How to Make Friendship Bracelets With Names, Letters, and Numbers

Updated on August 2, 2018
Lindseyjo profile image

Lindsey developed these steps for making a friendship bracelet so she could include names and numbers in her creations.

Follow these instructions to add names (or even numbers) to your friendship bracelets!
Follow these instructions to add names (or even numbers) to your friendship bracelets!

Have you ever wished that you could add your friend's name to a friendship bracelet? Well, you're in the right place! I created this tutorial laying out all the steps and other information you'll need to create amazing, personalized bracelets out of embroidery floss.

Think of the possibilities! Create your own design that includes names, lucky numbers, or birthdates. The only limit is your imagination (and the size of your friend's wrist)!

You'll need embroidery thread, scissors, tape, and cardboard (to make a loom).
You'll need embroidery thread, scissors, tape, and cardboard (to make a loom).

Here's What You Need

Before you start, you're going to need a few things:

  • Embroidery floss
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • A homemade loom (instructions below)

Some notes:

  • Embroidery floss can be found at any craft store. So far I haven't been able to find it at Walmart or Target, but maybe you'll be lucky and find it there. It usually comes in packs of various colors, or you can buy separate skeins. The price for a pack is around $6, or under $1 for a single skein.
  • While making this bracelet, you're going to have a lot of loose strings everywhere. To avoid getting everything tangled I made myself a simple cardboard loom.

Choose a Short Name!

Letters and numbers can quickly fill up the space on a bracelet. Pick a short name (or nickname) so you don't run out of room.

Making the Cardboard Loom

  1. Get a piece of cardboard (a side of a box will do) of about 12 x 12 inches.
  2. On the top edge, cut a 1-inch slit in the middle.
  3. Cut 11 evenly spaced 1-inch slits along the bottom edge.
  4. Now you've got your very own loom and you're ready to start!

Measure the string from fingertips to elbow.
Measure the string from fingertips to elbow.
Fold the five strings in half. (thus creating ten strings).
Fold the five strings in half. (thus creating ten strings).

Preparing the Thread to Make a String Bracelet

  1. Pick the colors you want. If this is your first name bracelet, keep it simple and pick just two colors: one for the letters/numbers and another for the background.
  2. Once you've picked your colors, you need to cut your string. For a child or slender teen/adult wrist, hold the floss that will be the color of your letters/numbers and measure from your fingertips to your elbow. Once you do that, double it and cut that length. Repeat this process until you have five pieces this length. (In my example, the letters will be pink).
  3. For an adult wrist, measure from your fingertips to your elbows and then add another half-length of thread.
  4. Now, hold the floss that will be your background color and pull out some string. (In my example, the background color will be light green.) You will be using this color the most, so you need plenty of it.
  5. Fold the 10 letter/number strings in half. Take your background color and make a knot at the top. You may find this knot helpful to tie your bracelet onto your wrist later.
  6. You should have 11 strings total (depending on the size bracelet you are making). Put the knot into the top slit of your cardboard loom.
  7. Place each of the other strings into slits along the bottom of your loom and make sure your background color string is in the slit all the way on the left.

Join the floss together before making the knot.
Join the floss together before making the knot.
This is what your string should look like after you make the knot at the top. Remember, you should have 11 strings altogether.
This is what your string should look like after you make the knot at the top. Remember, you should have 11 strings altogether.
Put your knot into the top slit of your loom.
Put your knot into the top slit of your loom.
Separate the strings and pull each one down into its own slit. Make sure to put the background colored string into the slit all the way to the left as shown.
Separate the strings and pull each one down into its own slit. Make sure to put the background colored string into the slit all the way to the left as shown.

How to Begin a Friendship Bracelet

The first step is to make a few rows. These rows make the background on one end of the bracelet before the letters. I usually start out with five rows of the background color.

