Make this DIY Woven Wall Hanging
Have you looked at woven wall hangings in this beautiful style, and thought I’d never be able to make something like that? Well you are wrong, it’s actually a surprisingly achievable project! And I’m so excited to teach you how.
I learnt how to make woven wall hangings about 3 years ago, when they were first starting to pop up in interiors online. I was so surprised by how quickly I got the hang of it, and before long i was whipping up wall hangings over the course of a few days. But i do remember thinking how tricky it was to find instructions online that I could download and take away on holiday, and that had supplies and lingo that suited New Zealand (and Australia). So this project was born, and I’m so proud of it! Over 400 people have bought my e-book, and I’ve had SO many share their love and joy of learning to make wall hangings with my instructions, and the beautiful unique results.
What’s to expect
In this tutorial, I’ll show you the different techniques you can weave with, such as the plait look, tassels and standard weave. Then you can combine these to make your own unique piece.
Once you’ve made one, you’ll find it is so much easier to make the next one, and before you know it you’ll be whipping them up in a few hours! It is so much fun choosing all the colours and textures for each new weave... you are going to get hooked :)
In this blog you will find the step by step instructions to make your own wall hanging. I’d highly recommend you also download my free E-book, which is in an easy-read, downloadable format. Perfect to save for reference, or print out to take away on holiday (I love doing projects like this over summer when I’m in relax mode!).
There will also be a video tutorial coming soon…
Here is what you’ll need:
Yarn Needle: This is a blunt needle large enough to thread with wool (I got mine from Spotlight for about $4)
A loom: You can buy one or make your own with a frame and screws – remove the glass etc from the frame, then add screws along the top and bottom, about 15mm apart. See my blog here for ideas on how to make your own.
Yarn for your warp: I used 100% cotton thread in cream – it just needs to be strong and not too stretchy.
Yarn to weave the design with: These are called the weft and go horizontally:
It looks great if you use a mix of weights and textures to give the weave contrast. I bought all mine from Spotlight.
The yarn can be wool or acrylic (or a combo).
I recommend anything that looks at least 8 ply plus. Thicker yarn is quicker to use whereas thinner yarn takes longer to build up.
Also, make sure you get your hands on some wool roving – this is the beautiful soft fibres you often see in weaves. I buy mine from Divinity Fibres (on Etsy) or Heart from Hazel online. You can also search for “Corriedale wool roving” for other kiwi suppliers.
A tube or rod to keep the weave tight: I used a 20mm piece of dowel cut about 2cm wider than the frame on each size. You could also use a piece of copper pipe or other pipe you have at home.
Dowel to hang it with: This can be thinner than the other dowel, and cut a couple of cm wider on each side.
Step One: Create the Warp
These are the vertical lines which are taut and hold the weave together. Grab your cotton warp thread and tie it off around the bottom left corner of the frame (tie it to the right of the first screw so that it doesn’t ride up). Then thread up around the left side of the far left top screw and back down around the bottom left screw. Then up around the next screw and down again, and so on. Finish up on the bottom right corner, and tie off your thread around the base of the frame. I make the thread as tight as I can for this process – it will still have some give by the time you finish the warp, but try make it as tight as you can.
TIP: Make sure each of the top screws have a single loop over them – at the end when you take your weave off the loom, you’ll be hanging it from these very loops.
Step Two: Create Tension
Now take your large dowel and push it down to the bottom of the loom, as far as you can. This helps tighten the warp threads, as well as giving some room to tie off the bottom of the weave when you are finished.
Step Three: Weaving Time
Now for the fun part! I’ll show you a few different weaving styles, then you can build them up as you wish to create your own beautiful piece. It’s up to you how you combine them, which makes each wall hanging different and unique. Have fun experimenting with these styles as well as making some of your own!
TIP: You can either use single strands or double them over, to get different effects.
First of all let’s do the basic weaving style. Just cut off a length of yarn and thread it on your needle. Then starting on either side, go under and over each warp thread. Once you get to the opposite side, push it down against the wooden dowel, then go back the other way making sure you go under and over the opposite warp threads. Keep going back and forth until you’ve got a band you’re happy with, then finish on the side.
TIP: I always start my wall hangings with a small section of basic weave style. It means that when you tie it off at the end, it seems to hold together well.
