Friendship Bracelet DIY

May 10, 2011

My daughter Maude/Mimi prepared this Friendship Bracelet How-to for you. Here’s what she says:

I love making these for my friends — both boys and girls like to wear them. Sometimes I wear just one, and other times I like wearing a whole bunch. I like wearing them as anklets in the summertime.

Once you get the hang of it, this is a really good activity to do while you’re watching a not very good movie. Grown ups can make them too, but I think this is an awesome activity for kids age 8 to 14.

1) Gather your materials (see the picture above). You’ll need scissors, embroidery floss in 4 colors (for the bracelet pictured, I used blue, purple, green and lime green) and a clipboard. If you don’t have a clipboard, you can also use a safety pin pinned to your jeans, or even a clothes pin.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

2) Cut lengths of all four colors. For a bracelet, 21 1/2 inches is a good length. If I don’t have a tape measure handy, I just use the length of my arm for a measurement. For anklets, or for grownup wrists, you’ll need to cut the threads longer.

Friendship Bracelet How-to Friendship Bracelet How-to

3) Tie the threads together in a basic knot.

Friendship Bracelet How-to Friendship Bracelet How-to

4) Tuck the knot under the clip and spread the threads apart. Notice the order I have them in — blue, green, lime green, purple — because the order will change during the lesson.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

5) Take the left thread (the blue one) and cross it over the next thread (the green one) in the shape of a 4.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

6) Take the blue thread and loop it over and under the green thread. Keep the green thread nice and tight with one hand and slowly pull the blue thread until it makes a knot at the top — right by the clip.

Repeat this again — blue over green.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

7) Next do the same thing twice with Blue over Lime Green. Then do the same thing twice with Blue over Purple. Now, your blue thread will be on the right side instead of the left.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

8) Repeat this process, starting from the left. Green over Light Green twice. Then Green over Purple twice. Then Green over Blue twice.

Then the same thing starting with Light Green on the left.

Then the same thing starting with Purple on the left.

Then the same thing starting with Blue of the left again.

After you’ve done the Blue one three times, the bracelet will be about an inch long and look like the photo above.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

9) Every time you get about an inch done, move the woven part up under the clip and it will be easier to work with.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

10) When you’ve woven about 5 inches, it’s time to finish it off.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

11) Tie the bracelet around your wrist — I like to use a square knot (left over right, then right over left). You might want help because it’s hard to do with one hand. Trim the ends.

Friendship Bracelet How-to

Tada! You now have a friendship bracelet.

When I first started making these, they took me awhile — like an hour, and I made lots of mistakes. But I practiced and now I can make them in about 10 minutes each.

I hope you enjoyed the how-to!

Love,
Mimi

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 oh amanda May 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Awesome! My daughter would love this. Thanks, Mimi!

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2 Dana May 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Love it! I still love to make these and I am way older than 14 :)

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3 Sara May 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thank you!! The clipboard is genius …

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4 Roxanna (miguelina) May 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Mimi! The clipboard is a genius idea. In the eighties I tied them to chairs and that forced me to stay in one place always, which can get dreadfully boring.

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5 Tanie May 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I made so many of these in middle school but I’d forgotten how to do it. Thanks for this great tutorial, now I can show my daughter how to make them!

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6 k a t y May 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I love that friendship bracelets are still in after all these years! :) Thanks for the great tutorial for this forgetful mind!

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7 Carolyn Garris May 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm

That is the cutest! And a very well written tutorial. Good job!

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8 Denise Laborde May 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Merci Mimi for this tutorial.

It’s been too many years since I last made a friendship bracelet. I think my six year old son is too young for this project. Who knows? If I could get him to make one, imagine all the quiet time in my house ;-)

Bises
D

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9 Andrea May 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Wow, these bring back memories. Use to make these all the time when I was younger. There was another style I also use to make but can’t remember how it was done. This was a great tutorial. Good job Mimi!!

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10 Christina May 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm

So glad friendship bracelets are still around!

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11 Katie May 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I’ve been telling my daughter how fun these are to make, but I think you just convinced her! Yay!

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12 rita in mi May 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm

This brings back so many memories – I made hundreds (not kidding) of these back in the day! Our rule of thumb, though, was once you tied it on, you couldn’t take it off until it fell off! :-)

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13 amy May 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I used to make these!
there was also one that we made where we anchored them to our big toe. I don’t remember how those were made. but I do remember tying them around my toe!

thanks for the memories, Maude. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough for this.

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14 Kristen E May 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Love it! When we were kids, we either tied them to our toes or pinned them to our jeans while we worked. Thanks, Mimi – I’m going to show this to my younger cousins – I bet they’d love them! :)

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15 Sara May 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Great job, Mimi!!

I loved making these, too, when I was a teenager, but could not at all remember how! I am going to save this for when my daughter is old enough. Thanks so much!

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16 Heather May 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I love this tutorial! But I’m not sure it’s an official friendship bracelet if it’s not safety pinned to your jeans during the making process! :-)

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17 r8chel May 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm

How did you manage to get not only the clipboard and the floss to match, but your SCISSORS too?! :)

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18 Marta May 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

oh my god, I remember doing this one when I was…let say, more young!

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19 Kelly May 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I used to make these when I was 13. I will show my 13 year old how to make them now ♥

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20 Lori May 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm

My whole entire life I have wondered how to make these. Seriously. My daughter, Emma, is 11 and she will love to make them as much as I will.

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21 maya May 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm

how awesome! i used to whittle away my summer days making these, and landyard bracelets, but i forgot how to do it! this is definitely motivation to pick it up again when i’m watching a not so good movie!

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22 Samantha Best May 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for sharing Maude! I used to make hundreds of these when I was 11/12. It was great fun.

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23 Heather W. May 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm

This is a great tutorial! I loved making friendship bracelets!

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24 christina May 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

sure duper good job and cute clipboard and color choices!

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25 christina May 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

*super* duper

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26 Heather May 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Great tutorial, Mimi! Merci beaucoup.

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27 Autumn May 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Nice job, Maude! I used to love making these, especially during summer road trips. Fun photos too!

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28 Anna May 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I can’t count the number of friendship bracelets my brothers, friends and I made! We also liked to use a safety pin in the knot to clip it to our jeans, couch, seat of the car, etc. (I promise we didn’t damage anything!) We started getting creative and making other designs by working right to left, skipping strategic ones, etc. Glad to know nothing has changed!

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29 amy May 10, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Great tutorial, Mimi.

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30 Tracey Morris May 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Love it :) I use to make these when I was your age :) Here is something you can try on your next one!:) Take some seed beads and thread them onto the string, knotting them as you usually do, (one each on the middle strings) after you get about half way through. You can make them into a pattern and put as many as you like!

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31 jen May 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Love it! I remember making tons and tons of these with and for friends! Today I have been looking for ideas for my daughter’s birthday party – we’ll do these! Thanks!

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32 Elizabeth May 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm

This is terrific! Thank you for the lesson — now I’m wondering if I can get my boys to make them!

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33 peggy May 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

oh my this reminds me so much when I made these some couple of years ago :)
I would not have known how to make them now…thanks for the reminder :)

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34 Maria Babin May 11, 2011 at 12:36 am

so so cute! how fun that you had your daughter teach this! i’m going to show my 7 year old daughter elena – she’ll be tickled pink!

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35 Anne May 11, 2011 at 1:29 am

Awww… I used to do this when I was little. I loved those bracelets back then!

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36 Ashlea Walter May 11, 2011 at 3:51 am

So cute, Mimi! I helped my nieces create these a couple years ago and so many middle school memories immediately came flooding back…

I think I used to tape my floss down to a table or piece of sturdy cardboard. Love the clip board idea and the embellishments to it. Great job!

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37 Malia O. May 11, 2011 at 6:01 am

Awesome! I remember pinning them to my sock while I was sitting on the floor. Brings back great memories. Thanks :)

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38 Kacy Faulconer May 11, 2011 at 9:15 am

Well done, Maude!

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39 Geevz May 11, 2011 at 9:40 am

lovely tutorial! I like the colors you chose.

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40 lara / the glossarie. May 11, 2011 at 9:51 am

oh gosh, memories flooding back of making these in endless numbers poolside in the summers! i also used to do the hair wraps where you do the same four-stitch around a small patch of hair. too funny!

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41 Sarah {Daily Design Inspiration} May 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

This brings me back to car trips when my sisters and I made so many of these! I think this is a fancier braid, though. I would love to try it and the clip board is a great idea! We used to safety-pin them to the car seat in front of us. :) Have you ever tried adding charms as you go? Thank you!

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42 Cortnie May 11, 2011 at 11:24 am

I used to make these all the time but had since forgotten how. Thanks, Mimi! :)

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43 Amy3 May 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

Thanks, Maude! My daughter is 9, and I know she’ll love doing this!

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44 jengee May 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm

thank you for the tutorial! i just started making one last night for craft hope. they are collecting bracelets for orphan outreach to send to kids in russia. read more about it here: http://crafthope.com/2011/04/project-12-orphan-outreach/

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45 Sarah @ Knit York City May 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm

First of all, this DIY takes me right back to summer camp! I love friendship bracelets!

I’m so proud of your kids for putting together such a great post! Thank you for encouraging them! I can’t wait to see more.

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46 mamalang May 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I loved making these as a kid, and now my daughter that’s your age makes them. I love it!

And you did a very nice job writing the tutorial!

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47 Melissa Edwards May 11, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I used to spend hours and hours doing these… brought back some great memories!

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48 Willa May 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

this is a great tutorial. i’ve tried to teach to people how to make friendship bracelets in the past and it’s always difficult to describe the knots in particular…making the string in the shape of a four is a perfect description!

also, I think there is a typo on the length of string needed: shouldn’t it read “For a bracelet, 2 1/2 FEET…” not “inches”?

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49 Amy May 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm

that reads 21 1/2 inches

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50 bdaiss May 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Thanks Mimi! Great tutorial! I used to make these all the time – maybe I should break out the stash of embroidery floss and get to i! I’m sure my friends would love them.

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51 'rachel May 12, 2011 at 6:13 am

Sara and I made these last night. Your tutorial was perfect! I have instructions to buy every color embroidery thread that I can find at the store today. Thanks!

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52 Caitlin in MD May 12, 2011 at 7:09 am

Your kids are awesome :)

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53 Anne May 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm

OK, I was just trying to remember how to make friendship bracelets because I thought my daughter would like them. This tutorial could not have come at a better time for me. Thanks, Mimi!

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54 Callie May 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm

The clipboard works well, but I found when I was young that the best thing was to tie a loop at the top, and then put the loop over your big toe! This made it really portable and you didn’t risk pulling the knot out of the clipboard and hearing that alarming “pop”. The only thing, you probably need to be at least fairly limber to be able to sit in a position that makes it work :)

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55 Jyotirmay Intellisense May 14, 2011 at 1:22 am

I liked bracelets, its a fine art and i ever remember the method of creation.
I’ll create one of my friend.
Thanks

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56 Christie-Childhood 101 June 29, 2011 at 6:17 am

Hi Mimi, I would love to include your tutorial over at Playopedia (http://childhood101/playopedia) to share with other children who I know would love to make their own friendship bracelets. Hope this is okay! You can email me at playopedia@gmail.com if you have a moment to let me know.

Thanks for sharing
Christie
Childhood 101 :)

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57 elisa July 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm

c bien mais on peu aussi le faire tenir avec une epingle a nourrice ca marche aussi

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58 Catie August 18, 2013 at 9:45 pm

You could also add to your write-up the following: Measure down 5 inches from the edge of the clip on the clip board and make a mark, so that you don’t have to constantly stop and measure with a ruler or measuring tape. You could also measure peoples/friends’ wrists and add a little bit and then mark the spot with their name by it.

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59 Sue June 20, 2014 at 8:45 am

These are going to bring smiles to my 8 year old niece who is in Seattle Children’s Hospital with a kidney disease. She is pretty much confined to bed so this will keep her busy for a while. I only wish is could print the directions.

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