I had totally forgotten about these bracelets until just recently when my son came home from kindergarten proudly sporting a bracelet made from colorful elastic bands that his friend had made for him. The next time I was at his school, I spotted them on every wrist. Apparently they’re all the rage amongst the K-5 set. This conjured up fond childhood memories for me. Back in the 80’s, when I was in elementary school, friendship bracelets were all the rage. My friends and I would sit out on the playground on sunny days, talking and making bracelets for each other. I remembered how much fun I used to have making them, so I decided to make a one for each of my kids. Perhaps I can convince them that they’re cooler than those silly elastic things (doubtful, I admit).
Despite the many hours I had spent making these bracelets as a child, I wasn’t sure I would still remember how (it had been a VERY long time, after all). A few minutes of fiddling around with some embroidery thread answered that question quickly enough though. My hands set to work as though I were back in the 2nd grade. Apparently, some things you never forget 😉
Oh, and I made one for myself too. In my current favorite color – mint!
These instructions are for making the simplest type of friendship bracelet – the basic diagonal stripe pattern. If you’ve never made a friendship bracelet before (or if it has been a few years), this is a good place to begin.
Start by cutting strands of embroidery thread at least 24 inches in length. Use as many or as few as you like, the more threads you use, the wider your bracelet will be. The green bracelet shown above was made using 9 strands of pearl cotton size 5 embroidery thread in three shades of mint green. The blue bracelet shown below was made using 8 strands of regular embroidery floss in two shades of blue. The way you arrange the threads will effect the pattern of the finished bracelet. If you want thick stripes like the ones shown here, arrange your threads so that all the strands of the same color are clustered together.
When your threads are arranged the way you want them, tie a knot at the top (not too tight, you’ll want to take the knot out at the end to finish your bracelet). Secure the top of your bracelet either with tape or a safety pin, depending on your work surface. I often just pin mine to the leg of my pants, but do whatever works for you. Separate your strands and lay them out. Begin knotting, working from left to right, following the directions below.
There is more than one way to finish a bracelet. My preference is to untie the original knot you made at the beginning of the bracelet (to make it less bulky) and tie the ends together into a single knot. Then, you can either just clip the ends short, or leave them a bit longer and braid them (tying each braid at the end to secure it) as shown here.
Have fun and please let me know if you have any questions!
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