All natural twine, yarn, or thread. Cotton or wool is our favorite.
Some collected sticks, similar sizes.
Any foraged goods, flowers, grass, petals, or any other found bit you can thread through the loom.
I’ve mentioned in previous crafts how I love to start with some outside time. Any craft that involves exploration and observation in the natural world is a favorite of mine, this craft is one of my favorites. We start with a basket and the first thing we find are our sticks. You need four to do each loom. We gathered some and later broke them down to make something a little more sizable for toddler fingers. Next, we gather what we will weave with. We had an older bouquet in our house so we brought those out to use and then took a little walk around the yard to collect a variety of other flowers and plants. Be sure you know if there are any poisonous plants in your area, we stayed away from the hemlock in the wild portions of our yard. Once you collect a large enough variety, set up a blanket outside with all of your supplies and start the project!
The first step is to build the loom. Odin has just turned three so he could only help a bit with this. We cut four pieces of yarn for each corner of the loom to start. I pulled out about eight inches and let him snip with the pruners for each piece. He held onto the yarn while I tied each piece to a corner.
I began by tying diagonally with a knot, then wrapping the yarn around the rest of the corner, alternating the direction of the angle to create an “x” over the two sticks. I ended with another knot to finish the thread.
After tying all four corners together, we set up the diagonal threads for the weaving portion.
I tied a knot at one end of the top stick then zigzagged my way across the loom, wrapping the yarn around twice to hold it in place at each spot. Tie the yarn at the last spot in a knot.
Once the loom is ready, you can start to weave the plants through the thread. I showed Odin how to weave up and down through each string and alternate with the next piece for the second row. He’s only just turned three so he only really grasped the basic concept, weaving the plants in the middle of the loom, skipping over some thread while weaving. This is totally okay! Let them have a little free range with this, allowing them to learn and explore in a more hands on way.
Every few flowers, we would push the plants upwards to make them a little closer together. You can let your child have completely free range with this if you’d rather, allowing them to play with space and placement on their own. We worked on this together, so I would push the stems together to give us more room for more weaving.
Once complete, you have a little nature tapestry to display! We love doing these at any noticeable season change. This is a great project to accompany talk of seasons and the changes that happen with them. In Fall there is less variety and the colors are very different, but it is still so much fun to seek out Autumn plants that work with this sort of piece. My boy was very proud of his creation and carried it around for awhile after finishing. He played with the plants that remained, dissecting flowers and counting out leaves. We tied a piece of yarn to either side of the top stick so that our loom was ready to hang. You can also prop these up on a shelf or mantle. Displaying them is so much fun though and they still look beautiful after they dry out. Have fun with this project and continue to approach it whenever it seems fitting, it’s so much fun to watch this project and the process your child uses transform over the years!