Today's tutorial is my little Valentine's gift for you. Friendship bracelets require minimal supplies and they are easy to make. Once you get the hang of the overhand knot used, you will be able to make your bracelets out of all sorts of materials, in a rainbow of colours. In honor of Saint Valentine's Day, I'm making a bracelet in scrumptious shades of reds, pinks, and cream.
Some of you may remember me waxing poetic about summer camp in this post. Many happy hours were spent at the craft tables escaping the heat of the early afternoons. What I haven't yet shared, is that I also spent a summer employed as a summer day camp leader. So, I do have some experience in teaching the crafty things I learned. I am hopeful that those skills will come in handy as I attempt to share both written and visual instructions for making your own friendship bracelet.
Okay, let's get started.
1. Supplies needed for this project are a selection of threads. I am using five different colours of embroidery thread. You will also need a pair of scissors, a tape measure, and a bead with a very large hole. I have more than one bead in my photo because I have not determined which one I ultimately want to use.
2. I am using a total of ten threads, five on each side of the chevron design. I am going for an ombre effect, and have shades varying from dark raspberry to cream. Cut each thread 30" long. Gather them together and tie them in a single knot leaving about 3" of fringe at the end. Clip or tape your bracelet to your work surface. A clipboard works well for this purpose. Now, it's time to lay out your threads in colour order. You want the left half of your bracelet to be a mirror image of the right half. As you can see, my threads are arranged from the darkest raspberry shade on the outside left and outside right; then a lighter shade of raspberry second in from the left and second in from the right, continuing to the middle two cream threads.
3. The first step is making your first knot! Beginning with your thread that is on the far left side of your bracelet; bring it over the thread beside it and loop around and up and through the middle. That is your first knot. Gently snug this knot up to the top of your bracelet. Now, repeat this exact same step, on the same thread, making a second knot. Again, gently snug it up to the previous knot. Continue working towards the right using your original thread as the knotting thread. Remember to make two knots over each thread until you have completed the left hand side. Yeah! That's half of your first row done. Let's move over to the right side now. Using the thread on the far right side, double knot the thread to the left, and continue working, knotting each thread twice until you reach the middle. Below, is an illustration of working from right to left. I have knotted several rows and you can see how nice and flat the bracelet lies.
5. Photo #5 illustrates working from the right side towards the centre. The thread on the farthest right side is the knotting thread. Cross it over the thread to the left, loop it around and up through the middle. I anchor the static thread in my left hand, keeping the thread taut as I make the knot with my right hand.
6. Photo #6 illustrates the knot that I made in photo 5, and it also shows the second knot being made. Again, hold the thread that is being knotted firmly in one hand while making the knot with the other hand. Gently snug up the knots close to the row above.
7. Okay, you have completed your left hand side row, and you have completed your right hand side row. It's time to tie the centre knot. This photo illustrates just that. Tie a knot using the left hand knotting thread as the anchor thread. Your right hand knotting thread ties the knot. After securing the first knot, tie a second knot.
That's it. Now go back to step 3. Your outside left thread is your knotting thread, and working in towards the centre, knot over each thread twice. Repeat from the right side. Knot the middle thread. The first couple of rows are the most difficult. The threads want to get a bit muddled up, but once you have two or three rows done, you will see the pattern and your project will move along fairly quickly.
9. Thread all of your threads through the single bead, and knot the ends. Trim off any excess threads evenly. This simple closure allows the bracelet to be loosened to slip over you hand, and then snugged up over your wrist.
There you have it! A little arm candy for Valentine's Day and any other day you feel like a little bling. I've stacked mine with some simple seed beads strung on elastic beading thread, and some faux pearls, also strung on elastic beading thread. Embroidery thread is an easy choice for friendship bracelets. There is an endless selection of colours to choose from. Embroidery thread is very soft, however; and your bracelet may have a tendency to curl slightly at the edges. Therefore, you may wish to experiment with some of the heavier knotting threads available.
Linking up with:
Clairejustineoxox for Creative Mondays
A Cat-Like Curiosity for Super Handmade Sundays
Faith Hope and Charity for Ta Da Tuesday
Jann at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for Share Your Cup