Weaving on a Budget!
If you’ve ever wanted to try weaving but didn’t want the hassle and expense of buying all the parts that comes with it, then this project is for you!
This project was so easy to make and I personally didn’t need to buy anything special or expensive to do it. I used bits and pieces that I already had in my craft cupboard, a cardboard box and a twig from my garden (kind of an obsession of mine). If you are staring from scratch in terms of resources then you can choose to make your weave as elaborate or as simple as you like.
All you really need is some patience and the following bits and pieces in order to make your own if similar to mine:
A piece of cardboard which will allow for your chosen weave size, scissors, sellotape, a ruler, a garden twig, a thin paintbrush that you don’t care about, assorted wools and ribbons and some string.
I reinforced the edges of my cardboard with sellotape but I don’t think it was absolutely necessary, so I would say this was an optional step should you wish to do it. I measured out 5mm increments all the way up and down both long edges of my cardboard and made small snips along the marks. I then wound string tightly around my board and secured the ends once I reached my desired weave width.
For my “bobbin”, and please don’t laugh, I got very creative! I used an old, thin paintbrush that I didn’t mind if I ruined. I wrapped the tip in sellotape to create a stiff point that would easily wind in and out of my stringed board. I then attached each piece of wool, ribbon, etc, that I wished to use to the end of my paintbrush with sellotape in order to weave them onto my board.
To weave, simply go over and under alternate strings along one row until you reach the end of that row. When you get to the end, turn around and go back along the board/row doing the same again but with one string’s difference to before in order to create the iconic interlacing effect.
You can pick any color combinations you like to suit your taste or decor. If you have limited resources or materials to choose from, why not try creating some different effects and textures by “cheating” a little. I created lots of volume with my white wool by first leaving lots of slack on each row and then plucking at the wool to create the illusion of it being thicker. If you have lots of wool of the same thickness you could try this too or alternatively you could try distressing your wool prior to weaving through it to create the extra volume.
During the weaving process, try to make sure you relax each row after pulling your materials through or you may end up with a slight curve in your weave like I did. However, if this does happen, don’t worry too much, just give each end a little tug to stretch it back out.
If you want to add curves, triangles or peaks, this is how I added mine. Weave in one shape first and then weave around that shape. Make sure that you keep pushing your rows down as you go to keep them all tight and compact so that when you take your project off the board later it stays together nicely.
Once you’re happy with your weave, you need to release it from your board. Flip your board over and snip 2 strings at a time along the centre of the back of your board and tie each loose end together at either end of the board. Once all the ends are tied, you can release your weave by bending over your board edges and gently pulling the string over to the front of the board. Do this all the way around.
Be careful not to damage your board with this step so you can reuse your board later for another weave project.
Now tie the loose string from the top of your weave to your garden twig. Snip the ends of the excess string off to make your ends nice and neat. You will also need to snip off the excess string from the bottom of your weave. If you wish to add another twig to the bottom of your weave like a frame then don’t snip the excess string off until you have repeated the steps above.
Trim the sides of your weave where all of your ribbon and wool overhangs. Any bits that are left sticking out you can also glue to the back of your weave for a nice smooth finish if you wish. Otherwise you can leave them poking out for a more rustic finish, it’s completely up to you. I decided to glue mine down.
You could leave your weave like this or you can choose to add embellishments of any kind, again, it’s completely up to you based on taste or resources. For me, I wanted to added some tassels to the bottom to tie it all together. I used similar colored wool to that which I’d used in my main weave. Alternatively, as mentioned above, you could add another twig to the bottom of your weave in exactly the same way as you did for the top. This would frame it nicely and give it a finished off look.
Lastly, using either string, wool or even twine if you have it, tie a loop to the top of your weave from the ends of your twig so that you can hang your creation proudly on your wall!
I hope this tutorial was helpful and has inspired you to create your own weave creation. If you have any questions at all about my steps or maybe about venturing outside my guidelines then I would be happy to advise or help in any way I can.
Thank you x
- Wool (Ribbon)
- Leather (Twine)