Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DIY: Friendship Bracelet Madness

Friendship bracelets really are the perfect summer craft.  They're quick, fun, floss costs like a quarter, and there are a million different kids to make.  Here is a round up of some of my favorites from summer so far.

from left to right

Ok, the first bracelet is so easy.  This twisty rope bracelet is a really easy way to combine fun summer colors (by the way, if you need color palette inspiration, Color Collective is the best blog ever).  To make this bracelet choose as many strands of embroidery floss as you want.  Cut them all the same length and hold them together at each end.  Now, while holding the ends taut, start twisting the little rope on one end.  Keep twisting, even though it will give you resistance, the more you twist, the better it will look.  Once you've twisted as much as you can, simply fold both of the ends together.  The string will twist up onto itself into a little wound rope.  It probably won't fold perfectly so just gently tug at the middle a little until it is even.  Tie a knot and you are done.

The pink and red one is a macrame style bracelet from a tutorial at The Purl Bee.  I made the striped one, and I must be tying my knots too tightly because it spiraled up on me. But that was ok because I actually thought that looked cool. Vaeh took this one from me, of course, because it was pink.

Figure 1
Figure 2
To make the fishtail friendship bracelet  in the middle, I first chose 5 colors to work with and twisted them together into a multi colored mega strand.  Then I cut it into 6 identical lengths.  In order to braid the 6 lengths, tie a knot in the top and arrange them as in Figure 1.  Then start braiding by taking the outer two strands (shown in red) and crossing them into the middle as in Figure 2.  Make sure you bring the strand from the left side over to the right side and the strand from the right side over to the left.  Now the strands that were previously the middle (shown in blue) will be on the outside. Repeat this step over and over, braiding the outermost strands towards the middle, until the bracelet is the desired length, and tie a knot in the end.  I made my bracelet extra long so that I could tie a figure 8 knot on the top (here is a good diagram of the knot).

Figure 4

The all blue bracelet 2nd to last is the most classic.  It is made entirely of figure 4 knots. To make it, choose as many colors as you like and knot them together at the top.  Then take one strand out from the group and wrap it around the rest of the strands and pulling through the triangle of the "4" to make a knot, as shown in Figure 3. Use your left thumb or index finger to create the point of the 4, and be sure to tighten the knot by pulling upward.  Make 10 knots with one color then return that strand to the group and pull out a new color create the next stripe, and so on, until you reach desired length.  You can experiment with patterns, colors and stripe thickness to create a million different designs. When I was a kid I made insanely long cords out of these and replaced all the pulls on my lights and ceiling fans. I love these things.     

The final bracelet is a woven one from The Martha Stewart Crafts Dept. They made it out of yarn but it works in floss too.  

As far as securing them, I'm not really a big fan of tying a knot, because then I can't take them off (which might be the point, but whatever).  I always close mine with safety pins, that way I can give them away whenever I want and have an excuse to make more.  As you can see there are so many different ways to make these bracelets, any that I have missed? Let me know.

Image Via Jezebel

P.S. Monday night I watched Clarissa Explains it All on the TeenNick 90s revival.  She was wearing no less than 5 friendship bracelets.  So if you needed any more proof friendship bracelets are awesome, there you go.  

P.P.S.  Can someone with more reliable access to a DVR and the ability to take screenshots please start some sort of tumblr of Clarissa's outfits?  Cause that would be awesome.  Come on Internet, don't let me down.


  1. i always admied my friends who could make these growing up, but i never had the talent for making these...maybe i'll give them another shot now that i'm older :) i love that they are doing a 90's revival on teen nick!

  2. You should totally do it, the best part is picking out your floss colors. A little easy to go overboard, but for 30 cents each, I don't feel bad hoarding them.