Friendship bracelets seem to be a summer camp tradition, so it will come as no surprise that I returned home with an armful of them. One of my friends made one for me, and I was intrigued by the pattern…it looked like a cross between an icord and a braid.
“It’s the kind with the loops,” I was told. Not being one to pass up a new craft, I asked around and finally my friend taught me how to make it. (Dear friend, I don’t know if you want your name on my blog, but thank you! ❤ ) Below you can see all my bracelets; the purplish one is the one I’m talking about, and the green one is my variation, that we’ll be doing in this tutorial. (Fun fact: I’ve worn the blue-and-red one for thirteen months – I took it off in August.)
Also – how dare WordPress change their layout again! I just got used to the last one! 😉
So this bracelet is different from your traditional friendship bracelet because it’s made of loops, not knots. Because of this, it’s a lot quicker (I can make one in about 15 minutes), but you also can’t put it down. Literally. It’s like finger knitting in that your hands are occupied until you finish it. So make sure you have a good chunk of time where you can craft without being interrupted.
Let’s get started! I recently discovered PicMonkey, so I’ve been editing pictures all over the place. Here are the materials you’ll need…
If you do 7 or 9 colors, the bracelet won’t be any wider, it’ll just have more colors. I tried a 7-strand one and it was a little thicker though. Also, you’ll need two hands.
Start by cutting your strands of embroidery floss. (People at camp called it ‘string,’ which I found interesting – what do you call it?) I found that 60 inches was plenty, which is about my arm span…I’m too lazy to get a tape measure every time I want to make a bracelet.
Fold all of the strands in half and put the NON-LOOP ends together. Normally you tie the ends with the loop together, but not this time. Try to keep each color separate so you don’t end up with a tangled mess.
Then tie them together with an overhand knot, like this. It doesn’t have to look pretty because you’ll probably end up cutting it later – the first inch or so of this bracelet never looks fabulous, at least in my experience.
Okay, now separate the strands so you have 2 on one side and 3 on the other. This next part will be pretty involved, so make sure you have 30 minutes or so set aside, because you won’t be able to put the bracelet down without it unraveling.
Put the left strands on your pointer and middle fingers, and the right strands on your pointer, middle and ring fingers. (That’s one strand per finger, not three strands on three fingers…) And look, I’m wearing nail polish so my fingers look better for these pictures! 🙂
You’ll want to click and enlarge these pictures, but I think it’s helpful to see them as a series of steps here.
- In the first picture, the loops are set up
- In the second picture, insert your LEFT ring finger through the first two loops.
- In the third picture, hook the TOP loop with your finger.
You’ll pull the top loop (white in the photo) back through the other two. And the picture on the right shows what it should look like now. Don’t forget you can click to enlarge these pictures. Next, move the two loops on your right hand to the top two fingers – from the ring & middle to the middle & pointer.
Basically, you keep repeating this procedure – but this time you’ll use your right hand.
- Stick your finger through the two loops
- Hook the top loop
- And pull it back through
After every few ‘braids’ or ‘crossings’ you need to pull your hands far apart to sort of squish down the braid. You know when you’re braiding hair and you need to pull the strands apart so it’s nice and tight? It’s a similar procedure here. It was really hard to get a picture of this (I only have two hands, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it) but this is what I managed:
Then, when your bracelet is as long as you want, tie an overhand knot at the bottom like this. It should probably be 2 inches longer than you want it – make sure to leave yourself plenty of room to tie it on a friend’s wrist. Or your own wrist! Isn’t that the epitome of loneliness, though? Making friendship bracelets for yourself? Just kidding – I’ve made plenty of friendship bracelets for myself. 😉
And now your bracelet is done!
You can even tie a snazzy knot like this one:
Or find the closest friend and give it to them! I also like using them as bookmarks. But the best thing about this bracelet is how quick it is. So if you have a whole troupe of friends who all want bracelets, I would highly suggest this tutorial. 🙂
Hope you’re all having a lovely day!