It may be the simplest loom you can use. Still, it is great for experimenting, and if you decide to pursue Diagonal Weaving, it makes the Best Dishcloths In The World. True, they're only dishcloths, but they're the Best In The World!
Here's the basic process for making a square pin loom out of a 12x12 artist's canvas:
- Remove the artist's canvas from the frame.
- Use a piece of plastic canvas as a template.
- Drive a few brads into the plastic canvas just to hold it in place on the frame.
- Put a brad in each square on all four sides of the plastic canvas.
- Remove the plastic canvas.
- That's it!
Step 1: Tools & Supplies
- Square frame from stretched artist's canvas (I use 12x12 inch.)
- Plastic Canvas for a spacing template (I use 5-count, which has 5 holes per inch)
- #17 or #18 x 1 1/4 brads for pins. The smoother the heads, the better, but you may have to shop around a bit.
- A brad driver like the GreatNeck BD1 Magnetic Brad and Nail Driver
- A permanent marker
Step 2: Setup
There are a couple of things that you can do to make the job easier.
First, mark barrel of the brad driver where you want to stop pushing. (Set the height of the pin.)
Then, wrap the barrel with duct tape or something to make a stop. This will help keep the pins a consistent height, which doesn't affect the function much, but certainly looks nicer.
Step 3: Size, Mark, and Center the Plastic Canvas Template
- I like to trim the plastic canvas to the size of the frame, leaving closed cells all around.
- Then, mark the center rib (even number of pins) or center hole (odd number of pins) of all four sides.
- I also like to mark every 5th hole (every inch on 5/in. canvas). That makes it easier to assure that all four sides have the same number of holes to either side of center.
- Center the canvas on the frame, and set a few brads to keep it in place. Bend the brads outward for better grip. (Don't use the rows that you're intending to use for pins.)
Step 4: Set Your Pins!
This is really the easy part. Set a pin as vertically as possible in every square of the chosen rows of your plastic canvas template. It's a bit repetitive, but it actually goes pretty quickly.
You can see in the photo that I usually work all over the loom, rather than starting in one spot and working my way around. I might start with all four centers, then add every 5th pin to all the sides, then fill in the missing pins. That keeps errors from stacking up on one side and throwing the plastic canvas out of alignment.
Don't worry too much about pins that aren't perfectly placed or perfectly vertical. The fabrics made on the loom are very forgiving of minor variations in spacing.
When all the pins are set, remove the bent-over brads that held the plastic canvas to the frame.
Remove the plastic canvas, and you're ready to weave!
Step 5: The Finished Loom
Here's a finished loom, ready to make finished projects!