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Build a Tape Loom

To help you get started with your tape loom, we've included instructions and a sheet of patterns that you can download.

Click here for tape loom instructions. (2MB Word Document)
Click here for sample patterns. (68KB Word Document)

We also have corrections to the story printed in the magazine:

1. On the patterns page, the warp reel is shown labeled as "actual size." It is NOT actual size.
2. Also on the patterns page, the drawing shows two cogs on the warp reel. There is only one cog on the warp reel and one cog on the take-up reel, on opposite sides of the box.

Clarifications: Under "Materials," you will see: 2' of 1" square wood. This is for the warp reel and take-up reel. Once you have the box constructed, you will then need to measure between the support arms, leaving a little room for the reel to rotate. This will be the length of the center portion of the warp reel. With the take-up reel, you will need to measure the inside dimension of where the take-up reel will be placed, with a little extra room for rotating, to determine the length of the take-up reel. It is critical that you get the holes that are drilled into both the warp reel and take-up reel CENTERED.

Here are some tapes made by the authors showing variations:

Photos 1 and 2 (above and below): "chain" pattern, using heavy linen thread. I modified the pattern by increasing to 27 warp threads (evenly distributing the increase in the pattern to keep it balanced), and it made a tape that measures 11/16 inch in width.

Above, "checkerboard" pattern, using 3/2 cotton thread. This tape has 26 warp threads and is almost 3/4 inch in width.

Above, "chain" pattern, using 16/2 linen thread in black and natural unbleached linen. It has 21 warp threads and is 5/16 inch wide.

Above, solid (no pattern) 16/2 linen in natural unbleached. This tape has 15 warp threads and is a little less than 1/4 inch wide.

Above, "horizontal stripes (very narrow)" pattern done in 16/2 natural (unbleached) and black linen thread (18 warp threads). This made a tape 1/4 inch wide. Note that I used natural instead of black for the weft, resulting in an interesting edge detail.

Above, "horizontal stripes" pattern in heavy linen thread (bleached and unbleached). There are 24 warp threads in this tape, and it measures 5/8 inch in width.

Above, "dots" pattern in 3/2 cotton in black and khaki. This tape has 20 warp threads and measures 1/2 inch in width.

Above, "checkerboard" pattern in 16/2 linen thread in black and natural (unbleached). This tape has 16 warp threads and is 1/2 inch in width. Note that I have used natural as the weft thread, and it gives an interesting edge detail against the black outer warp threads.

Rudy and Pat McKinney
R. McKinney, 1777
504 Lincoln Road
Elizabethtown, KY 42701