Spring’s nearly over and summer is on its way, a time of sunshine, happiness, and for me at least, new friends! In true crafty fashion (aka people you meet at sewing courses) a parting gift is exchanged, what better way then a friendship bracelet! Or either to existing friends. It’s a nice personal touch, between choosing the colours they like best, to choosing a good design, to knotting the threads with your fingers. The best thing, you can choose the difficulty and they won’t know the difference! You also may be thinking, this surely is for children… well yes, and no. 2 years ago Jen at grainline studio held a friendship swap and with changing colours you can do versions with this seasons trend colours (neon with neutrals for this summer) plus it’s a fun skill to have and whether you sew, knit, quilt or not its easy to pick up. Now lets begin!
Step one, gather supplies. For this style you need seven colours of embroidery thread, or strands if you want to repeat a colour, and an octagonal piece of cardboard with a hole in the centre and slits for the threads. This is really easy to make, just cut a rough 10cm square then cut the corners to give it eight sides. Stick a pen in the centre for the hole and then cut the slits (it works the best it the slits are not cut into the corners) An additional option as well is to use some clear nail varnish to finish the ends.
Then you cut out your threads. The best way to measure is to wrap the thread around your wrist (or ankle if it’s an anklet) four times. This gives you a bit extra but it’s better to have too much then too little at the end. Once you have one strand cut you can just match the others to that one instead of measuring around your wrist seven times.
When all the strands are cut knot them together, leave a little bit of tail (you can snip it later) so there is good grip to the cardboard.
Next step is to put each strand into a slot. You should have one left over.
This friendship bracelet is different in terms that you don’t knot the threads to create the effect you just move the threads on the cardboard cutout. Easy, no. The easiest way to explain the next step is to visualise a clock. The empty slot is 12 o’clock. The strand at five o’clock is going to be moved to 12 o’clock…
Like so. Very simple. The rest of the bracelet is worked in this same step, just repeated until you either have run out of strand or you have reached the desired length.
After a little while look to the bottom of your cardboard and you’ll see this type of effect. It looks a bit like a rope. As the strands your working with get shorter the length of the ‘rope’ gets longer.
Continue moving the threads, 5 o’clock to 12 o’clock until your ‘rope’ gets longer.
When you’re at the length you want (remember to include tying length) pull the strands out of their slots and pull through the hole in the middle.
Tie a knot, snip the ends, put some clear nail varnish on the ends to make it super durable if you want, and then place on someone’s wrist, whether it be yours or otherwise! This version ended up going on my dads wrist because I’ve made too many for myself and pretty much all friends! This is also a brilliant travel item. You don’t need many materials and once you have it set up just drop in your bag to make on the train, in a car, waiting for lunch or dinner, while watching something on tv or my personal favourite, in between scanning photos! Simple as that and an easy way to introduce friends to crafting as well!