools

How to Build the Loom

Take one of the 16" pieces of wood and clamp it to your work bench. If you don't have a work bench clamp the wood to a table, but make sure you have a thick piece of scrap wood underneath it because we're going to be drilling all the way through.


Place the other pieces in position so that the two 11" pieces lie on top of the 16" pieces. The corners should be at right angles.


Drill two holes diagonally across from each other at the corner going through both pieces of wood. Do this to the top right corner first.

Once the glue has dried you can sand each of the dowel joints flush. Your frame should look like this.

The final step is to make the shed stick, also known as the needle.


Take the thin 12" long piece of wood and, using the sandpaper, round off the ends and edges. This piece of wood is going to be passing through the threads of the weaving and so it shouldn't have any rough areas that might catch on the thread and snap it.

Congratulations! You now have a frame loom. The next step is to warp the loom. Then, on to weaving on your loom.

Materials

To make this loom you will need to following materials.

Take two pieces of the dowel and put glue around the sides. Using the mallet, hammer each piece into the hole until it is flush with the surface. Wipe off any excess glue.


Repeat drilling and doweling process at each corner.

Recommended Reading

Weaving Links

Can I Make it Bigger?

One common question many people have after reading these instructions is: can I make it bigger?

Yes, the loom can be made bigger to accommodate larger weavings. The sizes indicated here are ideal for small wall hangings and pot holders. But, if you want to make a larger scale loom simply use longer wood.

However, be aware that a weaving puts enormous strain on a loom. So if you as you scale the design up be sure to use larger dimension lumber.

And, if you get stuck or have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I always like to here about other peoples weaving projects.

Loom Kits

If you don’t feel confident in your building skills there are many commercially available looms that can be just as much fun as building your own. These are a few that I like.

This is my favorite book on weaving but it doesn’t seem to be in print any more. You may be able to find a used copy. It’s an excellent resource.