Amazing Kids! Magazine

Friendship Bracelets – a Creative Gift for a Friend

By Ryan Traynor, Contributing Writer

 

Your friend has just backed you up once again and you would like to show them how much you appreciate their friendship. What should you do? Try creating a unique and personal friendship bracelet that will show them how much they mean to you.

A friendship bracelet is a bracelet given by one friend to another to symbolize a good friendship. They are usually handmade out of several strands of embroidery floss or thread that have been knotted to form patterns. People of all ages make and wear these bracelets but they are particularly popular today with pre-teens and teens. They are worn by both men and women. The technique is simple, requires no special equipment, uses inexpensive materials, and is easy to learn so anyone can create something special.

According to legend, you tie a bracelet onto the wrist of a friend who wishes for something at the same time. The friend wears the bracelet until it wears out and falls off by itself. Then, the wish will come true. Taking the bracelet off before it falls off is a sign that the friendship has gone away.

History

Because friendship bracelets require knot tying, the bracelets can be traced back to knot-tying arts in different parts of the world. The earliest decorative knots started in China around 481 B.C. Over time, knots were used for many different uses, including clothing decoration, buttons and objects. Macramé, the art of tying knots to create intricate patterns, began in 13th-century Arabia. They tied these knots on the ends of threads left over on fabric made on looms. Sailors used knot-tying as a hobby during their time at sea. The basic knots in macramé (the half knot, the square knot and the half hitch knot) are the same knots that are used by sailors today. In America, the bracelets came from Native American crafts from Central and South America. There are also some groups that believe the bracelets once again became popular during protests into the disappearances of the Mayan Indians and peasants in Guatemala. The friendship bracelets were worn by the protestors and brought into the United States by religious groups for use in political rallies. In the 1970s, it became popular to wear ethnic items and the friendship bracelet was a common accessory among young people.

Making Friendship Bracelets

The first step in making a bracelet is selecting colors. Looking at your strips of yarn, string, leather, hemp, cord, embroidery floss or thread, think of the traits of the person who will receive the bracelet. MakingFriends.com gives the following color suggestions:

Pink – kind

Red – honest

Orange – energetic

Yellow – cheerful

Green – responsible

Blue – loyal

Black – strong

Next, pick the pattern you would like to make. The easiest bracelet in a simple braid, or several yarns braided together to make a thicker bracelet. Even very young children can learn this type of knotting.

Most friendship bracelets are based on the simple half-hitch knot. Here is how you do it:

Half-hitch Knot Tying Instructions

Step 1 – Measure the amount of string you will need. To do this, take a strand and wrap it around your writs one and a half times. This should be the right size for you. Put several strings together in your color choices and cut them all to this length.

Next, divide the string, making one side slightly longer than the other and tape or pin it onto a board. Now you are ready to begin your pattern.

Step 2 – Cross the shorter string end under the other longer length of the string.

Step 3 – Bring the short end over and down through the hole between where the string crosses and where it is attached.

Step 4 – Push the knot up and pull to tighten!

04 Nonfiction Story – Friendship Bracelets – a Creative Gift for a Friend, Half Know

Step 5 – Repeat until the knotting of all the string is complete. Tie off the end with a couple of knots. This large knot will go through the loop left at the other end to fasten the bracelet onto your wrist.

Once you know how to tie this knot, you can use it for many types of bracelets, including one of the most common forms – the candy stripe friendship bracelet.

Candy Stripe Bracelet

Step 1 – Prepare Strings

Pick string, yarn or embroidery thread in different colors. The length should be about 60” to 65″ if you fold the strings in half. If not, then 30″. Fold the string in half and tape it to a board so the strings lay flat in parallel lines in front of you.

Step 2 – Tie the Bracelet

Start with the string on the left. Make a forward knot onto the string next to it and tighten it. The forward knot is simple. To make a forward knot, start with the thread on the left. Lay the thread on top of the right thread. This should make the number “4”. Loop the left thread under the right thread and pull upwards through the opening in the number 4. Pull the first string tight to form a knot. The left thread will now be on the right.
Continue making forward knots with the same string on the next string in line until you’ve made one row.

Then you take the string on the left again, and do the same – knot onto the string to the right until the end of the row.

04 Nonfiction Story – Friendship Bracelets – a Creative Gift for a Friend, Candy Stripe

Repeat the steps adding rows each time you start with the new string on the left. Keep knotting new rows until the bracelet is long enough to fit around your wrist. Tie all of the strings together in a double knot, leaving a three-inch tail. This braided end is pulled through the loop and tied together and trimmed.

The amount of thread used in bracelets can vary. The smallest pattern, a double chain knot, requires two strings. The candy stripe can have as few as three strings and as many as forty depending on your pattern and thickness.

Other Designs

Friendship bracelets can also be made of safety pins, fishing swivels and other non-fiber materials. Be creative and you can create something wonderful. Insert beads in the pattern or other decorative objects like buttons or charms. There are craft kits available, such as one by Klutz, or you can watch videos on the internet or read books for ideas.

Friendship bracelets can be a simple braided form or a more complex pattern. The thing that matters is the thought put into the bracelet and the important point of giving one. Give a friendship bracelet and you may get a lifelong friend in return.

5 comments

  1. Lovely ideas

  2. ID Bracelet For Kids /

    Awesome share! I try to build that too now, so inspiring.

    Keep up the good work and maybe pay me a visit:

    http://www.idbraceletsforkids.com/

  3. Dr. Poofnplots /

    Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow

    • Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow !!!!!!¡!!!!!!!!¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lovely ideas