How to Make Flowers Using a Vintage Flower Loom

comments (27) July 11th, 2014     

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cathyofcalifornia cathy callahan, contributor
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Fluffed flower!
How to wrap the material around the pegs in a figure 8.
Detail of slant stitch.
Fluffed flower!

Fluffed flower!

Photo: Cathy Callahan
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I get lots of ideas for projects from vintage craft books and magazines. One day I ran across a copy of Swistraw and Flower Looms written in 1972 by LeJeune Whitney. As I looked at the pictures, I just fell in love with the flowers made on a small round loom using "Swistraw"-a brand name for a synthetic form of raffia.

Of course I just couldn't wait to get started but soon found out that the supplies were no longer being produced. I then embarked on a mission to seek them out. One thing led to another, and I ended up with so many supplies I started assembling kits that I sell at craft fairs. So many people tell me that this craft brings up happy memories of their moms, grandmothers, or aunties making flowers on a loom.

For this how-to, I'm using the "Multi-Fleur" loom. It's about 3-1/2 inches across and has two rows of pegs. The pegs are numbered 1–12 going counterclockwise. When you are first learning, it's probably a good idea to follow the numbers, but honestly once you get the hang of it you don't really need to.

You can use yarn, synthetic raffia, ribbon, string, even wire. I love the look of the vintage "Swistraw"-especially the colors and textures-but the synthetic raffia now marketed as gift ribbon is basically the same thing.

STEP 1
Starting with a 36-inch tail, secure the material in the notch near peg #7. Working counterclockwise, wrap your material around each of the outer pegs. You work in a figure 8 as you wrap the material around opposite pegs (1 to 7, 2 to 8, 3 to 9, 4 to 10, 5 to 11). Each time all the way around the loom creates one layer. Go completely around two to three times (i.e., two or three layers). Secure the end in the notch, leaving an 8-inch tail.

  How to wrap the material around the pegs in a figure 8.
  The first layer.

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posted in: vintage, flower, 60s, 70s, loom

Comments (27)

Criativa writes: it is very good to do this flowers. Thanks.
Posted: 11:25 am on July 12th
DpetalsSingapore writes: This is really wonderful that I have found this website. I would really admire the efforts made here to make the content & the whole stuff more wonderful than others.

Posted: 5:46 am on May 30th
tototwo2 writes: WOW!! I haven't used one of these since the early 70's. I remember how much fun I had making these with the vibrant colored plastic raffia. All my friends wanted one of my flowers. I must have gotten it for Christmas as a kit with the raffia and loom. I was really into crafts then and still em now. Hard to realize I'm VINTAGE, but I really played with this when I was young. Thanks for the great memory and now I'm going to search through my hidden craft stash and see if my loom is still around.
Posted: 7:58 pm on May 31st
Crumebum writes: Hi Cathy. Thanks for the lovely instructions. I'm sorry you don't put the kits together anymore - I would have bought one regardless of the price just to support people who "have a go". It's a shame you've been undercut and don't stock them anymore.
Posted: 5:59 pm on May 31st
athomewiththecat writes: I have just bought what I think is an antique flower loom from ebay, I was curious as to what it was.

Its about the same size as your green one but mine is metal with one set of spikes protruding out of the edge of the circle which can be retracted one flower is made.

Thanks to your instructions I can now use it.

Have you come across one like mine before ? The markings are "Eureka" and "Depose" and two "+" signs
Posted: 9:31 am on April 16th
Sheridanca writes: How great to find this article. I recently inherited a large amount of craft items from a dear friend whose mother had passed. Going through my newly acquired stash came across this loom. Thanks for giving me ideas as to how to use it.
Posted: 5:11 pm on October 31st
AmandaMac writes: I would like to get a hold of one of these looms Cathy. Are you still selling the kits? If so, where can I get one?
Posted: 8:21 pm on May 6th
chirpy writes: Thank you so much for putting instructions up here! My husband's granny had one of the looms but we thought it was a knitting frame! I've followed your instructions to decorate a scarf for my mum. Cheers :)
Posted: 1:12 pm on September 11th
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Posted: 3:09 pm on August 9th
sewstylingirl writes: I am going to try these
Posted: 8:54 am on February 13th
MOUMITA writes: OH GOD AT LAST I FOUND WHERE TO FIND THIS PRODUCT,... LAST 3WEEKS ..I WAS KEEP ON LOOKING FOR THIS PRODUCT BUT I COULDNT FIND.... THANKS DEARS...THANKS MISS CATHY TO SHOW LOVELY PROJECT....
Posted: 3:15 pm on April 26th
cathyofcalifornia writes: thanks for all of the tips of where to purchase.