  1. To make a row, take your background color (light green) and make a forward knot with the string to the right of it.
  2. After you make a forward knot on that string, put it in the slot to the left of its original slot. This way you know what the next string is that you need to make a knot on.
  3. Proceed to make forward knots on the rest of the strings.
  4. Once you get to the last string, you've made a row.
  5. Now take your background color and repeat the process, but this time in the opposite direction and using the backward knot.
  6. Repeat this process until you have completed about five rows.
  7. Don't cut your background color thread until the bracelet is done or you run out.

This is what it should look like after you complete five rows.
This is what it should look like after you complete five rows.

How to Add Letters to Your Friendship Bracelet

Here's a really helpful tip: Draw out how your letters are going to look first. This helps me figure out whether or not to make a backward knot or a forward knot.

The letter on your bracelet will be placed horizontally. So I draw my pictures sideways since that is how I see them as I make them on the loom. I'll show you an example and I'll walk you through how I made my A.

  1. First, to draw out my A I use two different color markers and my sketch notebook.
  2. Looking at the picture of the A, I started by drawing the first row on the left. The first row on the left is just another row of the background color. So all ten of my marks are blue.
  3. On the row next to it, there is one knot of the background color first, then 7 of the letter color, then two of the background color again.
  4. On the third row, there are four knots of the background color, then one of the letter color, then three of the background color, one of the letter color, and then one of the background color.
  5. This row is repeated so you draw it again as your fourth line.
  6. And line five is the same as line two, so you just draw the same thing.

Drawing out your letters and numbers isn't required, but it is useful!

This is the first two rows for the letter A.This step of making a drawing is super helpful.
This is the first two rows for the letter A.This step of making a drawing is super helpful.

What to Do if Thread Gets Short

After a while the letter strings will get short for the loom. You may need to adjust the length of the loom a couple of times.

Row one of my first letter.
Row one of my first letter.

Using Your Drawing to Make Your First Letter

Now take a look at your drawing, and focus on the top row.

Usually, when starting a letter, the top row is a full row of the background color. You can choose to skip this if you want to. I chose to skip it for now since we made five rows of our background color.

Your background color string should be all the way to the right.

  • To make my A, I need to make two backward knots with my background color string.
  • Now, using the yellow string that is to the left of my background color string, I need to make a forward knot. Making the forward knot with the yellow string will make this knot yellow.
  • I need to repeat this process seven times, and then I make a backward knot with my background color to complete the row.

Row two of the first letter.
Row two of the first letter.

For my second row:

  • I need to use my background color to make four forward knots.
  • Now using the yellow string to the right of my background color, I make one backward knot. Using my background color again, I make three forward knots.
  • Now using the yellow string to the right of my background color, I need to make a backward knot.
  • Then to finish the row, I use my background color to make a forward knot.

Row three of the first letter.
Row three of the first letter.

For my third row, I just make it match the second row. And for my fourth row, I make it match the first row.

After your first letter is finished, you should make two rows of your background color so that there is some space between your letters.

Row four of the A is finished. The next step is to make two rows using background color for spacing.
Row four of the A is finished. The next step is to make two rows using background color for spacing.

Helpful Tips

  • Make sure that you make your knots tight, but not too tight. Embroidery floss can break and it's a pain trying to work with short strings.
  • Drawing out your letters will help you. I definitely recommend it.
  • To tie off your bracelet, take all eleven strings and make one knot (the same knot you used before you put the threads in the loom). After you tie them off, split the eleven strings into two groups, and braid each group. now you can use these braids to tie on your bracelet.

The finished bracelet.
The finished bracelet.

Finishing Your Friendship Bracelet

  • After you have completed all of the letters you want to add, continue braiding with your background color floss until you've reached the desired length.
  • Leave about two inches of threads at the end and braid them together into three separate strands.
  • You can also cut the loop you made at the beginning (not to make it shorter, just to separate the threads) and braid those into three strands.
  • Use these two tassels to tie your bracelet around your friend's wrist!
  • Alternately, keep the loop intact and weave the braided tassels through to fasten the bracelet.

Take Our Poll!

Have you added a name to a friendship bracelet?

