It was just about a year ago that I made the announcement I was a hooker.  As expected this proclamation was met with several yawns and a very nice handwritten note outlining the specific play time preferences of an older man of Norwegian heritage.

This note was written by the very tired wife of an older man of Norwegian heritage.  It was accompanied by the couple’s address, payment up front and a Xeroxed copy of all his recent prescriptions. I let her know I was in fact talking about rug hooking and made sure she understood this was a type of craft and didn’t mean I only took clients who wore toupees.


I declared my love of rug hooking.  I deemed it my new obsession, addiction and hobby last February.  And  I did love it.  I *do* love it.

But … I have a lot of hobbies and it’s hard to fit them all in.  So come spring, my rug hooking sat. And it sat and it sat and it sat.

I put away the rug hooking around March because I had to make room for my other hobbies that mostly take place outdoors and involve either dirt or hammers  (which interestingly enough would appeal to the adventurous side of a certain older gentleman of Norwegian heritage).

But just after Christmas I picked up my rug hooking again because I’ve vowed not to do any huge projects between now and spring.  No hammering, no welding, no sawing or painting, just relaxing.

Most rug hookers, and especially beginner ones who aren’t ready to shell out a lot of money on a new hobby, work on a little wood frame.  My sister actually made my wood frame, which is basically just an open wood box.  You sit with it on your lap and hook away.

From there you graduate to a bigger and better frames with stands that you can maneuver, tilt and shift.  Since I clearly wasn’t going to be a full time hooker and didn’t want to spend the $200 – $300 for a floor frame I thought it would be easy enough to make one.

And it was.  And SO cheap.



I made this DIY rug hooking stand with a simple camera tripod.  It tilts, shifts, swivels and moves up and down so it’s always at whatever you think is the perfect height or angle.

It cost $27.



The tripod cost me $27 on Amazon.  I took a lot of time to figure out which tripod would be the least expensive but still have the strength to hold a big, weighty rug.  And this one was the winner.

If you’re in Canada click here to buy the tripod for $27 CA

If you’re in The United States click here to buy the tripod for $24 US



The tripod comes with a head that normally gets screwed into your camera base.  Instead of screwing it into a camera base, just screw it into the base of your wood rug hooking stand.




Once you do this you can slip the wood stand on and off the tripod whenever you want.  It goes on with one click and comes off with one click.



To make it sturdier, stronger and more stable add a little piece of wood and a big washer underneath and secure it with a nut.  A lock nut would be great if you have one. I didn’t have one so I just used a regular nut that I had.


Masterchef Australia by the way. That’s the TV show I’m mesmerized by at this moment.


For those of you who need a more detailed description of how to do this here you go.



1 wood lap frame

1 tripod  (available from Amazon Canada here, and available from Amazon US here.)

1 small, thin piece of wood (apx. 2″ x 4″)

1 large washer

1 nut (that fits screw that comes with tripod head)


Remove tripod from box and open it up.

Remove tripod head base that is supposed to attach to camera.

Screw hole into very centre of wood laptop base.  (hole should be same size as the screw you’ll be fitting through it)

Attach tripod head base to laptop base by securing it with your piece of wood, then washer, then nut.


I expect I’ll be hooking for the next month or so until my head starts to go to seed and vegetable garden planning begins.

Happy hooking.



  1. Ellen in Illinois says:

    ….now I know why you blogged about danglers ….. You were preparing us for your hooking!!!!

  2. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Looks like you managed to make an old looking new end table outta the outdoor furniture scraps? Gotta love leftovers!

  3. martina says:

    Let’s talk more about Masterchef Australia! What season are you on? It is THE BEST. We’re totally obsessed with it and we live in California. Somehow the contestants all get along without any manufactured drama, it’s really so good.

    • Karen says:

      I’m watching the most recent season right now. I’m just at the beginning. I skipped the last 2 seasons because I didn’t like the format or the contestants. I just wasn’t into it. I learned about the show years ago when one of my Australian readers competed on it! :) SUCH a great show exactly because of the reason you state. NO manufactured drama. Manufactured drama was one of the reasons I chose to quit after 15 years or so of being a television host! ~ karen!

      • martina says:

        Yeah, they messed up the format for a while, but last series was back on track pretty much. Have you seen seasons 1 through 4? They are amazing. Season 3 has the most insane list of guest stars, the flippin’ Dalai Lama!!

      • Karen says:

        Yep! Saw em all. Loveddddd the Dalai Lama episode.

  4. As a long-time American hooker, I have never seen a frame with nails sticking up like that! We always used big quilting tacks (at least I think they were for quilting!). I have one of the expensive frames that rips the crap out of my inner arms and a larger quilting hoop on a pivot which is what I prefer to use. And I have never seen anyone hook from top to bottom like you appear to be doing! It would seem you have showed this old hooker some new tricks! Will be anxious to see how you finish the rug with binding, etc.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Robyn! I hold my wool underneath the linen and hook from the top down. I’m not sure how you’d do it any other way, lol. And yes, those are just nails that are hammered into the frame, but a word of warning they too scratch your arms up, lol. There’s linen tape that you can buy I’d love to get but it’s SO expensive. Basically a version of picky velcro that the linen sticks to. ~ karen!

  5. Karin Sorensen says:

    you and your hook rugging :0B ye got me all riled up. what issit? why issit? how works it? ah, pinterest will tell me. it looks like something I should be able to handle. my friend tried to get me into crocheting. I managed one askew crooked hat for my puppy. he’s terrified of it. meh.
    gonna give that hooking bidness a try. thanks for the inspiration


  6. Lynda says:

    Smarty McSmartyson

    From a fellow hooker (who uses a hoop but sometimes would love to have something spiffier)

  7. Lynne says:

    This would work well for lap sized quilting frames as well. Think I’ll try it, thanks once again for a great idea!

