The James T. Callow Folklore Archive
Friendship bracelets consist of thread braided
together to form a bracelet. These bracelets
represent your friendship to that particular
person. They are usually worn around your wrist or
around your ankle.
You will need embroidery thread, two or more safety
pins, and a pillow or cushion. You also have to know
how many colors you want and how wide you want the
In order to start the bracelet you have to cut the
thread. A good standard length is two arm lengths.
Even if the bracelet is small you still want long
thread because it is easier to work with and you
don't have to worry about running out.
Once the thread is cut you have to arrange the
colors into the order that you want them. This is
also the time to decide how thick you want the
bracelet to be. If you would like a color to be
thicker then put two strands of that color next to
each other. Usually what people do is to use four
colors with two strands apiece for a good standard
Now that you have all of your strands and colors in
the order you like, tie them together. A note of
caution, leave about two inches of open thread before
you tie the knot. This extra two inches is so you can
tie it together when you're done.
After the knot is tied, place the threads on the
pillow. The knot should be furthest away from you and
safety pinned to the pillow. Once the knot is pinned
to the pillow separate the strands into the desired
order and make sure they aren't too close together.
If they are close together there is a chance that
you may get the color order confused and the
bracelet would be in a different color order than
you would want them.
Now you are ready to begin. Put the pillow either
on your lap or on a table. You can begin either on
the left and work to your right, or you can begin
on your right and work to the left. Right handed
people usually find it easier to work from the left
and work towards the right.
These instructions will be from the left to the right.
Pick up the thread farthest to the left with your
left hand and pick up the string next to it with
your right hand. Cross the left string over the
right to make a loop. Pull the end of the left
string through the loop to make a knot - but slide
the knot as far as it will go towards the pinned
knot. Make sure it is secure. A word of caution:
If your knots are too tight the bracelet will begin
to twist in a spiral after a few rows have been
completed. This makes the bracelet very difficult
to work with. However, if the knots are too loose
the bracelet will lose the separation of colors,
creating a blended look. Finally you want to hold
the right hand string firmly, pulling it towards
you. This is so the left string will completely
cover the right hand string. Otherwise, the
different colors will bleed through creating a
Once the first knot is made repeat the process of
crossing over and looping with the same two strands.
After two knots have been made set the string on the
The string in the left hand stays there. The strand
that just received the two knots should be the one
farthest to the left. Now the thread in the left
hand moves to the next thread on the right. The right
hand thread then makes two knots on that one. This
process is continued until all the threads have two
knots in them and the thread farthest to your right
is in your hand.
Once you set down the furthest thread on the right,
you begin the whole process over again using the
thread on the left until that becomes the furthest
one on the right. Continue the rows like this until
you have the desired length. Another note to ease
the process of making the knots: After a few rows
are completed you may want to pin the completed
part to the pillow in order to keep it stationary.
Now that you have reached the desired length, take
all the threads and tie them in a knot, similar to
the one at the top. This knot should be as close to
the rows as possible and be very tight to prevent
the bracelet from falling apart.
Finally, find your friend and tie the bracelet
around his / her wrist or ankle, then cut the extra
James Callow Keyword(s): JEWELRY
|Subject headings:||ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Weaving material For costuming in dance or drama, see C484.|
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Lower body and legs
Date learned: 00-00-1986