How to Make Friendship Bracelets With Letters and Numbers

Updated on May 13, 2016
Embroidery floss skein
Embroidery floss skein
Home made loom with top and bottom slits.
Home made loom with top and bottom slits.

Before You Start

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

  • Embroidery floss
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • A Homemade 'loom'

Embroidery floss can be found at any craft store, so far I haven't been able to find it at Walmart or Target. Embroidery floss can come in packs, or you can buy separate skeins. The price for a pack is around 8 dollars and for a single skein it usually costs under a dollar.

While making this bracelet, you're going to have a lot of loose strings everywhere. To avoid getting everything tangled and to make things a little easier I made myself a 'loom'. All you have to do is:

  1. Get a cardboard box and cut off one side of the box.
  2. On the top edge of the cardboard, cut one slit in the middle about 1 inch long.
  3. On the bottom edge (spread these out evenly), cut 11 slits about 1 inch long. Now you've got your very own loom, and you're ready to start.

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

Cutting Your String & Getting Started

  1. First you're going to have to pick the colors you want. For your first name bracelet you should keep it simple until you feel comfortable with it. So pick two colors that you want your bracelet to be. One color will be the color of the letters/numbers, and the other will be the background color.
  2. Once you pick your colors, you need to cut your string. Using the embroidery floss that will be the color of your letters/numbers, measure from your finger tips to your elbow. Once you do that, double it and cut that piece. Repeat this process until you have 5 pieces this length. (in my example, my letters will be yellow).
  3. Now take the embroidery floss that will be your background color and pull out some string from the skein. In my example my background color will be green. You will be using this color the most, so you need plenty of it.
  4. Fold the 10 strings in half, and take your background color, and make a knot at the top. This knot will be used to tie your bracelet onto your wrist later.
  5. Put the knot into the top slit of your cardboard loom. You should have 11 strings total.
  6. Place each string into a separate slit at the bottom of your cardboard loom, and make sure your background color string is in the slit all the way on the left.

Add in your background color string. DO NOT fold the background string in half like the other strings. After you add this string you will have a total number of 11 strings.
Add in your background color string. DO NOT fold the background string in half like the other strings. After you add this string you will have a total number of 11 strings.
This is what your string should look like after you make the knot at the top. Remember, you should have 11 strings.
This is what your string should look like after you make the knot at the top. Remember, you should have 11 strings.
Put your knot into the top slit of your loom.
Put your knot into the top slit of your loom.
Put all of the strings into their own slit. putting the background colored string into the slit all the way to the left.
Put all of the strings into their own slit. putting the background colored string into the slit all the way to the left.
This is what it should look like after you complete five rows.
This is what it should look like after you complete five rows.

Starting Your Bracelet

When starting your bracelet, your going to have to do a few rows to start out. This shapes the bracelet and makes it easier for you to see the letters. On average I start out by doing 5 rows of the background color.

  1. To make a row, take your background color (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 left of its original slot. This way you know what the next string is that you need to make a knot on.
  3. Then 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 going in the opposite direction and using the backward knot.

Repeat this process until you have completed about five rows.

How to Add the Letters

Now, it's time to add your letters.

In my example, my bracelet is going to say 'ABC 123'

This is going to seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it it's easy to do.

Below is a picture of the alphabet and numbers 1 through 9.

I'll show you how I made it easier on myself to learn.

Letters

This is how the letter will look on your bracelet. I'll show you how to use them.
This is how the letter will look on your bracelet. I'll show you how to use them.

Numbers

This is how the numbers will look on your bracelet.
This is how the numbers will look on your bracelet.
This is the first two rows drawn out for the letter A.
This is the first two rows drawn out for the letter A.
This is how the letter will look once it is all drawn out. And this is how it will appear as you put in on your bracelet.
This is how the letter will look once it is all drawn out. And this is how it will appear as you put in on your bracelet.

Drawing Out Your Desired Letter

To make it easier on myself, I draw out how it's going to look. 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 to help me out, 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 little sketching 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.

row 1
row 1
row 2
row 2
row 3
row 3

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.

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.

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 4 the A is finished. and my next step is to make two rows of my background color for spacing.
row 4 the A is finished. and my next step is to make two rows of my background color for spacing.

