How to Weave on a Box Loom

Box loom weaving is … interesting, and easy to master.

Here are the steps to doing it.

1. Get a box. The size? Whatever is right for your project.

2. Fold the four lids inward, so they are down inside the box and giving you a sturdy rim all around the top.

3. Reinforce the top rim with duct tape. Whether you use pins or cuts to warp, the duct tape will give you a nice, firm rim.

3. Around the duct taped rim, place a series of straight sewing pins or push pins 1/4″-1/2” or so apart from each other. You should have an odd numbered amount of pins for your weaving to main in the right shed.

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An alternative method: make a series of small cuts 1/4″ deep and 1/4″ wide apart from each other. I don’t use this method because it frustrates me that my cuts are never straight.

If you use the push pins, when you warp the box, you can push the heads down firmly to hold the warp in place. Push pins are not practical if you want a narrower sett, unless you stagger their placement.

4. Starting warping on the width of the box, make a loose slip knot and tie it around the first pin to your left. If you feel comfortable doing it on your right, that’s fine, too.

5. Take the warp down the box, under, and up to the first pin on the other side.

6. Pass the warp around two pins, back down, and up. Skip one pin, pass around two and down again. Do this until you have finished warping the box on its width.

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7. When you get to the last pin in going up the on the width of the box, pass the yarn around that last pin and around the first pin on the narrow side of the box. Bring it down to the warps that are in place.

8. Unravel a good length of the warp, snip, and thread your big weaving needle. Then, weave this narrow side warp through the width-side warps already in place on the bottom of the box: over-under… until you come to the other narrow side and up.

9. Use your comb to beat down the warp into a straight line, pull the warp snugly but not too tightly, and drop the needle and warp inside of the book and out of your way.

10. Using a needle-full of whatever weft color you have chosen for the bottom of your box, start weaving in the same shed as the warp you just put in.

11. Complete four passes, which is eight lines up going left and right. Pack your weft in firmly, set the weft needle aside and out of your way.

12. Take the warp needle out of the box, pass the warp around two pins, bring it down, and weave the warp in the same shed as the last weft you wove in. Then up the narrow side, and repeat step 9.

13. Repeat Steps 10-12 until you have finished weaving the bottom of the box, packing down the weft as you go.

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14. When the bottom is done, keep weaving to cover the bottom edges of the box to build up the sides to the top of the box.

15. When you get to the 1.5″ from the top of the box, start on your hem. Weave a single row of soumak going all around in one direction. When you return to your starting point, weave another row of soumak s going in the other direction.

16. Weave 1/2” of plain weave in a finer weft to make the hem. This hem is folded in at the double soumak line to be attached to your lining later.

17. Weave tight double soumak knots on each warp to hold the weft in place. See Starting and Ending a Tapestry.

18. You should have between 1/2”-3/4″ of warp between the the double knots and the top of the box. You may either slip the warps off the pins or cut them off. If you cut them off, make sure you have between 1/2”-3/4″ of warp remaining to lock the weft in place using this method.

19. Sew the lining of your bag and attach it to the top hem as you see fit.

20. Either weave a handle or buy a manufactured one to attach as you see fit.

That’s it. You are done. You now have a stylish and unique handwoven bag designed and created by you!