See results
Remember to pick a short name! Letters and numbers quickly fill up the space in a friendship bracelet.
Remember to pick a short name! Letters and numbers quickly fill up the space in a friendship bracelet.

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 Lindsey

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Victoria Hebert 

        14 months ago

        I was hoping that you would show me how to pot the numbers in a friendship bracelet because that would be easier

      • profile image

        pureawesomeness 

        16 months ago

        with the green string, do you cut it or do you use it till you finished the braclet?

      • profile image

        faith 

        17 months ago

        wow! so amazing

      • profile image

        marie 

        22 months ago

        ses très beau !!!

      • profile image

        dragon01234 

        2 years ago

        i have been doing friendship bracelets so long that i don't need one, however i would definitely love a friendship bracelet channel on you-tube to avoid following random beauty channels. it has happened.... a lot!

        and for beginners, i think that a video alone would definitely help if the text didn't!

      • profile image

        dragon01234 

        2 years ago

        for length, i start out with a wingspan, it gives me enough for a whole bracelet in chevron, and i have tied on another length if i run out. just don't run out of the skein! and if you don't have embroidery thread, and you have yarn, i would use that too.

        *** friendship bracelet skills are extremely helpful when you go to camp. and they provide the string too! that is where i learned more than half of these tricks. the other part was u tube, and my sister. but i have to say, this was the most helpful in helping me create patterns!!

      • profile image

        helena 

        2 years ago

        OMG THX THX THX un belivable, now i can have a braclet that says # trekkie all the way!!

      • profile image

        Ģggggggggg 

        2 years ago

        .do you cross the string

      • profile image

        blah 

        2 years ago

        you should make a video tutorial

      • profile image

        Emily 

        3 years ago

        Do you have to use the forward and barkward knot or can you just a simple 4 knot

      • profile image

        Isabella 

        3 years ago

        THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH! ^.^ I made a purple and blue band for my BFF and she made one for me using this website. We had loads of fun cause at first we were using the wrong string ^.^!!! Thanks alot, you have helped our relationship grow! :)

        p.s. Yes a video of making this would be nice :)

      • Lindseyjo profile imageAUTHOR

        Lindsey 

        3 years ago

        Would any of you like if I made a video tutorial since this post is nearly 5 years old?

      • profile image

        kentj 

        3 years ago

        wow that was really helpful the youtube videos aren't that good. THANKS

      • profile image

        12345hi 

        3 years ago

        This was amazing and very helpful!

      • profile image

        (≧∇≦)miku970 

        3 years ago

        My dad makes these, but I still don't get when to actually do the backwards or forward knot because when I tried he told me some type of knot was suppose to switch the background color to the letter color. Can you please tell me what knot it is and when to put it in?

      • profile image

        starwarsdragon1 

        3 years ago

        How long is the finished bracelet?

      • profile image

        Kate 

        4 years ago

        Add more letters a no to make a smiley face

      • profile image

        Ibidii 

        4 years ago

        My daughter made these when she was a teen, I have a vision issue so the knots would be difficult for me with the floss. I am going to try to do the knots with hemp for jewelry but not too many knots. The loom is going to help me for sure! Great hub!

      • profile image

        Tezza23 

        4 years ago

        Do you still make these bracelets? I've tried making one but it's for something special and I can't get it to look right and am thinking I'd be better off buying it lol.

      • profile image

        AdG 

        4 years ago

        Wow, amazing to see someone else figured this out too -- I invented this method for myself in the late 1980s and it is almost identical to the way you do it - I use more than one background string, though (otherwise you need a very very long background string). I was making name bracelets for my friends at camp almost every day during rest hour after lunch.

      • erorantes profile image

        Ana Maria Orantes 

        4 years ago from Miami Florida

        I like your hub . It is a good piece of work of art. Fantastic job, you are doing with the friedship's bracelets. Congratulations for your beautiful work miss lindsey.

