The next time you find a T-shirt with a hole in it, a pair of pants your child has outgrown or a stained pillow case, don't throw it away. Cut it up into strips and save it for a DIY weaving project. Use your leftover rags and scraps to weave a rug on a homemade loom; the cost will be almost free and the finished project will be both eco-friendly and one-of-a-kind. You don't need complicated equipment to weave away, you just need some time and a little creativity.
Build the Loom
Lay out four pieces of wood in the shape of a rectangle with two shorter pieces on top and longer pieces on the sides. The width and length of your weaving loom will determine the size of your rug, so make your frame formation slightly larger than the rug you want to weave.
Use nails to attach the four pieces of wood together. Hammer two to four nails in each corner, going through both pieces of wood each time until the loom feels sturdy.
Measure across the top of your loom and make a mark every 1/2 inch from the left side to the right. Repeat this on the bottom of the loom.
Use a hammer to affix a nail to the top and bottom boards for every pencil mark you made in step 3. Use nails that have a somewhat flat head on them and leave the top inch of each nail sticking out of the wood.
Weave a Rag Rug
Attach your fabric strips together. Tie them in knots on the ends or sew the ends together to string them all together like a giant ball of yarn.
Tie one end of your fabric strips to the upper left hand nail in your loom. Leave a 3-inch tail. Bring the fabric strip down to the lower left nail; wrap it clockwise around the lower left nail.
Bring the fabric strip back up to the second nail on the top; wrap it counter-clockwise around this nail and then go back down to the second nail at the bottom. Continue to wrap in this manner, going clockwise around the bottom nails and counter-clockwise around the top nails, until you have wrapped every nail. Tie a knot in the end to hold the scraps to the nails and cut the excess fabric; this is your weaving warp.
Cut a length of fabric scraps that is approximately 2 to 3 yards long. Weave one end of this over the first warp scrap you come to at the top left of the loom, then under the next warp scrap. Continue to go over and under every strip on the loom from left to right until you reach the far right side; pull on the fabric strip until only a 3-inch tail hangs out of the left side of the loom. Tie this tail to the upper left nail to secure it.
Bring the working (weft) fabric scraps back across the loom from right to left. If you ended row one going over the last warp thread, go back under it and weave over/under across the loom from right to left. If you ended row one by going under the last thread, wrap up and over it and go back under/over across the loom. Continue weaving back and forth until you fill the loom.
- Wood scraps
- Fabric scraps
To remove the rug from the loom, cut the warp threads two at a time and knot them together to secure the rug.