DIY Rainbow Woven Wall Hanging
I’m so excited to teach you how to make your own Rainbow Woven Wall Hanging! They look so beautiful hanging on the wall, with all that texture and soft colours. This is a really special DIY project, because you are making something coveted that you can’t really buy. Well you might be able to find one to buy if you look in the right places, but given the skill and time involved to make a unique piece from scratch, they are quite an investment.
I’ve developed this technique using rug mat instead of a loom. I find this method a bit faster than using a loom, and the larger size seems to hold its shape well. It still takes a bit of time to learn and persevere, but it seems a bit more achievable than a traditional wall hanging on a loom.
I hope you really enjoy making your first weave with my step by step guide. And believe me, the more you weave the easier it gets. I bet you get hooked just like me! Let’s get started...
The Matting: This is the framework for your weave, known as ‘Rug Canvas’, Latch Hook Canvas’ or ‘Latch Hook Mat’. Try to get one with a grid outlined on it that has about 3 holes per inch (often called ‘3.3 or 3.75 count’). I bought mine from Spotlight (it’s called ‘rug canvas’). Lots of online shops sell it. I cut a piece of mat about 55cm wide x 37cm long for this weave. When you cut the mat to size leave as much of the grid overhanging the edges as possible (so the side strands of the mat don’t pull off).
Wool Roving: You’ll need about 6 colours of wool roving for the rainbow, plus some cream or white for the background. Wool roving is a type of really soft fibrous wool. I buy mine from Divinity Fibres on Etsy, it’s amazing quality. You can also buy it in NZ from Heart from Hazel online, or search for Corriedale Wool Roving, which is sold at various stores online. For this wall hanging I used about 40g of each of the coloured wool rovings. And about 150g of white. It will depend on how chunky you weave, but that gives you a guide.
Tip: the better quality wool roving is much easier to work with and doesn’t fluff up or snag as much. Look for roving that is merino, high grade or ‘luxury’ if you can.
Balls of Wool: Choose a ball of wool to match each colour of wool roving you’ve chosen. I usually take my wool roving into a craft store and literally match each colour as closely as I can with a ball of wool. Try and choose wool that is reasonably thick, about 8 ply.
A piece of dowel and some string to hang the weave from. Cut the dowel so it’s a couple of centimetres wider on each side than the mat (your hardware store will probably do this for you, if you ask nicely).
Yarn Needle: This is a blunt needle large enough to thread the string through the wool roving at the end (to make the hanger). I got a plastic one from Spotlight for about $4 - or try any craft store.
Before we start, a tip: Don’t be a perfectionist! This style wall hanging has a lovely organic / boho feel, so don’t worry if each detail is perfect. Just take a couple of steps back and so long as you like it from afar, then it’s great!
I also really recommend you watch my YouTube tutorial on this project, while you are learning the technique. It helps so much to see the process in action! Find the tutorial on my channel ‘Clever Poppy’ or watch below:
You can also download this project in the easy-read E-Book format. See my downloadable version here:
Or keep reading for the tutorial…
STEP 1: Draw the Rainbow
First, draw a rainbow shape on the rug mat. Leave a band about 5 squares high along the bottom (that’s where the tassels will go). The rainbow only needs to be just visible, try not to make it really dark otherwise it might show through later. To keep the rainbow shape centred, I counted the squares from either side. You can also fold it in half to see if it lines up. I allowed the rainbow to be 2 or 3 squares wide per colour.
STEP 2: Weave the Rainbow in colour
Now start weaving your rainbow. Cut yourself a piece of wool roving, which is about 20cm long to start with. You can play around with how long you find manageable - it will depend on how thick your roving is. I also recommend pulling the wool roving apart so that each piece is divided into 2 or 3 strands thick. Overall the thicker it is - the better it looks, but try thinner and shorter until you get the hang of it.
Tip: try ‘twirling’ the leading end of the wool roving around so it stays together as you poke it through the holes in the rug mat. If it is catching as you pull it through, check underneath first as it can snag. And don’t worry if it does goes a bit fuzzy, you won’t notice overall.
