I started making friendship bracelets in elementary school and became obsessed rather quickly. I bought several books on how to make different patterns, bought every color of embroidery floss imaginable and even started to sell them at my school. Let's face it they are tons of fun to make!
In this tutorial I will take you through an extensive step-by-step process to make one of the more difficult patterns. Even though this is a difficult pattern I have written this tutorial so that even a beginner can accomplish this design!
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
You will need the following:
-Four different colors of embroidery floss
-Sewing needle (optional)
-Measuring tape (recommended) or 12-inch ruler
-Safety pin (optional)
The easiest embroidery floss to find at your local craft store is DMC Rayon Floss. It comes in almost any color and shade imaginable and the bundles typically run about $0.99 for 8.7 yards. You can find it at both Michael's and Hobby Lobby in the needlework section.
Step 2: Choose Your Colors
You want to choose four colors that complement each other, place various colors next to each other to see what works best for you.
**TIP: In this specific pattern, one of your four colors will be used significantly less in the pattern than the other three, decide which color you want that to be.
I chose four distinctly different colors to make it clear which string I am talking about; red, blue, green and white. White will be the least used color.
Step 3: Measure Out Your String
You need one 32 inch strand of each color. If you have a measuring tape, choose a color and take the end of the string and hold it at the zero mark and unravel the bundle until it reaches the 32 inch mark on your measuring tape. Cut at the 32 inch mark.
I do not have a measuring tape so I used a 12 inch ruler, which works just as well. I measured out 12 inches, held the string at the 12 inch mark and then moved the ruler down to measure another 12 inches starting where I held the string. Then hold the string at the new 12 inch mark and move the ruler down to measure out 8 inches. Cut the string here and you will have 32 inches!
**TIP: You don’t have to measure each string of color out like this! Just use the first string of color as a guide for the other three colors!
Step 4: Fold, Knot & Secure
Now gather all four strings together so that they are even with each other, then fold the strings in half.
The fold in the strings will form a loop at the top, knot the loop about one-inch from the top.
After that you need to secure your strings. You will be pulling and yanking the strings so they need to be able to stay secure through that. You can do this one of three ways:
1. Tape down your strings on a hard surface. Slip a little piece of tape through the loop and press it firmly to the hard surface. This is how I secured my strings for this tutorial.
2. If you don't have a hard surface or you are on the go, you can use a safety pin. Put the safety pin through the loop and attach it to your jeans or a pillow.
3. If you don't have a hard surface or a safety pin on hand, you can always use your big toe! Slip the loop over your toe and get to work!
Step 5: Organize Your Strings
The organization of your strings is very important. Now that you're strings are folded in half and knotted you have a total of eight strings to work with; two of each color. Separate these into two bundles containing one string of each color.
The strings will be out of order so you will have to force them into the order you want. First, organize the left side bundle. I decided my color order will be red, green, white and blue.
**IMPORTANT: Remember how one color will be used less than the other? What ever color you chose needs to be THIRD in the string order. Just as I have white as third in my string order.
Now, organize the right side bundle to mirror the left. My string order is red, green, white, blue, blue, white, green and red.
Step 6: The Basic Knots
**From here on I refer to the strings by the colors I have chosen**
**IMPORTANT: Always DOUBLE knot and pull your knots tight. Always switch the positions of the strings after you've finished your knot as shown in the videos.
Now that you have your strings organized as desired you need to learn the knots to make a friendship bracelet. There are only two:
The first is THE BASIC KNOT this knot is used when working with the left side bundle of this and any other friendship bracelet pattern. It's super easy to do:
The second is THE REVERSE BASIC KNOT, it is used when you are working with the right side bundle. It's essentially the same motions, but reversed:
Step 7: The Chevron
Now that you know your basic knots you are ready to jump in!
The first part of this pattern starts out with a classic pattern, the chevron. The purpose of the chevron in this bracelet is to help secure your strings in the order you chose. A chevron is V-shaped pattern that alternates colors as it continues down the bracelet. We will make five chevrons, starting with red.
1. Move your right bundle out of the way, you will be working with the left bundle first.
2. Pick up the red and green strings first. Tie a basic onto the green string using the red as shown in the previous video (Picture 1).
3. Now tie the red on to the white, then the blue (Pictures 2&3).
4. Repeat the above steps on the left side bundle the end results should resemble Picture 4. Finally, tie the two red strings in a basic knot.
Step 8: Now Do Four More
Now, complete a chevron for each color. You'll know what color is next because it will be the color first in the order. For example, green took red's place as first, so we know the next chevron will be green!
After you finish your blue chevron, your strings should be back in their original order and you should complete one more RED chevron.
Tadah! The first part of the bracelet is complete!
**IMPORTANT: Every friendship bracelet has two sides; a working side and a show side (both labeled and pictured below). The working side is the side you want to always be face up when you are working on the bracelet. The show side is literally that, for show, it is the side you show after you've completed the bracelet!
Step 9: The Main Pattern
Now that you've established the order of your strings with that first round of chevrons, you can begin the real pattern of the bracelet!
1. The green string is first in the order. Starting with our left bundle as we always do, we tie the green on to the white and blue as if we were going to do another chevron. Stop here. DO NOT TIE THE GREEN ON TO THE RED (Picture 1).
2. White is now the first in order, take the white and tie it ONLY on to the blue (Picture 2).
**REMINDER: Always DOUBLE knot!
3. Pick up the green again and tie it on to the white in a reverse basic knot, do the same with blue. Green should now be first in the order again (Picture 3).
4. Now you'll work with red (currently last in order). Take the red and tie reverse basic knots on to the white, blue and green (Picture 4).
5. Using the same red string again, tie basic knots on to green, blue and white, going the opposite direction and leaving red as last in the order again.
6. Switch to the right bundle and repeat steps 1-5, but in reverse! When you finish the right side your sides should mirror each other (Picture 5).
Step 10: Finishing Up the Pattern
1. Take the two red strings in the middle and tie them together (Picture 1).
2. Complete a green chevron (Picture 2).
This will transition you into the next round of the pattern.
The leading color this time will be green and in the next round it will be blue and then red again and it will repeat as such throughout the bracelet!
White will never be the leading color, it will always be the innermost color of the pattern.
Step 11: Rinse & Repeat!
Keep repeating the main pattern until you are satisfied with the length.
I decided to end with another round of chevrons to give a nice balance to the pattern, but you don't have to do that, you could just end it after you complete your last round of the main pattern.
Just knot it off and you're done!
Step 12: Tips!
1. Mistakes happen. The optional sewing needle will be your best friend if you ever need to redo a set of knots, just use it to pick the knot apart so you can re-do it.
2. These bracelets can take a while to complete so you'll probably get tired or bored half way through. That's fine, just make sure when you pick it back up you have the WORKING side facing up and not the SHOW side. It will mess up the finished product if you don't.
3. Keep your strings in their order! The order of the strings will guide you through the pattern if you keep them in their appropriate order.
4. Get creative and have fun! The amount of patterns you can do with the two basic knots you learned are virtually endless!