Make these sweet cardboard snail weavings with your little ones. It’s the perfect first weaving project for young children, and you probably have all of the materials you need around your home. No need for expensive wooden looms or special tools! Follow the directions below to make your own.
What You Will Need-
- An A4 size piece of thick cardboard (old packing boxes are perfect)
- A craft knife and cutting mat or scissors
- A ball of cotton string
- Sticky tape
- A tapestry or yarn needle
- A few balls of yarn in various colours
Step 1- Cut out the template (download below) and place it on your piece of cardboard. Draw around the outside of the template, the inside of the circle and mark the dots with a pencil. Cut out your snail using a craft knife and cutting board or scissors.
Step 2- Use a sharp tool to make small holes through the cardboard at each point where you have marked a dot. (I used the point of a small pair of scissors)
Step 3- Take an 80″ length of cotton string. Using a tapestry needle, thread one end of the string through hole 1 from front to back and tie a knot at the back to secure in place.
Step 4- Thread the other end of your string onto your tapestry needle. Using the numbers on your template to guide you, next thread your string from back to front through point 7. Next, thread your string from front to back through point 2. Continue to alternate threading front to back, back to front as you work your way around the circle using the instructions in the next step.
Step 5- Thread your string from point 2 to point 8, from point 8 to point 3, from point 3 to point 9, from point 9 to point 4, from point 4 to point 10, from point 10 to point 5, from point 5 to point 11, from point 11 to point 6 and from point 6 to point 12. Do not thread point 13 just yet. Your warp string should now look like the image below.
Step 6- From point 12 take your needle and string underneath the warp threads and bring it up in between the warp threads at points 6&7. Pull the thread tight. You should now see your warp threads come together into 12 “spokes”. Next, thread your string through point 13 from back to front.
Step 7- From point 13 run your needle and string over the warp threads and bring it down between points 8&9. Pull tight. Finally run your needle back through point 1 from back to front. Tie the thread securely, trim any excess string and use a small piece of tape to secure the loose ends to the back. You now have a circular snail loom ready for weaving!
Weaving On Your Snail Loom
Step 1- Cut a number of approx 30″ lengths of colourful yarn. Thread one length onto your tapestry needle and pull it through from back to front between any of the two yarn spokes. Leave a 2″ tail of yarn at the back of your weaving. Now, working in a clockwise direction begin weaving the yarn over and under each spoke, pulling tightly and gently pushing the yarn towards the centre of the circle every so often to create a tight weave. When beginning with a new piece of yarn it is best to hold the tail of the yarn in place at the back of the weaving until you have done one full circle around the loom, This way you won’t accidentally pull your tail through and lose your weaving.
Step 2- When you come to the end of your length of yarn, or you would like to change colour, bring your needle and yarn to the back of your weaving and turn the weaving over. Using your needle, thread the tail of your yarn underneath the yarn at the back of your weaving to secure the tail. Trim the tail to approx 2″. You can now take a new length of yarn and begin weaving in the place where you left off. Again, leaving a 2″ tail and holding the tail at the back of your work until you have completed a full circle around the loom.
Step 3- When you have finished weaving your snail, the back of your work will look a little bit like the image below. To tidy up your yarn tails you simply need to weave or thread them into the back of your work, taking them over and under the yarn on the back until they lie flat.
Your weaving is now complete and ready to display around your home. You could pop your sweet snail on the nature shelf, in pride of place on a bedside table or even use a bit of blu-tack to hang it on the wall. Enjoy!
Download your weaving template here.