I have always wanted a loom with some sort of heddle, but was put off by the cost of the shiny ready-made ones. Then I did some research and found out how to make a backstrap loom from popsicle sticks. I got the paint stirrers for free from Lowes and the popsicle sticks were like four bucks for a box of three trillion.
For this kind of heddle, the strings alternate between sliding between the popsicle sticks and through holes drilled through them. I needed to make the holes through the popsicle sticks so I got out the Dremel, which was missing a collet. I called the big-box stores, no luck. However, we have this awesome scary looking Jawa fortress-style parts store nearby where they’ve been amassing bits of everything since the seventies. The parts guy fished around behind the counter for a second and pulled out a new collet for my Dremel. Yay!
So even after the repairs, I have my new loom for about seven dollars and I’m busy weaving the softest nubby purple cloth.