DIY Embroidery Hoop Loom & Weaving

Earlier this week, I yammered on-and-on about presence over presents. That the holiday season had already been so crazy, and that I wanted to gain a little bit more perspective this year. Rather than unabashedly sacrificing all my time to perfect decor, perfect recipes and perfect gifts, I want to be in the moment. Instead of a consistent busy-ness taking over my every minute, I want to listen. I want to be more consumed with paying attention to the people in my life, rather than my to-do list. Lofty notions for sure, but ultimately it’s rooted in the good intentions that I have to keep myself in check with over and over again.
However, I did give the disclaimer that Christmas would just not feel like Christmas without a little DIY….I am a Zester, after all! This season I have still taken a DIY route, but I have kept my goals from overreaching. My projects are fewer and smaller. Simple gifts that I know will make the recipients smile broadly and warmly. The kind of gift giving that is succinctly followed up with some great visit time. Weavings may feel a bit daunting when I shout out for easy DIY projects, but honestly…..a few small wall hanging weavings are quite simple to create. The best is that you can be “working” on the gift of a weaving while you have yourself a good visit with your loved ones. A win-win in my book!

Disassembling an embroidery hoop
Tying cotton string to the inner hoop of and embroidery hoop

Start by separating the inner and outer rings of an embroidery hoop.

Drawing the string across the hoop to loop it around the frame

embroidery hoop of any size (I picked mine up on the cheap at a thrift store)
cotton string
embroidery needle
wool yarn in varying colors and thicknesses
roving wool in varying colors

Looping the string across the embroidery hoop to make a loom for weaving

Secure some cotton string to the inner hoop. Then, loop the yarn over and around the opposing side of the inner hoop. Now, bring your string across to the opposing side again, moving it over by about an inch (rather than directly across) before looping it around the inner frame. You want to keep the string taut, but do not pull it so hard that you misshapen the wooden frame.

Using the cotton string to make a starburst shape with one inch widths between the looped string on the frame

Repeat looping the string back and forth until you have created a starburst looking web.

Continuing to loop the string around the frame in a starburst pattern
Starburst pattern finished on the inner frame of an embroidery hoop
Bring the loose end down to the middle to tie the intersection of string together

Before tying off, bring your string down to the center of your starburst, and tie the intersection of string together. Now you have a tidy center! It is time to finish off the loom by securing the outer ring over all of your handiwork and tightening it down with the screw on the embroidery hoop.

Securing the outer ring of the embroidery hoop over the inner hoop to secure the loom in placeThe embroidery hoop loom is finished and ready to be woven with wool

With a loom that took about 10 minutes to make, it is pretty satisfying to get to the creative job of weaving so fast! I decided to play with an array of muted colors in different textured wools and cotton. This is where you get to play!

Using a metal yarn needle, start weaving at the center of the loom

When weaving in a circle, the only tricky part is figuring out where you are going to switch your over-and-under pattern. Typically, you would switch your over-and-under with each row in a rectangular piece, thereby creating a weaving. With a circle, you have to decide on one point before you start going back around. To keep things easy, I simply chose the initial string I tied to the inner frame when beginning the process of making my loom. It was easy to see my knot, and that way I had no trouble remembering when to switch directions of my over-under pattern. I really love how the texture turned out!

The finished embroidery hoop weaving hanging on the wallThe fringed weaving on the embroidery hoop loom hanging on a wall

I could not resist a bit of fringe! Obviously, you can weave all the way to edge of your embroidery hoop, but I kind of liked seeing some of the loom strings framing my weaving.
The best part? I was able to visit with my sister and brother-in-law over a glass of wine while I worked on this piece. I love that it was such a peaceful gift to make!
Happy Elfing everyone! I hope you manage to carve out time to just “be” during this mad rush of a season! Give your loves a hug for me!

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