For this summer’s version of Camp Quarantine, we’re doing larger projects that take a bit longer. You may remember from last year’s blog posts that I would put the day’s craft, game, or activity in a trunk we have in the basement, and the young camper could go and fetch the item. While it was fun, it did take a bit of expense and planning on my part, so this summer, I wanted to get more mileage out of each project.

A wood loom that's a rectangle and has screws all around the edges. It has an easel back and was photographed outdoors.

Our potholder rug loom with easel back.

We Built Our Own Potholder Rug Loom

Enter the potholder loom! My young camper is a skilled weaver of potholders, and every dear family member has been gifted a truly lovely and well-made potholder. They are genuinely my favorite kind of potholder.

We used a book that has patterns for potholder looms, so these are really attractive potholders, much nicer than the random-pattern ones I made as a kid.

A friend shared a link to the loom kits made by Crispina French, who originated the Potholder Rug. On her blog, Crispina writes about how she was already working with upcycled garments when she looked around her studio and her eyes fell on some canvas stretcher bars, and she made that creative leap, to making an upsized potholder loom.

Had I been the one to build it, I would have used canvas stretcher bars, as the easiest way to build it. My husband built it entirely out of scrap wood we had on hand, and added the terrific easel back.

It has metal corner brackets on the back for extra strength. The part of the build that takes the longest is probably adding all those screws!

A potholder rug loom with rug in progress. T-shirt loops go in both directions.

A potholder rug loom with rug in progress. T-shirt loops go in both directions.

What are the loops for the potholder loom?

T-shirt loops! You cut up T-shirts to make giant loops. We hit the thrift store and asked friends to check their donate pile for us. Crispina sells a tutorial on how to cut the shirts and weave the rugs. I bought the tutorial and it does have some tips on cutting the shirts to get every little bit out of the shirts, some things I wouldn’t have thought of. And she teaches you how to adjust the length of the shirts, depending on the length that you need.

We probably could have managed without the booklet, but I appreciate the wisdom of the experienced craftsperson who has already figured everything out.

My camper has already made 4 little rugs and plans to combine them into a small blanket.

The only downside is that you can quickly go through a lot of T-shirts!  We’re almost out and on the search for more!

And here’s the most important bit!  I almost forgot this.

How Tweens Can Use a Rotary Cutter Safely

Safety Adaptation for Rotary Cutter

Safety Adaptation for Rotary Cutter: grab handle added to quilting cutting ruler.

I wasn’t interested in this ruler adaptation for myself and hadn’t gotten around to trying it, but it’s perfect for making cutting with a rotary cutter and quilting ruler safer for older kids!  We do own a Kevlar glove for use with the rotary cutter, but I’m not quite sure where it is at the moment, so this saved the day.

What is it?  The handle you see in the picture is a safety grab bar for adding to the wall next to the bathtub — it has strong suction cups at both ends for attaching to either the bathtub wall or the ruler.

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