Friendship Bracelets for Beginners

About: Student at Minnesota State University Moorhead

Ever since I was little, friendship bracelets have been one of my all-time favorite crafts to do. They can be done anywhere: the dinner table, at the beach, on the porch, even on the pool deck. With few materials, they are affordable and easy to learn!

Step 1: Materials

  • Embroidery Floss
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Embroidery Floss (or sometimes called Friendship Floss depending on where you look) can be easily found in most craft stores and Amazon.com.

Step 2: Starting Out

Choose the colors you want to use for your bracelet. In this demonstration, I will be using 5 colors (red (1), orange (2), yellow (3), green (4), and blue (5) in that order), which will make a thinner bracelet.

  • For thicker bracelets, more than 5 colors will have to be used.
  • Thinner bracelets will use between 3-5 colors.

Measure out about one foot of embroidery floss of each color. Bring the strands together and tie them off, leaving an extra inch at the top. Tape down the extra floss onto a sturdy surface.

Step 3: The 4-Knot Technique

To make this bracelet, we will be using the “4-knot” technique. It looks complicated but once you’ve got it down it is smooth sailing!

The first step is taking Strand 1 (red) and pulling it over Strand 2 (orange), bending in the middle. This makes the 4 shape between strands 1 and 2.

Step 4: Continuing the 4-Knot

Pull Strand 1 under Strand 2 and then bring it back over. This will create the knot.

Step 5: Tying the Knot

Pull Strand 1 all the way through and to the top. This will create a tight knot on Strand 2.

You will now have the first knot of many done! Repeat steps 3 and 4 with Strands 1 and 2 again. Essentially, you will want to double-knot Strand 1 on to Strand 2 before moving on. This finishes off the knot and gives it structure.

Once the second knot has been tied onto Strand 2, move on to Strand 3 (yellow).

Step 6: Repeat With the Other Strands

Move onto Strand 3, repeating steps 3-5. These steps will be used throughout the rest of the bracelet.

Notice how Strand 2 is now on the far left side. This will be the next strand used for the next row.

An important tip to remember is that, in a basic friendship bracelet, all the strands move from left to right.

Step 7: Following the Pattern

Moving row to row, eventually a pattern will appear as it does in the above photo. Once your Strands have returned to their original order (1-5), the whole process is repeated again until you have made enough rows to make a bracelet.

Step 8: The Finished Product

Et voila! After repeating the pattern to the desired length, you should now have a completed friendship bracelet. Tie off the strands at the end and cut off the excess leaving an inch of extra floss. In my example, I just made a keychain length but could continue this pattern for a longer bracelet.

Step 9: Project Tips

  • It may take time to grasp the hang on the “4-knot” technique. When I first started making friendship bracelets it took me a few attempts to get it down.
  • Left-handed users may have a harder time moving left to right. The pattern can be switched so that the knots move from right to left and the "4-knot" becomes a backwards 4.
  • Adding more colors will make the bracelet wider and will also require more knots.
  • Using different colors (like the rainbow) will help to keep the pattern simple and easy to remember when starting out.
  • If you get the bracelet started and it is not working out, cut off the knotted part and start over. Practice makes perfect.
  • For longer bracelets the tape can be moved further down the bracelet to keep it stable. But I have found that this can ruin the string depending on the tape used.

Get crafting!

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