Backstrap Weaving with Kids

Not long after I joined the Guild, I remember Jenny C showing me boxes of goodies in the storage cupboard which could be taken to events and used in demonstrations.  In one of the boxes there were a stack of handmade backstrap weaving looms to use with children.  They were made with paddlepop sticks which I thought was such an amazing idea that I wanted to try it at home.  Which I did. So here’s what we did.

drillingFirst, we took twelve paddlepop sticks.  Seven of the sticks we measured to find the centre and my son, Finn, drilled a hole in the centre of each one big enough to pull a strand of wool through.

The loomThen we used liquid nails (you could use any suitable glue) to glue the paddlepop sticks together as in the photo, using a ruler to get the gaps as equal in size as possible.  (There are two paddlepop sticks at either end, one on the front and one on the back to add strength).  We left this to dry while we set about making the other parts of the loom.

SawingFinn sawed a couple of pieces of wood from a stick he found and sanded the ends until they were nice and smooth, to tie the warp onto at either end,Straps

whilst I sewed four straps from fabric scraps I had laying around, long enough to tie around someone’s waist, or a tree, or whatever you want to tie the end onto when you’re weaving.

Straps readyThen we tied the straps onto the pieces of wood, so now we were ready to warp up our loom. Woohoo!

Cutting the warpFinn cut fourteen pieces of yarn for the warp.  (Here we actually could have cut seven lengths that were twice as long and merely folded them in half over the first stick, but never mind).Ready to warp

We then tied the warp around the first stick,

then thread each piece of wool through our paddlepop stick loom holes and gaps alternatively, just like any other loom, and tied the ends around the other stick.

Ready to start weaving Now we’re ready to start weaving.

Finn backstrap weavingHere you can see Finn weaving with our newly-made loom with one end tied around his waist and the other tied around a tree.Finn Weaving

And here’s a closeup.  Finn is concentrating very hard and he really enjoyed the whole project, as did I!  By Naomi.

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