      • profile image

        nikhitha 

        4 years ago

        nice idea thank u for advicing me

      • profile image

        Bex 

        4 years ago

        I know that this was posted years ago, but for all the people complaining about how it's too hard, or she didn't show how to make the other letters, this is for you. It's not an easy bracelet, she never said it was. I would not recommend this for beginners; there are much easier ones to start with until you get the process. And as for those who asked her to show how to do more of the letters, she did. There's no graph, but you can easily see how and where to put each knot using her pictures of the letters. She even suggested making your own graph, so stop being lazy and trying to make her do it. And also, and for the length of the single string, I've always found that the longer the better. Like, don't even cut it, just use the entire skein, depending on the length of the bracelet. Hope that helped all of you people from 3 years ago!

      • Hezekiah profile image

        Hezekiah 

        4 years ago from Japan

        What an excellent tutorial, something to try and make with the kids. Looks a bit tricky though, I guess it needs some practice first though.

      • Wonder wool profile image

        Priyanka Estambale 

        4 years ago from United States

        awesome. I loved the idea about alphabets. I have made quite a few simple chevron bracelets. I am going to try to make with alphabets.

        Voted up!

      • profile image

        tymber 

        4 years ago

        awsome

      • Rae Saylor profile image

        Rae Saylor 

        4 years ago from Australia

        Pretty neat stuff! Thanks for sharing these ideas, pal. Voted up!

      • profile image

        Fletcher 

        5 years ago

        Thanks it's really cool

      • AvineshP profile image

        Avinesh Prahladi 

        5 years ago from Chandigarh

        This hub really helped me in making one. The pictorial presentation was of great help.

        Nice hub, really appreciate.

      • fivesenses profile image

        Leena 

        5 years ago from new delhi

        Very informative (and good illustration) for a bracelet newbie.

      • profile image

        mystery 

        5 years ago

        that was so informational

      • profile image

        Chuckalina 

        5 years ago

        How tight do you make your knots?

      • profile image

        Anna 

        5 years ago

        Thank you so much for this all my friends can actually make these and I wanted to learn how. I can now make them. It's easy to make other patterns and other things you just write what you want and put the colours on top with each individual knot. When you do a letter knot you do the knot onto the background colour. There were a few things that confused me but after reading this a few times I got it!!! Thanks for this!!! Xx

      • Sharkye11 profile image

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        Very cool tutorial. I played around with the instructions and some scrap thread and it turned out fine. I did use graph paper to make the lettering and now I have a graph I can use over and over. Thanks for sharing!

      • profile image

        Mei 

        5 years ago

        This explanation is not that bad I just think that it's a needs to say a bit more. I mean like do we use the whole embroidery floss or just some and maybe u should post like instructions to every letter cuz u only showed how to do a D and that's it. But on the other hand yes I found it very useful and it's amazing the way u manage suing letters.

      • Hezekiah profile image

        Hezekiah 

        5 years ago from Japan

        Very useful, voted up.

      • rambofen044 profile image

        Rambo Fen 

        5 years ago from Raipur

        It's amazing but not easy....I couldn't make one..will try again .thanks

      • profile image

        Maddie Watkins 

        5 years ago

        Hi! I am maddie my bracelet didn't really work out the first time but it did the second time around sooooooooo THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        Taylor Lucas 

        5 years ago

        I'm not sure i understand how to start the letters.. How do you get the background letter to the front?

      • profile image

        Melanie 

        5 years ago

        Wow this was helpful! It made things a lot easier than i expected. The loom and the drawings made everything so easy. thanks! (:

      • profile image

        marie 

        5 years ago

        hey:) this sounds so cool to make but one question, is the background color supposed to be longer than the letter colors?

      • profile image

        alo21 

        5 years ago

        how long should the background color be?

      • profile image

        star 

        5 years ago

        Just two questions how long does your background color have to be and how many strings of background color do you need

      • profile image

        random 

        5 years ago

        i sooooo no how to make them now!!!!

      • profile image

        Sarah 

        5 years ago

        Could you show the finished product? I'm having a hard time figuring out how many rows to make for a space between words.