looks like that there is now a much cheaper source for the looms - which are in fact still old stock and not a new production. the fact of the matter is that i have been severely undercut by someone selling the looms at a lower price than even my cost. as i have said i do provide a little more in my kits but it's difficult to compete.

i just want to say that it has always been my sincere intention to provide a source for a very cool vintage craft tool - i'm not making a million dollars - i cover my costs and time. i want to thank everyone in the craft community for their ongoing support.

thanks!

Posted: 3:35 am on September 29th
Sunshine114 writes: I Suggest everyone go to WDRAKE.COM to purchase a flower loom kit!!!

It is only $7.99!!!



Posted: 8:42 pm on September 28th
cathyofcalifornia writes: Thanks for checking out my tutorial I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! The things in my kits are vintage and no longer being made. Just like with everything else that's vintage, they can be found in many places and for various prices. My kits contain looms and an original instruction book as well as a resource sheet (sources for supplies, links for additional information, etc.) as well as a close up photo of some original vintage flowers so you can be inspired by vintage flowers!
Posted: 11:50 am on September 18th
sandollar writes: I found the looms at Walter Drake.com and they were $7.99 for a kit, with several size looms, crochet hooks, and needles along with instructions. Much cheaper........give it a try.
Posted: 7:35 pm on September 15th
mary_anna writes: Ooohhh! I can't wait to get my loom set in the mail (that I ordered from Cathy's etsy shop on Friday). I'm busily collecting ideas!!!
Posted: 10:18 pm on May 3rd
lling writes: Very clear instructions !
Posted: 10:02 am on April 11th
kmccloud writes: I love these flowers and as a Daycare provider, these are the projects the children and I will be working on for there Mothers Days presents.
Posted: 3:44 pm on March 17th
eveh writes: I am learning how to weave on a cardboard loom. These little flowers would be perfect to embellish one of my bags.
Posted: 5:52 pm on January 16th
trishdarling writes: I love the Bloom Loom! I sometimes make flowers with it for my knit hats!
Posted: 9:26 pm on September 22nd
BeadSpinner writes: What a fun and inspiring gadget! I could see using various fibers/yarns or colored wire with beads. The possibilities are endless. Thank you for sharing!
Posted: 1:36 pm on September 20th
cathyofcalifornia writes: thanks everybody!

i had so much fun doing this post. am so thrilled that you all are wearing clips and brooches made with the looms.
Posted: 12:13 pm on September 19th
LindaPermann writes: these are so cute. i love to make them with my yarn scraps.

and if anyone has a hard time finding a vintage one, most craft stores still sell these under the name of "bloom loom".
Posted: 7:40 pm on September 18th
MichaelaMurphy writes: I am so pleased to have purchased a kit at Renegade San Fran last summer! BTW, Jen Worick and I are headed to the Puyallup State Fair and I am going to wear my hair flower-she'll be so jealous. Thanks for this awesome how to!
Posted: 6:40 pm on September 18th
kaytet writes: i love these!
i was wearing my loomed flower hairpins yesterday!
Posted: 5:31 pm on September 18th
susanstars writes: I love your loomed flowers, Cathy - I'm wearing one of the brooches you made right now! :)
Posted: 4:05 pm on September 18th
VictoriaNorth writes: These are so great Cathy. Everyone here in the office wants to try this now. We might just have to buy ourselves a kit and make some flowers.
Posted: 3:56 pm on September 18th
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