How To Build Your Own Bead Loom
I've been an avid beader for many years. I love making beaded strips for belts and hatbands etc, but often the small commercial size looms would frustrate me to no end, having to loosen screws and roll up my finished work. Being on a tight budget at the time, and having little money for crafty things, one day i decided to see if i could build a loom that i could make with materials i had laying around at home, and at the same time, provide an easy to manage way of beading long strips. Here is a step by step tutorial of my design that has lasted for me for over 10 years and is still going strong, and cost me nothing to build.
ITEMS YOU WILL NEED
- 1x6 board of any kind at least 4 feet long
- wood glue
- 6 wood screws
- duct tape
Step By Step Tutorial
Take your 1x6 board and cut it in to three pieces. Cut one long piece about 3 or 4 feet. It depends on the length of the beaded pieces you want to make. I made mine 36 inches long. If you are only making hatbands you could build a much smaller loom. You need two pieces of 1x6 for the sides. Make them about 6 inches long.
Lay the long board flat and glue the two small pieces on so it looks like the picture below. Reinforce the boards by adding 2 wood screws at each end. This is because when you are winding nylon thread tightly across the loom, it causes a lot of pressure on the end boards, and you will want to make sure those end boards have no chance of bending.
In the center of each small end piece. place a small wood screw in the center. Do not screw completely in. These screws will act as anchors for your thread.
Take your toothpicks and glue them on so that most of the toothpick is attached to the board and the remaining part sticks above the board. These will act as separators for your rows of thread. You could also attach a comb to the board instead of toothpicks, or a spring of some kind, anything that will separate your strings evenly and not too far apart. As an added reinforcement, i wrapped strong duct tape around the glued part of the toothpicks. Rugged and simple in design, but it works very well and lasts for years, giving you a chance to spend your money on beads and patterns instead.