Start here: Weaving for Beginners
Weaving is such an ancient skill and it makes me feel connected to generations of women (and men) from all over the world that have woven things both out of necessity, and to share their cultural heritage through tangible items more than any other skill I’ve learned.
I like combining ideas and introducing fresh life into traditional methods, so when I first saw this woven mat via Pinterest, I knew I had to make something similar for our house.
I used a variety of materials to get different textures for this rug but also changed up the directions so that it has 60 lines rather than 32. I like that it allowed for a tighter weave at the edges since this rug might get a little bit of foot traffic.
I also used a lot of paracord because it comes in such great colors and patterns and is as utilitarian as twine or jute. It’ll hold up well, too. The pom pom trim is for fun but if you are making a rug for a high traffic area, you may want to skip it.
Step One: Cut out a circle from your cardboard or foam board. I tied some yarn to a pen and found the center of my cardboard. Then, I held the yarn in the center and pulled the pen to the edge of the cardboard.
Then, I traced a circle with my pen while holding the yarn in the center tightly. I used scissors to cut my circle out, but you could also use an X-Acto knife.
Then I drew a straight line down the center and a horizontal line, also through the center. From that point I drew diagonal lines, like if I was cutting a pizza, using a yard stick to get a straight edge. I ended up drawing 30 long lines that went all the way through the center to the other side to get a total of 60 lines (from the center).
Step Two: After you’ve drawn your lines, prep your cardboard loom by cutting into the edge on each line about 1″. The slits will keep your yarn in place as you weave.
Step Three: To get started, tape the loose end of your yarn to the back of the cardboard near the center. Then push it into one of the slits and wrap it around the front of the cardboard.
Follow the line to the opposite edge and push it through that slit so that it wraps around the back and comes back to the front side through the next slit to the right of the one you started with. Follow the line to the opposite edge and wrap it to the back side making sure it goes through the slit to the left of the first slit.
Step Four: Continue wrapping your yarn around your cardboard in a counter-clockwise fashion until you have come full circle.
Cut a 4′ length (or so) and tuck one end underneath the lines (your warp) with about a 4″ tail hanging loose, and then weave the other end over and under every two lines until you’ve reached the lines where you started.
Step Seven: There will be an extra set of lines where you meet up so go under (or over) four instead of two and then it will get you started on your next row so that you are doing the opposite of what you did on the first row. Pull snugly as you wrap around each time. You want a tight weave at the center.
Step Eight: Once you run out of yarn, tuck the last 4″ under your weaving. To add in a new length of yarn (the same or a different color/thickness), tuck about 4″ of one end under where your last piece would’ve come up had you not traded colors/thicknesses.
For a more detailed explanation of this, see steps 13 and 14 in my weaving basics tutorial.
Step Nine: Continue adding different colors to create circular stripes. You can see the section that has four rows instead of two more clearly in this image.
Step Ten: Once you get about 1/3 of your weaving filled, switch from weaving through every two rows to every other row. You can spread things out at that point and there’s more room for thicker pieces to go over and under every single warp line instead of every two.
Once you get to the same spot that had four rows at once, just reduce to two rows. You can add in thicker cords and yarns as well as pom pom trims now.
Step Eleven: Finish weaving until you’re happy with the width. It gets harder to weave things the closer you get to the edge! Then carefully cut two strands at a time on the back of your weaving. This will loosen opposite sides.
Tie those two strands next to each other into a knot with about 1/4″ of room from the edge of the weaving. This will give you room to add your fringe. Repeat on the opposite edge. Continue until you’ve tied off all knots and have carefully removed your mat from the loom.
Pull your loose ends down through the loop and gently pull. Trim your ends. For a more detailed explanation, see steps 17-21 in my weaving basics post. Repeat all the way around your rug.
The end result is the happiest little rug I’ve ever owned and the perfect thing to bring a little more excitement to my studio. As I was making this, I thought it’d be really fun to turn this into a pillow. Pretty sure that needs to be added to my woven home goods list! –Rachel