Now you just repeat the steps for each of your letters.


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 when you first started this bracelet, before you put it 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.
  • http://hbernb.atspace.com/ is my 'go to' site. It is extremely helpful.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Victoria Hebert 3 months ago

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

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      pureawesomeness 5 months ago

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

    • profile image

      faith 6 months ago

      wow! so amazing

    • profile image

      marie 11 months ago

      ses très beau !!!

    • profile image

      dragon01234 13 months 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 13 months 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!!

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      helena 13 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Ģggggggggg 17 months ago

      .do you cross the string

    • profile image

      blah 19 months ago

      you should make a video tutorial

    • profile image

      Emily 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Isabella 2 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 image
      Author

      Lindsey 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      kentj 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      12345hi 2 years ago

      This was amazing and very helpful!

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      (≧∇≦)miku970 2 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 2 years ago

      How long is the finished bracelet?

    • profile image

      Kate 3 years ago

      Add more letters a no to make a smiley face

    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 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 3 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.

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      AdG 3 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 3 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.

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      nikhitha 3 years ago

      nice idea thank u for advicing me

    • profile image

      Bex 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 4 years ago

      Thanks it's really cool

    • AvineshP profile image

      Avinesh Prahladi 4 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 4 years ago from new delhi

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

    • profile image

      mystery 4 years ago

      that was so informational

    • profile image

      Chuckalina 4 years ago

      How tight do you make your knots?

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      Anna 4 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 4 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!

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      Mei 4 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 4 years ago from Japan

      Very useful, voted up.

    • rambofen044 profile image

      Rambo Fen 4 years ago from Raipur

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

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      Maddie Watkins 4 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!!!!!!!!!!

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      Taylor Lucas 4 years ago

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

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      Melanie 4 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! (:

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      marie 4 years ago

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

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      alo21 4 years ago

      how long should the background color be?

    • profile image

      star 4 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 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Sarah 4 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.

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      My name is Zoe 4 years ago

      It is alright but it should have a video

    • profile image

      hi 4 years ago

      this was really helpful thanks

    • profile image

      Hair girl 4 years ago

      Hey how fast can u make 8 bracelets?

    • profile image

      Sabeen 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Gitte 4 years ago

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

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      jen 4 years ago

      it was very helpful thanks a lot

    • profile image

      Adrianna 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Monica 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Mallory 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Camille 4 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 ?!

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      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?

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      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 5 years ago

      where has this site been

    • profile image

      Taylor 5 years ago

      This website is useful it's awesome

    • profile image

      grace 5 years ago

      thanks ive been looking for this for the longest time

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      Atwinmom2@zoominternet.net 5 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????

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      toto 5 years ago

      Its awesome

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      Welcome to the Masquerade 5 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.

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      anonymous 5 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! :)

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      Elizabeth n 5 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!

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      bcd 5 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

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      Brittany hearn 5 years ago

      how do u make the b

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      anonymous 5 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 5 years ago

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

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       5 years ago

      Now it looks so easy

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      gymnastics 5 years ago

      how do u make the letters ALY

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      Kaitlyn 5 years ago

      What measurement should the Loom be?

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      Amanda 5 years ago

      how would you make a ♥ ...?

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      ocnj 5 years ago

      thanks this really helped

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      Sydney 5 years ago

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

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      doolallysally 5 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.

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      Angelica 5 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?

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      :F 5 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

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      Sweetness 5 years ago

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

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      Marissa 5 years ago

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

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      teresa 5 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

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      Ash 5 years ago

      is it possiable to do a heart in the string?

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      Ally 5 years ago

      How long do you need to make the background string?

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      Lucy 5 years ago

      How long do the strings need to be???

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      angie 5 years ago

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

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      sandy 5 years ago

      i love your card board idea it really helped me.

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      Bubbles 5 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

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      Brittany 5 years ago

      can you make one that says ONE DIRECTION :)

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      Megan O 5 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!

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      allison 5 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

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      Sarah 5 years ago

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

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      Shannon 5 years ago

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

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      Joyce 5 years ago

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

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      Benni 5 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 ._.

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      Yyyyyy 5 years ago

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

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      Jamie 5 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.

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      Ivan 5 years ago

      that is great

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      kayla 5 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

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