These DIY coasters are an excellent intro to textile weaving and have a super cute, gifting worthy finished product. But maybe the best part is that they can be made from 100% up-cycled materials which means they are free to make. Totally free crafting- woohoo!
Materials for oven DIY coasters….
You can literally use any yarn you have on hand for this one. Be warned that fine yarn will take much longer for kids to create with but the result will be amazing. Chunky yarn or homemade t-shirt yarn has a little more bulk and will add up faster but any yarn will work. Yarn tends to be one of things that people have sitting around somewhere and are willing to donate if they know it will be used.
You’ll also need some card board to create the weaving loom. Any old box will work. I love cereal boxes for this because they are sturdy enough to use but thin enough to be manageable to cut easily.
Making a loom…
Know that whatever size loom you start with, the loom is substantially bigger than your finished woven product. The woven coaster in pics were made on a loom approximately 5 by 7 inches. This is a manageable size for beginners!
Make marks approximately 1 cm apart all the way across the five inch side. Use scissors to cut a little notch in each mark.
Draw a line parallel to each of the five inch sides of the loom approximately one inch away from the edges. Weaving will take place between these two lines, leaving the edges free to be ties up in the finishing steps.
Warping the loom….
Time to warp your loom. The “warp” in a weaving project is the yarn or thread that is fixed to the loom. The warp is what will be woven around. In this case a finer embroidery thread was used as the warp. You can use the same yarn to warp your loom as you weave with if you choose.
Start at one end and wrap the warp thread all the way around the front and back of the loom going from one notch to the next. If the thread fits securely in your notch no other fastening may be needed. If your thread wants to fall out and wiggle around then feel free to tape the ends down. The finished coaster won’t be affected either way.
I mentioned earlier that you can use any yarn. Totally true. The yarn pictured is actually t-shirt yarn that we made ourselves. Yep, it’s old t-shirts cut up and given new life in the form of yarn that works perfectly for projects like this one.
Learning to weave….
While these DIY coasters are a great beginning weaving project if your student doesn’t have any prior weaving experience I would suggest starting with a paper weaving experience. This super simple introduction to weaving project only takes 15 minutes or so and will help get the basics down. (Or try this one for a flashier finished product.)
Once your students has the hang of the alternating under over pattern they’re ready to get started. The yarn that is woven over and under the warp thread is called the weft. I find it easiest to begin by cutting a length of yarn a yard long or so. It’s short enough to easily pull back and forth but long enough it will only take a few lengths to complete the woven DIY coaster entirely.
Start by leaving a tail of a few inches hang off the edge of the loom. Weave over and under till you get to the last warp thread. Wrap the weft thread around and weave back the same way you came in alternating order. Naturally, any thread you went over in the last row you will go under in the next row.
Keep weaving until your piece of yarn ends or you decide you want to switch colors. Either way leave a couple of inches of yarn hang out, add in your new piece of yarn and pick up that same pattern.
If you want to keep color switching to a minimum try using a variegated yarn like this one for rainbow variety without the planning!
Finishing up your woven coaster…
Keep weaving back and forth and pushing the rows down to compact them, keeping the weaving approximately between the two lines drawn earlier.
When the weaving has filled the loom its time to take it off the loom and tie in any loose ends. Turn the loom over and cut the warp strands down the middle. Turn the loom over and gently remove the weft strands from only one side of the loom. Begin at one side and tie two warp strands together in a double knot. Move on to the next to warp strands until you’ve worked all the way across that side.
Gently pop the warp threads out of the notches on the other side of the loom and finish in the same manner.
Tying up loose ends…
Now your coaster is all done except for some wacky ends of threads hanging out whenever you ran out of weft yarn or changed color. Turn your coaster over so the back of the coaster is facing up. Gently tuck loose ends into the existing weaving. If there is excess yarn after tucking the an edge in just snip it off.