See how you can use the needle to weave the pattern quickly, rather than going up and down individually? Just weave the needle through flat and the yarn will pull along behind it much faster!
When that section is done, flip over your wall hanging. Use your needle to thread the loose strands back towards the middle (I just tuck them under one or two warp threads). Then tie them together to lock them off. I wait until the end to actually chop off the ends, unless they are really long now.
For this technique we make individual tassels, and tie them onto the warp in a row.
TIP: It looks great if you do one or two rows of tassels at the bottom of your wall hanging – I do this as the very next step after I’ve got a small band of basic weave at the bottom.
A: Double up some yarn to create your first tassel (as long as you want). I usually double over until it’s at least 4 - 6 threads thick (it depends how thick the yarn is and how big you want them).
B: To make the tassel, thread the yarn under the 2 far left warp threads. Make sure it’s centred, then pull the middle of the yarn up between the two warp threads to create a small loop.
C: Then pull both ends of the yarn around and down through the top of the loop, and tighten them into the tassel. Easy!
TIP: Before you do your first tassel, count the warp threads to check you have an even amount of pairs. If you have an odd warp thread left over, then do your first tassel using the first 3 warp threads (just double 2 up on one side).
TIP: Wait until you are finished before you cut the ends to the desired length.
Also known as soumak, this is my favourite style and gives your wall hanging wow factor. It takes a bit of practice but is well worth it. This looks best with wool roving, heavy yarn or doubled up yarn.
TIP: I always finish with this style at the top of the wall hanging. It seems to hold quite well for when you thread the hanger across the top.
A: Get a long thick piece of wool roving ready. You can divide wool roving into workable thickness by carefully pulling it apart.
B: Arrange your wool on the right hand side of the loom. Grab the 2 warp threads on the far left side, and thread the wool under, leaving a small loose end out the left – most of the wool stays on the right hand side.
C: Grab the second pair of warp threads from the left. Weave the long tail end of the wool over the second pair of warp strands (moving from left to right) and then underneath that same pair (moving from right to left).
D: Pull the tail of the wool down toward the right on a diagonal angle.
E: Now grab the next pair of warp threads, and do steps C and D again.
F: Repeat this until you get to the right hand side. Then do a second loop around the far right pair of warp threads.
G: Now go back the way you came! Grab the second pair of warp threads from the right.
H: Thread the tail end of the wool over the top of the second pair (moving from right to left) then underneath the same pair (moving from left to right). Pull the thread down to the left on a diagonal.
I: Repeat this pattern until you get to the far left side.
I then just tie the 2 ends together and leave the tail hanging down the side. Or you can tuck the ends around the back.
This technique is simple. Just do a single row with a thick yarn or a doubled up yarn, and leave it at that, so that it shows the exposed warp threads. I’ve done a few rows in the image below, but it does look great with just one row of wide wool roving.
TIP: Make sure you’ve gone over the top of the warp threads on the far end of each side, so that when you tie this off at the back it wraps around the last warp thread on each side.
I call this technique clouds because the effect is light fluffy formations like clouds! You need to use wool roving to create this effect.
This is a bit of a freestyle technique. Just weave the wool roving across the section you want to cover, pulling it out into bubbles and tying it around like knots. Build up this effect until you have completed the area you want to cover.
Now that you know the various techniques, you can enjoy combining them to create a wall hanging you love!
Step Four: Tidy up the back
Turn over the weave, and take a bit of time to tidy it up. Tie up the threads and cut off long ends. Try to keep it as flat as possible and with nothing poking out the sides, so it hangs nicely on the wall.
Remove the wall hanging from the loom
Flick up the tassels so that you can see the bottom of the wall hanging, then remove the wooden dowel. One pair at a time, cut the warp threads and tie them together firmly against the weaving. Keep going until they are all tied off. If you have an odd one left at the end just tie the last 3 together.
Then carefully pull the top loops off the screws, and thread through the wooden dowel. To hang the wall hanging, I simply cut a length of cotton yarn, and doubled it up until it was the right length. Then knot each end around the dowel, and you can hang it just like that.
I hope you loved making this project as much as I did, and now feel excited about making many more beautiful woven wall hangings.
I would absolutely love to hear how you go and see pictures, or hear any questions you may have, so please share them with Clever Poppy via instagram or email email@example.com