Blue and beige yarn balls on top of tangerine, orange, red, and blue sheer fabric nect to two pieces of card board and scissors

Make your own loom using a sturdy piece of cardboard. 

We want to see your creations! Share on social media @hirshhorn with #HirshhornInsideOut.

Time: 20–30 minutes

Do you want to make your own woven creations? Meet the cardboard loom. You can make one using a sturdy piece of cardboard and a pair of scissors. Once complete, explore the possibilities of weaving your own intricate creations!


Step 1: Gather materials. 

  • You’ll need cardboard, scissors, and glue or tape. 
  • You’ll also want two supports for the loom (chopsticks, popsicle sticks, or pencils will work well).

Blue and beige yarn balls on top of tangerine, orange, red, and blue sheer fabric next to two pieces of cardboard and scissors

Step 2: Prepare your cardboard! 

  • Start with a rectangular piece of cardboard. We suggest making your loom about 6 inches by 8 inches to start.  As you practice more, try making a loom with larger dimensions.
  • Cut a window, leaving a 2-inch frame around the outside. This is important, as you’ll need room for the slits in the next step. Note: Younger children may require assistance cutting through sturdy cardboard.

A cardboard rectangle has a smaller rectangle drawn about one inch from the edge and a hand cuts on cuts along the black outline with a pair of scissors.

Step 3: Cut slits 

  • Snip slits on the top and bottom of the loom about ¼inch apart. Make the same number of slits top and bottom, and as even as possible.

The cardboard rectangle frame has small marks drawn at opposite ends. Scissors cut the short lines.

Step 4: Add supports

  • Tape or glue a support (chopstick, pencil, popsicle stick) to the two longer sides of the loom 

A chopstick is taped to either side on the back of the loom. A shuttle, made out of a long narrow cardboard rectangle with small U shapes cut out of both small ends, is next to the cardboard loom.

Step 5: Weave Away!

Try your hand at weaving with this project inspired by artist Anni Albers.

The cardboard loom has white strings running vertically and orange, red, blue, and purple strips of fabric running horizontally, over and under each white string. Three finished weavings are displayed. The top weaving is white with red, purple, yellow, and orange. The ends of the weft (horizontal strips of material) are loose and fluffy. The middle weaving is made with smaller yarn. It is mostly beige with a touch of navy. A shimmery yarn has been woven back and forth on the surface of the weaving. The bottom weaving is navy blue with red, orange, purple, and blue. It has a silver ribbon woven through the left side.
Level up: Make a shuttle

Want to create more intricate designs using thinner yarn and fabric pieces? Follow these instructions to craft your own shuttle!

  • Cut a rectangular piece of cardboard that is as wide as your loom.
  • Cut two small U-shapes out of the longer sides of your rectangle.

a ball of blue yarn and bundle of wavy white yarn are next to the cardboard loom, cardboard shuttle, scissors, and tapestry needle.

We want to see your creations! Share on social media @hirshhorn with #HirshhornInsideOut.