Handwoven faux postage #2

handwoven letter postcard by Su MwambaIn a recent post, I claimed that the stamp woven in the corner of this ‘letter’ was my first handwoven faux postage.  Who knew?  Turns out I was wrong…!  I just re-discovered an old post of mine from 2010 in which I wove a postage stamp on a tiny matchbox loom!

I had completely forgotten about this, but really need to try it again – it would totally be possible to embroider a little detail onto the surface of this tiny weaving…  

Matchbox weaving loom

Ironically, this miniature weaving probably took as long to complete as the handwoven postcards I have talked about recently, due to the fine embroidery threads used instead of bulkier knitting wools.  It would be possible to weave a quicker stamp using a bulkier yarn or thread, though – it would just afford less opportunity for adding finer detail.

See the original post for further details.

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Handwoven faux postage!

Well, it could be.  I’ve been meaning to make a matchbox weaving loom ever since writing my Borrowers zine, and today, I finally got around to it, and I even remembered to scan each step of the way:

Cut down to basics, all you need to do is:

  • Snip notches at approx. 3mm intervals along the short edges of a 32ct matchbox tray.  (My advice: mark it out first!  I ended up with 7 notches, but an even number will work better when it comes to ‘finishing’/removing from loom.)
  • Warp loom.  I warped all the way from one end to the other, around the back of the loom and back to starting point.  See finishing tips below for how the way you warp will affect your options.
  • Use matches woven under and over alternate threads to adjust tension, as required.  I removed the matchsticks as the weaving grew, so that I could weave all the way to the top of the loom.
  • Weave!  I used a (hand-dyed) variegated perle 5 cotton to get a stripy effect without having to change threads too often.  Using a needle will help you when weaving.  I used the needle I use for bookbinding, because it happened to be to-hand; but the book-binding needle is a sharp, and a blunt-ended tapestry needle would be far better advised!  Visit my weaving freebies page for basic/additional weaving instructions.
  • Removing your weaving from the loom will depend on how you have warped:
  1. If you have an even number of warps and warped all around the outside of the matchbox tray, snip across the threads in the centre of the matchbox reverse.  Tie off warp threads in pairs, and trim to preferred length of fringe.
  2. If you warped your loom back and forth around notches (across front of loom only), carefully nudge loops off notches and thread onto matchsticks for a miniature wall-hanging.

Well, it entertained me, so hope you will enjoy this little (no pun intended 😉 ) project, too.  Let me know if you try this out – would love to see pictures!

Borrowers & matchboxes

Borrowers coverIt’s felt like a very long time in the making, but my Borrowers zine is finally complete!  I actually wrote the main text for the zine back in June, when I made a miniature zine to fit in a matchbox, for a swap.  I really went to town, and included a set of pins for Homily’s ‘knitting needles’ and the lens from a pair of reading glasses to magnify the text.  I wanted to expand the idea before I released it, though, and around printer problems, internet connection issues & various other deadlines, have finally managed to get everything finished!

The new version of the zine is A5 (half-sized) – but don’t be disappointed if you were hoping for a matchbox zine: I have also included a printout of the miniature version, matchbox templates, a page from a rescued edition of the Borrowers, and a magnifying lens, so that you can make your own micro matchbox zine!

The larger format of the zine just means that you can read all of the text without straining your eyes!   If you ever wanted to find out more about Borrowers, this zine is your place to begin, tracing Borrower history back to Lilliputian times, looking at depictions of Borrowers in literature, as well as considering the likelihood of Borrower colonisation in your own home…  I have illustrated the text with lots of pictures that I have ‘borrowed’ from the many various editions of ‘The Borrowers’ that have been published, over the years.

Both the mini & full-size zines include 5 Borrower-inspired projects, taking elements from Mary Norton’s classic depictions of Borrower life, such as postage stamp art, re-purposed junkmail, a retro rug to put red blotting paper to shame, Homily’s knitting needles, and – of course! – the classic matchbox chest of drawers. The larger version of the zine also includes additional resources for re-purposed & miniature crafts, as well as spaces for you to fill in your own Borrower-themed ideas!

Click here to buy your copy from the TangleCrafts Etsy Store, or here for Folksy.

As a taster, or just if you want to play with any matchbox-themed craft, I have posted a matchbox template in the freebies section.  Enjoy!