Start by weaving up through the square at the bottom left of the rainbow, and weave your wool roving back down through a square about 4 higher, following the outline of the rainbow. Then weave it back up the next square, and back down again 3 or 4 along. Keen doing this until you have a full arc. Turn around and do another arc all the way back. Keep doing this with each colour until your rainbow is filled in.
Tip: Wool roving can be quite delicate and does break easily if you pull on it too hard. So persevere with the smaller length and width pieces until you get a feel for it. Don’t worry if your wool frays a bit as you work with it - it’s all part of the organic look.
STEP 3: Fill in the Border with white.
First of all let’s weave right around the border to hold it in place. The edges of the rug mat can be a bit fragile and it can come apart, so this is an important step.
Find a spot to start at the left side, and count 2 squares into the middle. Now weave up through that square, and left around and under the edge, then up through the square directly above. Keep going until you go right around the rug mat, only leaving the space directly under the rainbow (that’s where the tassels will go). At the corners, I just did a few more loops to try cover the rug mat up.
STEP 4: Fill in the Background in white
Now you need to weave under and over the rug mat grid to fill in the rest of the space. Again, the only area to leave blank is the space directly under the rainbow, where the tassels will go. Grab your white wool, and go up and down every single square, which creates a nice uniform look (this contrasts with the chunkier rainbow). Or if you are less patient, you can go up and down every 3 or so squares in the grid.
Keep weaving back and forth until the entire background is covered, including the middle of the rainbow. Go back and fill any spaces that look a bit sparse too (this can happen when you’re at the tail end of using a piece of wool roving and it gets thinner). And that’s the weaving part of the project all done!
STEP 5: Tidy the back
Before you move on to the next step, turn over the weave, and take a bit of time to tidy it up. The aim is for it to lie as flat as possible on the wall and for no loose ends to poke out the sides. I usually tie two loose ends to each other, trying to knot away from the edges. You can also tuck loose ends under woven bits.
Then trim off any excess wool, so that it’s not as bulky overall.
STEP 6: Add Tassels
Wall hangings look great with a row (or a few rows) of tassels along the bottom.
Choose your first colour, and cut a whole lot of lengths of yarn about 55 cm long. Then group them into sets of 4 or 5 (depending on how thick your wool is). Take your first set, and fold it in half. Then follow this method:
1. Choose a square directly underneath the matching wool roving section, then poke the set down through the hole, leading with the looped end
2. Bring it straight back up the square directly underneath
3. Pull the tail down through the loop that you’ve just brought up
4. Pull it down tightly, and that’s your first tassel!
Tip: Don’t tie the tassels too tight or you will warp the canvas, especially on the side tassels.
Now tie more tassels underneath the wool roving, in the matching colour. You will probably be able to fit 2 or 3 tassels on either side. Repeat this technique with your other colours, until you’ve got tassels hanging down fully underneath the rainbow.
You can add another identical row of tassels underneath, if you think they need to look a bit thicker. I usually do two rows.
Then trim all of the tassels to the length you want. Cut the tassels slightly longer than you think you’ll want, because you can always do a few trims at the end - but you can’t make them longer once they’re cut! They will also spring up a bit after you’ve cut them. And that’s it the tassel section of your weave is done!
STEP 7: Create the Hanger
Lay the dowel above the top of your wall hanging so it’s almost touching. Knot the yarn on the underside of the rug mat, at the top left. Now using your needle, loop it up and over the dowel and back through the mat. Keep doing this right along the whole top, and knot it on the far side once you are done.
Tie a length of string to either side to hang it with. Make sure you tie both sides, don’t just loop one side, or it will slip out of place. You can adjust the length to suit the size of the space where you are hanging it.
And that is it, you are all done and ready to hang this beauty on your wall! I hope you loved making this project as much as I did and now feel excited about making many more beautiful 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 @cleverpoppy or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and enjoy!