DIY Watercolor Weaving

by Garrett Fleming

DIY Watercolor Weaving, Design*Sponge

Colorful, monochromatic, textured or flat, woven works of all kinds have become more popular than ever. And one weaver whose work we have our eye on is Hello Hydrangea’s founder Lindsey Campbell. With materials from around the world, pattern galore and even a few pom poms for good measure, she takes centuries-old weaves and gives them an eclectic update. It’s a style uniquely hers.

Not only is Lindsey a stellar artist, we recently learned she’s also a teacher. Perfect, we thought, Who better to walk our readers through making a weaving of their own?! And so today’s DIY was born. The tutorial she’s put together for us, albeit simple, is bound to enrich your space. Better yet, pretty much all ya need is some cardboard, dye and yarn. So scroll down to take a look at some of Lindsey’s work, gather your supplies and start crafting your own weaving from scratch. Enjoy! —Garrett

DIY Watercolor Weaving, Design*Sponge

Image above: Found beads, vintage trim and even fabric she’s found around the world all add pizazz to Lindsey’s works.



Step 1

Make a weaving loom by cutting 18-20 slits into the top and bottom of your cardboard piece about 1/2″ apart and 1/4″ deep.

Step 2

Use undyed, 100% cotton yarn to tie a knot around the top first notch, then guide it down and loop it around the bottom first notch, then up again around the top second notch.

Step 3

Continue guiding your yarn up and down, around each notch until you reach the end. This is called “warping your loom.” Tie a knot around the last notch to hold your yarn in place on the loom.

Step 4

Cut a new length of yarn, about one yard long. Tie one end 1.5″ from the bottom onto the first warp string, leaving a 2″ tail. Thread your needle onto the other end of the yarn.

DIY Watercolor Weaving, Design*Sponge

Step 5

Guide your needle over the first string, under the second, over the third, under the fourth… etc. This is the basic weaving stitch and is called the “tabby” weave.

DIY Watercolor Weaving, Design*Sponge

Step 6

When you reach the last warp string, turn the needle around and create a new row going back across the strings. If you ended the first row by going over the last warp string, begin this second row by going under the same string, and visa versa, to hold your rows in place. When you run out of yarn, simply cut a new piece, tie it onto the end and re-thread your needle onto the new length of yarn. Complete 5-6″ of tabby rows.

Step 7

To add fringe, cut five pieces of yarn, each 5″ long. Lay the center of this bundle across two warp strings. Wrap each end behind the adjacent warp string and up through the center of both warp strings. These are called “rya” knots. To keep them in place, continue two rows of the tabby weave after each rya.

Step 8

Add more fringe wherever you want. You can add them on an angle by placing them 1-2 warp strings apart, seperating them with two rows of tabby after each rya knot. When you are happy with the length of your weave, tie a knot onto the last warp string.

Step 9

Cut the ends of your warp strings. In pairs of two, knot them together to hold the weave in place.

Step 10

Place your weave on a few layers of paper towels in a shallow baking dish, to avoid dyeing anything underneath the weave.

Step 11

Begin with a very small dye-to-water ratio. One cup of water with a drop or two of dye is all you need for the first layer. Use a paintbrush to apply the dye to your weave in loose large patches.

Step 12

Increase your dye-to-water ratio. One cup of water with 1/4 tsp. of dye. Apply the dye in smaller patches on top of of the first layer.

Step 13

Increase your dye-to-water ratio again. One cup of water to 3/4 tsp. of dye. Again, apply the dye in smaller patches on top of the first two layers. You can repeat this process as many times as you want to achieve the effect and saturation that you want. It helps to look at images of watercolor in order to understand how the diluted layers should be laid out.

DIY Watercolor Weaving, Design*Sponge

Step 14

Use a cup of undyed water to help you blend any edges and spread the color where you want on the weave. When you are satisfied with the result, replace the layers of paper towels and allow your weave to dry completely.
DIY Watercolor Weaving, Design*Sponge

Now that you weave is complete you can use it however you want. Sew it onto a dowel or a stick to hang it straight on the wall or place it in a gallery box to frame it.

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  • Go Lindsey!! Woo hoo!!
    This is awesome! I think I might make my own and hang out in my office! Keep on going!!
    P.s. please move back to the Nottingham Country Ward <3

  • This was so cool !
    Have tried with yarn once, but never like this.

    Will definitely try it out in my little work shed :)