I taught a children's jewellery design class yesterday and I enjoyed every minute of it. Their excitement and wonder as the designs started to take shape was indeed a beautiful thing to witness. Their questions came at me at mach speed and I realized that writing an article about how to make these Friendship Bracelets would be far more civilised and calm.
The Friendship Bracelet that I will be showing you is the simplest design: the straight line. And it really is as simple as tying knots.
- Four different colors of embroidery floss
The great thing about this project is that it is inexpensive. Amazingly so, in fact. Most people already own scissors and tape, while the embroidery floss is only $0.49 a roll at Michaels.
Step 1: Cut the thread
Cut approximately 60 inches of each of your four colors of embroidery floss, also known as embroidery thread. Fold the pieces in half, leaving you with a loop at one end.
Step 2: Tie a knot
On the looped end of the thread, tie a knot. The hole should be big enough to hold a pencil.
Step3: Lay out your colors
Tape your knot down to a table. Alternatively, a clipboard works well. Pinning the knot to your jeans with a safety pin is also very popular.
Lay out your colors in an order that appeals to you. This will decide the color sequence of your rows.
Imagine that the threads are numbered, 1 through 8.
Step 4: Make a '4'
To start your first row, begin with Thread 1 and knot it onto Thread 2. To do this lay Thread 1 over Thread 2 to look like the number '4'.
Step 5: Make the knot
Holding Thread 2 firmly down with your right hand, loop Thread 1 under it and pull it up tightly against the top knot.
Do this twice to make a nice, firm knot.
Step 6: Move on to Thread 3
You have now knotted Thread 1 onto Thread 2. You will need to continue knotting Thread 1 across all the other Threads.
Move Thread 2 off to the left and continue on to Thread 3. Use the same 'Make a 4' technique and tie Thread 1 onto Thread 3. Remember to knot it twice.
Move Thread 3 off to the left and knot Thread 1 onto Thread 4.
Move Thread 4 off to the left and knot Thread 1 onto Thread 5.
Move Thread 5 off to the left and knot Thread 1 onto Thread 6.
Move Thread 6 off to the left and knot Thread 1 onto Thread 7.
Move Thread 7 off to the left and knot Thread 1 onto Thread 8.
Step 7: Start your second row
You have now completed your first row. As you'll see, it is made up of your Thread 1 color tied onto all your other threads individually.
Starting your second row, you'll notice that Thread 1 now resides way over on the right and that you will be working on this row by knotting Thread 2 onto all your other row individually.
So start by knotting Thread 2 into Thread 3.
Move Thread 3 off to the left and then knot Thread 2 onto Thread 4.
Move Thread 4 off to the left and then knot Thread 2 onto Thread 5.
And so on.
Step 8: Looking good!
In the picture below, I have completed 7 rows. The rows are neatly defined and the threads order is easily discernible, making it simple to know which color is next.
Step 9: Completing the project
When the bracelet is long enough to fit your wrist, tie a knot using all the threads. To close the bracelet once it is on your wrist, this knot can be slipped through the loop on the other end. Before you trim the excess thread, check the size of the loop. If the loop is a bit big, simply tie 2 knots to make that end a little bigger too so that it stays on your wrist.
A cool twist on the simple Friendship Bracelet
- Learn how to make The Peruvian Wave CLICK HERE
See photo below.
Questions & Answers
Question: My bracelet looks nothing like the example. Why is that?
Answer: I'm not sure why that might be.
1. Make sure you do all your knots in the same direction, working left to right.
2. When you're making for '4' shape with your two threads, make sure the 'L' part of the 4 is the colour of the row you're working on. This will keep your row colours sharp and straight.
3. Make sure you knot each colour twice.
If all that doesn't improve the look of your bracelet, I would suggest looking up a how-to video.
Question: My friendship bracelet strings keeps getting knotted up at the end. How can I fix that?
Answer: I'm not sure if you're suggesting that you're getting a knot on one string or if your strings are knotting together.
If it's the latter, just make sure that you isolate the two threads that you're working on in the moment and push everything else off to the side. In time, you'll get quicker and you'll find yourself tossing threads aside and grabbing the next two with ease.
And, either way, I suggest making sure the thread does not get twisted on itself by running your fingers between your threads. Almost like brushing your hair - make a brush with your fingers and brush out the twists.
If all that fails, shorter threads are easier to work with than longer threads. A bit of trial and error will help you gauge how short you can go for the project at hand.
For me, the key is staying organized and keeping my threads in order.
vanessa on May 12, 2018:
you make it look so easy
Nicola Kendall (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 08, 2018:
As you'll see from the photos, I tied a small knot on each thread. That prevents it from fraying, but I think it also looks cute.
Of course, you might choose to leave the ends as they are.
Or maybe, intentionally fray them.
Whatever suits your fancy.
sandra's List on January 06, 2018:
No criticism implied - what do you do with the ends?
kiki on October 28, 2016:
cool do you make braclets and other stuff
Gramajinia on September 07, 2016:
You made it so simple I think even I can do it! Thanks
Nicola Kendall (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 07, 2015:
I'm not sure what you mean by "the completed thread things are twisting". Is the bracelet twisting as you make it? If so, that's normal, and ironing it out with your hand usually does the trick. You might try looser knots.
Autumn on June 06, 2015:
I am doing what you said... But the completed thread things are twisting
peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 10, 2014:
i had made this friendship bracelet years ago, gonna make one next month
Amanda from Michigan, United States on August 01, 2013:
This bracelet is pretty enough that I want one for me!
Anupama Maharjan from Nepal on April 14, 2013:
Very useful hub. The pictures helped a lot...
Nicola Kendall (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 11, 2012:
I'll be adding other hubs soon with instructions on variations on the pattern.
northlandws from Fargo, North Dakota on June 10, 2012:
I have made friendship bracelets when I was younger but I don't remember how I did it then.
Emilyfed on June 09, 2012:
This is a very useful and happy one for me to make. I was wondering what I could give my best friend. You really have put mcuhh effort into it. Enjoyed it a lot.
Hope you'll visit me as well.
Christin Sander from Midwest on June 09, 2012:
Very well illustrated hub/tutorial - voted up.
Nicola Kendall (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 09, 2012:
Yay indeed! Glad I could inspire!
Karen S Falcon from Las Vegas, NV on June 08, 2012:
Yay! I'm going to try it right now! Not kidding. ;-) (digging in craft duffle bag / that's hidden away in back closet collecting dust) So happy to put it to use again.
joaniebaby on June 08, 2012:
Thanks for the reminder. My granddaughters and I used to make these years ago. Will have to get back to them again. Very good instructions.
Nicola Kendall (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 08, 2012:
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
RoxiM from West Virginia on June 08, 2012:
Nicely explained, with simple instructions and good pictures. Thanks for posting this.
Verlie Burroughs from Canada on June 08, 2012:
nice woothie. regards snakeslane