I have to admit it, I don't own my own loom. But my daughters both received ones for Christmas two weeks ago, and I have been stealing away with it when they go to bed, or are off at school during the day!
These last few evenings, I decided to reverse engineer a bracelet I saw my daughter wearing from her friend's mom. It looked like a cute caterpillar wrapping itself around her wrist. When I asked how it was made, she said her friend didn't know how it was made, her mom just created it one day.
I loved the cute simplicity of the neon green caterpillar on the solid black bracelet, but wouldn't it be neat, I thought, if I could make a caterpillar that resembled the monarch caterpillar in nature? And then on the other end of the spectrum, what about creating the fictitious "Very Hungry Caterpillar" with all his foodie charms hanging off the bracelet as well!
Step 1: Choose Your Caterpillar and Bracelet Colors
I found a loom bracelet design on the interweb called the "Single Rhombus." This is the basis of the caterpillar bracelet. It is considered an "easy" pattern by the band looming community.
It took some trial and error to figure out which part of the design became the caterpillar's body and head, and which became the bracelet, so I created a couple of layouts to show how to arrange your colors on the loom if you want to create a neon green caterpillar, or a monarch caterpillar, or even the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" (V.H.C. for short).
Feel free to choose different caterpillar designs/colors than my examples. They are just for you to see which part of the loom becomes which part of the bracelet. For this tutorial, I will be using the V.H.C. color scheme to lead you through the example bracelet.
Step 2: Placing Rubber Bands on the Loom
Hopefully by using my pictures, you can see how to place the bands on the loom in the correct order.
With the loom arrows pointing away from you, place your bands in a simple left to right diagonal, left vertical, right vertical repeating pattern that makes up the "Single Rhombus" bracelet design. The branch side of the bracelet is on the left vertical column, the caterpillar's body markings are on the right vertical column, and the caterpillar's feet are the diagonals that connect the two vertical columns.
The caterpillar's head are the last bands placed on the loom (the last right vertical band, the last diagonal band, and a doubled-up "cap band.") This double-up cap band is a single band twisted in the middle and folded back on itself to form two loops that go on top of the last peg. This cap band will ultimately turn into your caterpillar's antennae, so keep its color in mind if you want your caterpillar to have a different colored antennae than its head color.
Step 3: Looping Bands Back Onto Their Original Pegs
Flip the loom over so the arrows are now facing towards you.
Holding down the last band you placed (the red doubled up cap band), pull the diagonal red band from under it and out and place it back on its original peg.
Now pull the other red band, the vertical one on the left-side peg, out from under the red cap bands and place it back on its original peg.
Pull the white vertical band from the right-side peg, out from under the red bands and place it back on its original peg.
Repeat this pattern of pulling up first the diagonal band out and placing back on its original peg, then the left vertical band up and out and back on its original peg, and then the right vertical band up and out and back on its original peg, until you make your way to the end of the loom where your first bands were placed.
Step 4: Adding a Loop and Plastic Connector Clip
Put your hook through the last two looped back bands--the white and teal colored ones--and pull another white band through them. Then you can add a plastic connector clip to the ends of the newly added white loop to keep it in place.
You can now pull the bracelet off the loom.
Keep track of the first white loop that you looped back onto its original peg. We need this one for the back of the bracelet in the next step.
Step 5: Creating the Back of the Bracelet
For the back of the bracelet, you need to add a single row of bands that are the same color as your bracelet band, down one side of the loom. Start with the loom arrows pointing away from you, place the first band on the pegs closest to you and continue placing the subsequent bands according to the picture. This will be creating the "Single Loop" design that is usually the first loop bracelet you learned on the loom. Save the last two pegs for the white loop on our caterpillar bracelet that I told you to keep track of from the previous step.
Now flip your loom over so the loom arrows point toward you. Starting from the band immediately after the caterpillar's bracelet loop you placed on the loom, pull the bands up and out and back on their original pegs until you make your way to the end of the loom. You have now completed the back of your bracelet and can pull it off the loom.
Step 6: Joining the Two Ends of the Bracelet Together
Connect the two ends of the bracelet together using the plastic connector clip already dangling from the other end.
Sometimes the back of the caterpillar bracelet gets a little twisted pulling it off the loom. No biggie, just tug on the loop ends with your hook until they untwist themselves.
Step 7: Creating the Caterpillar's Antennae
To create the caterpillar's antennae, we need to find the red doubled-up end cap loop. It will be the red loop not attached to the white or green bands of the bracelet, only to the other red bands on the bracelet.
Using your hook, pull on one of the loops until the other end snugly tightens around the red bands of the caterpillar's head. This is the band you will cut and retie as a knot on top of the caterpillar's head. Tie the knot a few times over to secure it from slipping out over time. You can tie little knots on the ends of the caterpillar's antennas too if you want, or leave them as is for a more streamlined feeler look.
The caterpillar bracelet is now complete. Give your caterpillar a name and have fun wearing your fuzzy friend around wherever you go!
In the case of the V.H.C., you can add pre-made plastic food charms or create your own out of loom tutorials on the interweb, like I did.
Thanks for reading my overly verbose tutorial! I just wanted to make sure nothing was left to question.