Camp Creek Blog

Weave it to me

Published by Lori Pickert on August 24, 2007 at 01:38 AM

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Karrie from Girl on the Rocks is starting a week of weaving information about looms, patterns, and more. Check out her blog for great ideas about palm-sized looms and weaving projects.

For young children, you can't go wrong with a classic plastic pot-holder loom and a bag of nylon loops. This is the type we use with kids age 3 and up in the classroom and art studio.

The loom pictured up above was a heddle loom we used in the classroom. It is useful for weaving belts, skinny scarves, bracelets, bookmarks, and headbands. You can make your own heddle with popsicle sticks; maybe we'll show you how in another post.

For large weaving projects, or shared projects on which several children can work together, you can purchase large classroom looms for about $215. Or you can do what we did — find a big, cheap wooden picture frame (thrift store, garage sale, junk shop, or clearance), drill holes along the top and bottom, and insert pieces of dowel rod you cut yourself. Total cost: approximately $4.00. We added a couple of pieces of wood at the bottom to serve as feet, strung it up, and we were good to go. (I can’t find a photo of our loom to share, unfortunately…)

Read about it elsewhere:

Purl Bee: The Lure of the Loom

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eloominator blog

For a nice selection of plastic and wood looms, check out Dick Blick. Be careful: art supplies are just as enticing online as they are in person.

How to Build a clay table

Published by Lori Pickert on August 23, 2007 at 01:56 AM

If you work a lot with clay, you can build your own clay table.

First, find a cheap wooden table at a junk shop or garage sale. (Habitat for Humanity ReStores offer both used furniture and used building materials.) We paid $10 for our table.

Next, cut the legs down to size so the height is appropriate for your children. (Measure the first leg, then hold it up against the others to make sure they match exactly.)

Purchase enough plain canvas (about $2 to $4/yard from the fabric store) to cover the table top. Be sure your fabric is wide enough to wrap around each side. Before you go to the fabric store, take a look at the edges of your table to see how much extra material you'll need. Simple table tops will only require four inches or so; tables with elaborate skirting will require more.

At home, center fabric on the table top. (You don't have to cut the material to size -- just leave the extra and you can trim it off later. You just need to make sure it's wide enough and long enough to cover.)

Using a staple gun, put one stable in the center of one side of the table, wrapping the material around and stapling underneath the table top. Stretch material and continuing stapling, finishing first one side, then its opposite side, then the final two sides.

The finished canvas-covered table is perfect for working with clay. The canvas absorbs excess moisture, and clean up consists of just brushing away extra dried clay pieces the next day. If your clay starts to become too dry, give the canvas a spritz of water.

If you don't have room for a whole table, you can cover a piece of chipboard or plywood cut to your desired size, and bring it out when you're ready to pinch, poke, and roll. Just be sure you lay a towel or other protective layer between your clay board and table to prevent scratching.

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