Thursday, July 17, 2014

Small DIY Rubber Band Loom {Stash-buster Project}

I recently found this idea at a blog I follow (she always has super-creative ideas, though hasn't been posting much lately). My parents made me a "knitty knobby" when I was a kid, using a wooden spool with nails pounded in one end. You then use yarn and a crochet hook (or bent bobby pin, as I did) to "knit" a bracelet, necklace, etc

This is basically the same thing, just using a piece of 2x3 instead of a wooden spool.

As soon as I saw this idea, I knew I had to make some. I have TONS of small pieces of wood that are perfect for this project, and I thought it would make it easier for Sunshine to make bracelets. She has a larger loom, but she can never remember which direction and order to do things. Since I have the same problem (I blame our fuzzy celiac brains), I completely understand. The great thing about these looms is that you do the hard part once (the initial set-up), and then it's smooth sailing till the end. And the set-up takes two seconds, unlike with the larger loom, so I don't mind helping Sunshine over and over if I need to.

I drilled holes of various sizes into several chunks of scrap wood, then I hammered in small nails in pairs. I ended up making looms with 2, 4, 6, and 8 pairs of nails.

Then I looked up some tutorials. I discovered that the quickest way to find ones specific to this style of loom is to search for the "Monster Tail" tutorials. I found several for 2, 4, 6, and 8 pins here.

I started out with the easy fishtail  (2 pin).

Then I tried the (top) single band quad fish  (4 pin) and the (bottom) cross quad fish  (4 pin).

Next was the  python  (6 pin).

And I followed that with the compact triple fishtail  (8 pin).

this makes a cool flat bracelet

After making looms with different numbers of pins and then making bracelets on them, I have a couple thoughts.

  1. Hammering the nails in straight makes it much easier to work with the rubber bands. The rubber bands kept sliding down the looms with the angled nails. 
  2. Hammering the nails in a square or rectangular pattern rather than a round pattern would make it easier to set up the various bracelet styles. The tutorials I watched used the Monster Tail, which is set up in a rectangular pattern, and it's a lot easier to keep everything neat and orderly when you can clearly see where everything goes.
  3. Using two nails for each pin is a must- they make it super easy for the hook to catch the rubber bands and loop them around each other.
  4. The size of the hole doesn't really seem to matter much, except a larger hole does make it easier to hammer 16 nails around it.

Sunshine was very interested as I worked on these bracelets and helped finish a couple of them. She's already made one and is looking forward to making more of her own, now that she's seen how easy they are.

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