  8. Mary says:

    Hey! Are those nails on the frame you stabilize your rug with? I want to make this. Currently hooking on a hoop. Thanks. M.

  9. Alena says:

    I also have many hobbies but I am afraid there is no space to squeeze hooking in. I can knit but I never liked any hook that I held in my hand. Don’t know, somehow the cosmic connection between me and a hook never materialized. So I won’t be taking up hooking but I will be happy to follow your progress.
    I think my time would be better spent finishing one of the several hundred projects (in various stages of progress) that I started enthusiastically only to abandon them (most likely to start another project) later on.
    And speaking of hobbies – does hoarding count?

  10. Erin says:

    Excellent posture. Happy hooking!

  11. Pajamann says:

    Gee, thanks. I have too many hobby/addictions (which will be pushed aside when it’s time for seed starting) and now, thanks to your blog, I am thinking that hooking (sans elderly gentleman) looks great and I dream of all the rugs that could adorn my floors! I could even replace the one that covers the wine stain at the top of the stairs! Wine stain covers…wow! Maybe I should finish the shawl I’m knitting first…

  12. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    No matter how many times I go back and look at this photo…the sight of you sitting still and hooking does just jive for me…regardless if what you are watching on T.V.!! It’s weird!…Cute…but weird…might even be wrong!! I am so used to you moving faster than a speeding bullet

  13. Karin in NC says:

    Love your rug and love the hooking stand idea, but more than that I am now completely inspired to pick up hooking again. I used to do a lot of hooking back in the late 70’s. I guess it really is true that everything comes back in a slightly new way. Please give more info on how you’re making this rug? Materials, etc? Thanks!

  14. Heather MacDonald says:

    Very clever! Like you. : )

  15. Mary W says:

    I once saw a video of some puppies playing. They would go from running to smelling, to jumping, to snacking, to licking, to scratching, to sleeping, to digging, to — all instantly. This comment section reminds me of a bunch of puppies playing together. Your posts do that but this one instantly gave everyone ideas – what an instigator you are! Love reading your posts AND your comments so much. The rug will be pretty, useful for warming toes, and a great way to not just sit and relax but actually get some stuff done while relaxing and sitting. I totally approve! Gave me an idea to get a new area rug for my pooch/Trixie/dog. Just wanted to clarify in case you thought pooch was a naughty bit.

  16. Kimberly says:

    This is a great idea, and this would look a lot better and work a lot better than the clipboard I am currently using, popped up on my lap, to string my beaded bracelets.

    I had a question about the actual build of the box. Do you find your hand hitting the washer and locknut thingamajig as you work?

  17. Kelly Mudry says:

    so, more about the rug hooking please, and the colours/pattern – are you making it up as you go or is do you have everything planned out ? love your rug. i used to needlepoint and that’s very therapeutic – this looks like it too but i wouldn’t want to work hundreds of hours to have something that looked like cat puke.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelly. Most rugs are very planned out with a pattern printed on the linen. I wanted something more contemporary and abstract. What I’m doing is really just a series of lines, but my colour choices are what bring out a bit of a pattern. I saw some wallpaper or something (I can’t remember what) that inspired this. It’s 3 columns of lines, with the widest one being in the centre. Like I say, most rugs are more planned out with more of a pattern or “picture” than this one. ~ karen!

  18. Shelly says:

    I’m gonna want that rug….

  19. Gayle M says:

    Hooker by day, blogger by night. Great work if you can get it. lol

    I’m thinking this will be great for hand quilter’s, too. I’ll have to have hubby get on Amazon before all your followers buy them out of tripods. Better, maybe I should commandeer the one that never seems to be with the camera on vacations…

  20. TucsonPatty says:

    Back again after re-reading Feb. 23 post – and then was curious and looked on ebay and have no idea exactly what I found except it was some cutters. One which the seller claims “…can be electric!” Also a vintage cutter which sounded interesting. I have no idea what any of these things mean, and I always thought you used big puffy yarn for this endevor. I am getting an education, which is what you strive to do for all of us out here, so it is working!

  21. Cred says:

    Do you really weld? I don’t rug hook but I do weld. It’s not often you come across other women who weld. I used to be a welding supervisor- it was robotic welding production but we occasionally did hand welding for repairs. I’m not ticketed (the robots weren’t either) but picked up some skills back then. Hubby has a mig welder and I’d love to weld some garden art but still need some inspiration.
    I love the idea of the tripod for the the rug hook stand- that idea could work as a stand for other work surfaces while watching tv. Maybe I have to make myself a small lectern with storage under a hinged top for the various stuff I’m working in. I really like this idea.

  22. Mark says:

    That hooking obviously gives you great guns!

  23. Marilyn says:

    Where’s Betty when I need her…

  24. Paula says:

    ‘Slightly’ off topic, but what colour white did you paint on your living room walls – I love it.

  25. TucsonPatty says:

    Looks very awesome. I haven’t hooked for forever, actually I don’t think I ever have, but I do own a rug hook that I can use to do an updo without any bobby-pins!! Skills of all types here! Looks like a great rug you are making!

    • Thandi says:

      No bobby pins? What sorcery is this?! I think that skill is almost as impressive as today’s diy stand.

      • Marti says:

        Uh, yeah, can we see that trick, Tucson? Yowzer, that sounds good!

        I feel like I ought to learn to hook rugs now, but… I promised local BFF that I would back away from the fiber arts this year and do some other things. The rug looks great, Karen!

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