An ancient art traced back to Native American, French Canadian and Scandinavian roots, finger weaving involves weaving together yarn or fabric loops using only the fingers, instead of weaving on a traditional loom. Buy colorful fabric loops in cotton or nylon material and research basic finger weaving techniques before embarking on any of these fun, easy-to-make projects.
Perhaps the most recognized of classic finger weaving projects, potholders made from fabric loops come together easily when stretched onto a metal potholder frame. Look for potholder frames and fabric loops in craft stores, then choose loops in colors to match a kitchen’s décor. Depending on the placement of colors and how they’re woven together, this simple craft can result in pretty, complex patterns on a useful kitchen accessory.
Make a little girl’s purse using only fingers and fabric loops to create a cover for a simple purse shape sewn together from sheets of craft foam. It takes approximately 750 fabric loops to make one purse and its handle, which is formed by using a modified version of finger weaving. Using just two fingers instead of four, the smaller weave results in a narrow chain of material that is then hand-stitched with needle and thread onto the body of the purse to make its handle.
Beginning finger weavers find making a jump rope one of the easiest ways to master the weaving technique. Using only 100 fabric loops, the rope develops from the straight chain that forms while doing the most basic finger weaving technique. The ends are turned back a few inches, then covered tightly with more fabric loops to form handles at each end. Crafters can make jump-ropes in any length to suit the height of the person planning to use it.
Girls will enjoy making hair scrunchies, or ponytail holders, to match every outfit they own. Each scrunchie uses just 16 loops of fabric finger woven into a small chain that is finished into a circle by double-knotting the two ends together. Make headbands in a similar fashion by using 42 fabric loops to weave a longer chain, then finish it in the same manner. For extra glitz, sew beads or silk flowers onto the top part of the headband. Matching belts are easily made by finger weaving a chain of loops approximately one yard long, knotting each end, then tying the belt around the waist.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Angela Tedson has been writing slice-of-life articles since 2005. Her work has appeared in "Southern Family" magazine and "Angie's List" magazine. Tedson holds an Associate of Arts degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta.