Friendship is so important to our little ones – so what better way to encourage them to think about the value of their relationships than by teaching them how to make friendship bracelets to exchange? Friendship bracelets take a bit of time to make (they’re a great rainy day activity), so it’s important for your child to think about which of their friends merits such a special gift. And since each completed friendship band is supposed to be a unique gift, your child can show how much they know and care about their friends by choosing colours and designs to suit different personalities and styles.
There are many different guides on how to make friendship bracelets, but they generally fall into three categories: Knotted (woven) friendship bracelets; plaited friendship bracelets; and wrapped friendship bracelets. Below we show you how to make bracelets that are knotted. For any type of friendship bracelet you will need to buy embroidery threads in different colours. You’ll also need a pair of scissors and some adhesive tape. If you want to make things a bit more spectacular, try adding beads or charms to your bracelets too – the sky’s the limit in terms of creativity!
How to make friendship bracelets with simple knots:
The simplest version of a knotted friendship bracelet features a diagonal stripe design. Once you’ve mastered the knotting technique, you can experiment with different knotting patterns – the Internet, and Pinterest boards like this one, provide plenty of guides for learning more complex designs.
- Choose two or more different coloured embroidery threads.
- Cut four lengths of thread of a meter in length (if you want a wider band, cut more lengths).
- Fold the threads in half (so you have a bunch of 8 threads) and tie a knot at the folded end to form a small loop big enough to fit your finger through.
- Either tape the loop to a surface, or place it over the forefinger of your dominant hand.
- Lay the threads in the order you would like the stripes to be.
- Take the outside thread furthest to your right; pass it over and behind the thread next to it; push the end through the resulting hole; and pull tight to form a single knot.
- Form a second knot in the same way, with the same threads.
- Then, use the same outer thread, knot twice on the next thread over.
- Continue in the same way until you have knotted across all the threads from right to left. The result will be a woven stripe.
- Repeat the same steps until you have created a length of woven band long enough to encircle a wrist.
- Cut the remaining lengths of thread to approximately 10 cms long.
- Divide the threads in two, and plait them, knotting them tidily at the end.
To wear the bracelet, wrap it around the wrist of the recipient, pass one plait through the loop at the end and tie it in another knot to the other plait. It’s a nice touch if your child puts it on their friend themselves. You can either cut off the tails or keep them on as extra decoration – the choice is yours.
With dangling threads – and the tradition of not removing friendship bracelets until they fall off – there’s always the danger of getting your bracelets mucky. If you follow our stain removal advice, however, and hand-wash them gently, you’ll have no problem keeping your friendship bands clean.
If you're looking for more fun activities to celebrate friendship, be sure to check out our article about World Friendship Day and friendship gifts!
Do you have any happy memories of making friendship bracelets when you were younger? We’d love to hear your stories – share them with us in the comment box below.