      • profile image

        My name is Zoe 

        5 years ago

        It is alright but it should have a video

      • profile image

        hi 

        5 years ago

        this was really helpful thanks

      • profile image

        Hair girl 

        5 years ago

        Hey how fast can u make 8 bracelets?

      • profile image

        Sabeen 

        5 years ago

        Hey, its sabeen from pakistan here..... Gosh gurl! you made it sooo easy! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!! :) Takecare..kindly contact me...

      • profile image

        Gitte 

        5 years ago

        I also just did a half knot, a back knot, and its working just fine right now

      • profile image

        jen 

        5 years ago

        it was very helpful thanks a lot

      • profile image

        Adrianna 

        5 years ago

        how do u get the green string to the other side after doing the row of yellow???

      • profile image

        Monica 

        5 years ago

        Awesome! I use this so much. It is so helpful.

      • profile image

        Mallory 

        5 years ago

        Is the color thread that is the background color supposed to be longer than the letter threads

      • profile image

        Camille 

        5 years ago

        Hello.. How did you make the loom?

      • profile image

        lydia 

        5 years ago

        could you show me how to make other letters??

      • profile image

        alex 

        5 years ago

        I wad wondering how much you sell your braclets for ?!

      • profile image

        Taylor 

        5 years ago

        This has been very helpful, but after I made my first letter somehow my knots are upside down and I am not sure how this happened and I am fairly certain I am still tying the knots the correct way, any ideas why this is happening?

      • profile image

        michelle 

        5 years ago

        thank you so much! these instructions were so easy to follow and I am loving my bracelet so far (even though I'm only 3 letters in).

      • profile image

        sam 

        6 years ago

        where has this site been

      • profile image

        Taylor 

        6 years ago

        This website is useful it's awesome

      • profile image

        grace 

        6 years ago

        thanks ive been looking for this for the longest time

      • profile image

        Atwinmom2@zoominternet.net 

        6 years ago

        I am interested in purchasing bracelets with names on them. How long does it take to get them, and what is the cost????

      • profile image

        toto 

        6 years ago

        Its awesome

      • profile image

        Welcome to the Masquerade 

        6 years ago

        This is simple to me. I am 13 but despite the young age this made complete sense. It should be clear though that this is not a bracelet for beginners. The lengths also could be more specific because I ran out of background string on my first bracelet. Otherwise it is a good website and easily understood. Thank you.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        thankyou so much! am running a small business and doing names is going to boost the sales massively! to those asking about length, for the background colour i use one string about 15 times the length of a finished bracelet, and for each of the strings used for lettering, 3 times the length of a finished bracelet, folded in half. i am a visual learner so the pictures in particular helped! may i suggest www.how-to-make-friendship-bracelets.com it gives basic structure for those confused. thankyou again, this website was so useful! :)

      • profile image

        Elizabeth n 

        6 years ago

        Thanks this really helped before I read this I thought I was new how to do it but I did everything the opposite I had 10 background colours and 1 letter colour thank you!

      • profile image

        bcd 

        6 years ago

        i do not get the how to make the letter & i try to discover the pic. but i still do nto get it

      • profile image

        Brittany hearn 

        6 years ago

        how do u make the b

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        if u don't have cardboard, use the back of a composition notebook. it works gr8. thx 4 the loom tip!

      • profile image

        Amena 

        6 years ago

        when i do my letters it looks better on the bsck thsn the front like i did the knots wrong. any tips ?

      • profile image

         

        6 years ago

        Now it looks so easy

      • profile image

        gymnastics 

        6 years ago

        how do u make the letters ALY

      • profile image

        Kaitlyn 

        6 years ago

        What measurement should the Loom be?

      • profile image

        Amanda 

        6 years ago

        how would you make a ♥ ...?

      • profile image

        ocnj 

        6 years ago

        thanks this really helped

      • profile image

        Sydney 

        6 years ago

        Trying to learn the knots made me cry. I wish you had made learning the knots a lot easier

      • profile image

        doolallysally 

        6 years ago

        Hi I have just started making these friendship bracelets with my niece and finding this site was brilliant. I'm sorry but I can't believe some of the reply postings and wonder how Lindseyjo can refrain from answering sarcastically.

