Weaving a Bag on a Cardboard Loom
                                                                     woven bag

Making the Loom
  You can make different sized looms.   The larger the loom the stiffer your cardboard has to be.

I'm using fairly thin cardboard and the loom will be cut 3 by 7 1/2 inches.
This will produce a bag 3 by 3 inches with a 1
1/2 inch fold down flap.

The width is cut at three inches wide

cut to width

I cut the loom at 7 1/2 inches long.
cut to length

On the 3 inch wide end I cut slits every 1/4 inch making them 1/4 inch long.
For the three inch width I cut 14 slits.

Do the same on the other three inch end.

cut end tabs

Measure up 3 inches from one end and mark.
This will be your fold line.

Fold the cardboad at this mark.

measure fold line

The bottom of the loom will be 3 by 3 inches.
This will form the bottom of your bag.

The one piece that extends about 1 1/2 inches above the bottom
will be the flap for your little bag.

loom ready to weave
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Warping the Loom
I used cotton warp thread but you can use heavy crochet thread or yarn for warp.
It would be best not to use a fuzzy yarn- the fuzz will catch on your weft yarn
 when you weave.

Start at one corner leaving at least a two inch end and go down through the first slot.
Go to the other end of the loom and go through the first slot, around the back of the tab,
and through the second slot to the front of the loom.

Continue going through the next slot, around the tab and to the other end of the loom
 until you have gone through all of the slots.

End with at least a two inch end on the back of the loom.

This is what the back of your loom will look like when it is warped.
Every other tab will have a warp thread loop around it.

back warp

Tape the warp ends to the back of the loom to hold them snug.

When your weaving is finished you will needle weave these ends
back into the weaving

back of the loom

Fold the loom at the fold mark with the warp on the outside.

Use a paper clip or tape to keep the loom folded until you have the weaving started.
Place it at the top of the short side of the loom where it will be out of the way of your weaving.

warped and folded
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Weaving on the Loom

Start your weaving at the bottom of the loom.
Using a tapestry needle weave over and under the warp strings on
one side of your loom.
Push the first row as far down as you can get it.
Leave a tail at least twice as long as the loom is wide.
You will use this to finish the weaving.

first row

When you reach the side turn the loom over and continue weaving on the other side.
After every two or three rows use a comb or pick to press the woven rows to the bottom.
Hold the top of the loom so you can really pack the weaving tight.

weave around and around the loom

It is easier to pack if you use your needle as you weave a row
to push the previous row down as much as you can.

Try to pack it tight enough that you can not see the warp threads in the weaving.
use needle to pack rows

When you are just about to run out of yarn use your needle to go down between two warp strings.
If you look close you can see where the yarn goes down just past the 5th warp from the right
and comes out the bottom of the weaving from the inside.
You can clip off the remaining tail close to the bottom.

To start your new yarn bring your needle up from the bottom on the inside of the weaving.

Weave in the same pattern over the last of the previous yarn.

Continue weaving until you are close to the edge of the folded up loom.
It is easiest if you place a row of tape over the slots cut in the end of the loom.
This will keep the warp loops from slipping off the tabs as you weave the last
few rows which can be tight.
You can also tape both ends of the loom before you begin weaving.

Keep packing the weaving down as tight as you can and weave as close to the edge
 of the loom as you can.

You have now finished weaving the body of the bag.

When you have woven the last row at the edge of the folded over loom turn the
 loom over and weave a row across the back.

When you reach the edge of the loom do not turn the loom over.
Instead weave back across the warp on the back of the loom.

You are now weaving the flap for the bag.

Do not pull your yarn tight.
You do not want to pull the warp threads in as is shown here on the left.
Hold the loop on the side as you weave and pull your yarn through.
You want to keep the edges as straight and even as you can.

If you haven't taped the top edge of your loom do so now.

Varigated yarn can make surprising patterns depending on the length of the color repeat in the yarn.
You can see vertical stripes formed on the flap.

 They are interupted when I change to a new yarn then they start up again.

I have finished weaving and you can see the varied stripe patterns formed by the varigated yarn.
They stopped and started again or shifted position every time I started a new length of yarn.

Pull the two end warps that started and stopped the warping from the inside
of the bag where they were taped to the loom

You can now take your weaving off the loom.
Using your needle slip the warp loops off of the cut tabs at both slit ends of the loom.
You might have to bend the loom slightly to loosen the weaving enough to slip it off the loom.
Push down from the top of the bag and do not pull it from the bottom.

Thread one of the warp on your needle and go down the middle of a vertical row.
This will bury the end safely in the inside of the weaving.

Do the same to the loose end warp on the other side of the bag.

Next thread the long tail you left when you started your weaving on your needle.
Weave back and forth along the bottom of your bag filling in the exposed warp.

The weaving is finished.
You can see some of the loose ends left on the inside of the flap.
These will be covered when you insert a fabric lining in the bag.

I will cover how to do the lining, button, button loop and finished edge next time

This is the finished weaving with the flap folded down

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Finishing the Bag

Choose a button that compliments the bag. 
I wanted to show off the bags weaving yarn so I chose a clear button that won't compete with the yarn but has enough detail to be interesting.

Use a scrap of firm fabric as a backing to give you a firm base to sew your button to.

Fold down the flap so that you can see where the button should be placed and mark it with  a pin.

Anchor your thread in the fabric scrap
Place the scrap inside the bag and bring your needle through the bag
to the front where you have marked the button placement.

Sew on the button

Chose a lining fabric that goes with your bag.
I chose a solid fabric since my yarn is patterned.
It can be fun to weave with a solid yarn and use a really wild patterned lining.

The lining should be one inch wider then the bag to allow for 1/2 inch seams.
It should be one inch longer then the length of your loom when it is opened out flat.

For this bag I used a heavier material because it was the color I wanted and I had it on hand.
A cotton or other light weight fabric often fits smoother and is not as bulky.

You will sew with the right sides of the material facing each other.

Fold back one end of the material to the outside.

Fold this end up so that it is the same size as the bag portion of your weaving.
Sew 1/2 inch seams on the bag portion of the lining.
Do not sew on the top flap portion.

Trim the side seams and fold in the flap material to the size of the woven flap and pin it.
Place your fingers inside the lining and pull the weaving over it.

If it is to big for the bag resew and trim the sides and bottom smaller until
it fits smoothly inside the bag.
The lining should come just below the inside edge of the woven bag.

When the lining fits hand sew the edge of the lining to the bag just along
the front edge of the bag.

Before you sew the lining to the flap you need to make a loop for the button.

Use your weaving yarn and chain a row of stiches long enough to go around the button and to fasten to the flap.

Close the flap and pin the chain at the right distance to close around the button.
Open the flap and hand sew the chain to the inside of the flap.
Only sew through the back half of the weaving yarn so your stitches do not show on the front of the bag.

Fold in the edges of the lining until they fit just inside the edge of your woven flap.

Pin them then hand sew them to the flap.

The finished bag showing the lining.

The finished bag

You can make your loom square, rectangular, big or small.

You can fold the loom in half so that you do not have a flap.
Do not have a flap and sew a zipper across the top of the bags lining.

Add beads, ribbons, embroidery or weave in metalic thread.

Use these fun little bags to hold jewelry, a tatting shuttle, coins, as a tooth fairy bag, add a chain and wear as a necklace.
Please let me know what other uses you find for them.


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Copyright Barbara A. Herdman