DIY Friendship bracelets

Monday, June 11, 2012

If you've been following me on instagram, you're probably aware of my obsession with friendship bracelets these days. I know DIYs have been swirling around about these things for a while now, but I just got around to making them again. When I was younger we used to DIY the hair wraps, but I haven't really thought about making friendship bracelets since junior high. I have researched quite a few different tutorials on the friendship bracelets and found myself a little lost half way through. These are not that difficult, but require quite a few steps and some of the authors do not describe the steps all that well. I cannot promise mine will be the best tutorial, but I hope you can follow along with me :) I have been sporting my DIY friendship bracelets with every arm party lately too!! I hope you enjoy!! 

I am going to walk you through the most basic tutorial and then I will link the more advanced patterns at the bottom. I myself, am still trying to master more patterns. If this is your first time, try the easiest pattern (below) then work your way up :)

First, start out with your favorite colored embroidery floss. You can find it at most craft stores. Jo-Ann & Michaels carry it for $0.35/skein.

Once you've picked the colors you want to use measure each strand 30-36 inches long. I find this is more than enough thread for this pattern. I also suggest using at least 6 strands, anything less will be a very thin bracelet. My favorite width is with 12 strands.

After you measure your thread, tie a knot, leaving 3-4 inches above it. The extra string will be used later to tie the bracelet around your wrist.

I like to secure my thread with masking tape onto a table or hard surface. I find it is much easier to keep everything steady that way. You will want to separate your thread in order of the color pattern you would like. When you are starting your bracelet, it is important to keep the threads in a clear order, otherwise you will get them tangled and mess up your pattern.

Now, you are ready to begin! Start with the strand on the far left side. (Mine is purple). You are going to begin making knots on each individual  strand and working your way left to right (You can go right to left, but that's another tutorial). The way you make your knot makes all the difference, so go slow and make sure you are doing it properly. Take your first thread (on the left) and pull it out to left with your right hand (yes cross your hands). Then with your left hand grab the second thread from the left (mine is pink). Take your first thread (purple) with your right hand and pull it across the second thread (pink). Make a right angle though so you have room to make a loop.

I hope this is making sense I know a lot of the tutorials I read were hard to follow. Hopefully between my visuals and my written directions you will be able to understand.

Next, take the first strand (purple) and flip it under the second thread (pink) and pull through your loop. This is a very basic knot, but you'd be surprise how easily one quick movement will make it look all wrong.

Once you've pulled your first strand over the second and then looped it back under and up, hold the second strand (pink one) straight with your right hand. With your left hand, hold the first strand (the purple one that made the knot), slowly pull and watch your knot slide up the second strand all the way to the top of your bracelet and pull tight. You will repeat this knot twice on every color thread.

After you have made two knots on the second thread (pink), put down that thread on the far left. Still holding the original first thread, continue the process again with the next adjacent thread (mine is blue).

Slowly work your way across left to right, making two knots on every color strand using the first color thread your began with.

When your first thread has created knots all across the other threads and now lies on the right side, you have made your first row. Repeat this process, again beginning with the strand on the far left side (mine is now pink).

After I finish creating each new row, I like to use my finger and push all the knots up so they become tighter and more uniform.

Are you still with me??

Here is what your bracelet should start to look like. This is after I have worked my way through every color and my purple strand is back on the left hand side again.

Another trick I figured out is that I like to move my tape down as my bracelet gets longer. I find securing the bracelet closer to where you are making your knots allows for more control and tighter knots. Once you have the hang of it, create as many rows until you achieve your desired length. Then make a knot, as you did at the beginning. Leave another 3-4 inch tail and then cut off any remaining thread.  With your ends, I recommend doing a classic braid on them and then knotting them again. The braids will help the tails to be tied onto your wrist easier without all the strands getting tangled up.

Below I have some pictures of all the bracelets I've been making lately. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me, I will assist you as best I know how :)

Above are a variety of bracelets I've been making, none of them are perfect and there was definitely some trial and error. You'll notice some metal embellishments, I bought them online and at a craft store and added them to my bracelets for a little extra pizazz!

I love these cone spikes I bought on eBay, they have a screw back and were really easy to apply.

These little silver circles are actually scrap-book brads. I found them in the scrap-booking department at Michaels. You may recognize them from an old DIY I did called "Bling'd Out Blazer."

These little guys came from eBay too. They have 4 little prongs in the back that you simply have to smash down with needle nose pliers (really easy). These studs were also used on a different DIY post, to fix some J Crew flats.

This blue and green one is my most recent and I struggled with the pattern, can you tell it's all wrong? It is wrong, but I don't think it distracts from the atheistic, so don't get discouraged if you don't get it perfect the first time :)