        First of all I will skate over all the obvious spelling mistakes.

        Next the background green colour/color is always being used, whether you do a forward or backward knot, it is always the one being used, so no need to thread it through the back or whatever. You will need a lot of that colour, I try and use the whole bunch and then trim it at the end. Use 2 lines of background inbetween the letters, as suggested. This is a very good and informative website, you just have to have patience to read and follow it through. Definitely draw out the letters as suggested, you don't just need lindseyjo's step by step 'A' guide on every letter, they've given you a photo of all the letters and numbers, spend a bit of time working it out for yourself! The rewards are there. And if you can't understand it yet, maybe you're not quite ready, do a bit of practise of the easier bracelets before you try this one.

      • profile image

        Angelica 

        6 years ago

        This might sound like a dumb question, but I really want to know how to do it; In the picture where you say that our string should look like this with the knot on top, how did you make that knot?

      • profile image

        :F 

        6 years ago

        Tip: if making a long name, use string to like your forearm of shoulder. It is easier to work with longer strings than short ones. Also, space your letters one row apart and 3-4 between words

      • profile image

        Sweetness 

        6 years ago

        Ow, man did that ever help me out!! Very helpful...

      • profile image

        Marissa 

        6 years ago

        Really helped a lot especially the blue and pink markered drawing. thanks!!!!!

      • profile image

        teresa 

        6 years ago

        im like 11 and i have been making bracelets for like ver and ive always wanted to do my name. i have a small business w/ my bff for 1 dolla i think that making names would be like worth i don't know 5-7 dollars. its hard work! thanx so much i learnd lots. pictures were awesome. im a visual learner

      • profile image

        Ash 

        6 years ago

        is it possiable to do a heart in the string?

      • profile image

        Ally 

        6 years ago

        How long do you need to make the background string?

      • profile image

        Lucy 

        6 years ago

        How long do the strings need to be???

      • profile image

        angie 

        6 years ago

        its still hard for me to do box letters is there and easyier way like with less string

      • profile image

        sandy 

        6 years ago

        i love your card board idea it really helped me.

      • profile image

        Bubbles 

        6 years ago

        I love this hub page I used it to make my cousin and her new husband for a wedding gift saying JUST MARRIED

      • profile image

        Brittany 

        6 years ago

        can you make one that says ONE DIRECTION :)

      • profile image

        Megan O 

        6 years ago

        This is amazing! Instructions are very clear despite what others may tell you. I learned how to make the rest of the letters simply by referring to their pictures. Can you show me a picture of a sewn-in heart? I am making a bracelet for my foreign exchange friend who is leaving. Thanks soooooooo much!

      • profile image

        allison 

        6 years ago

        hi I was wondering if you could make me one and what the price and payment would be? email me? akane3310@aol.com

      • profile image

        Sarah 

        6 years ago

        How come my when I use the color to make the letter, those knots aren't as tight?

      • profile image

        Shannon 

        6 years ago

        Hello, what am I supposed to do when the string runs out?

      • profile image

        Joyce 

        6 years ago

        I'd love to see a finished bracelet. And a vid tut. I'm kinda slow. lol

      • profile image

        Benni 

        6 years ago

        I feel dumb but I can't make the letter R for the life of me it ends up as an H/A combo its just a mess ._.

      • profile image

        Yyyyyy 

        6 years ago

        Why can't you show how to do all the letters ughhhhh

      • profile image

        Jamie 

        6 years ago

        Will this work with yarn too? I know that if you use yarn with 5 rows it will = the with of like a 15 row bracelet.

      • profile image

        Ivan 

        6 years ago

        that is great

      • profile image

        kayla 

        6 years ago

        hi,, i need your help very much so i cant figure out how to do this exactly i can do all kinds of bracelets like zigzag and trippy but this one is quite hard will you email me and explain it more? and mabe even send pics?? my email is ginger_snaps47@ymail.com

      working

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