As a teacher, I'm rather privy to what elementary school aged kids are into. Those rubber band bracelets are all the rage right now, but a lot of my students can't afford the materials. So I taught them how to make these simple and inexpensive friendship bracelets. Now they're a hot item at school.
For this bracelet you'll need embroidery thread, a small piece of cardboard (that back of a notebooks works well), scissors, and beads if you want to add some pizazz.
The length and colors of the thread are up to you depending on the size bracelet you want. You'll need about a yard of each color for an adult bracelet. It sounds like a lot, but you use a lot of thread weaving. A foot will make about 4 inches of bracelet just to give you an idea.
Step 1: Prep the Threat and Create the Loom
Make a loop at one end of the bracelet and tie a knot. The loop will be half the clasp, so make sure it's not too big.
Cut a slit in the middle of the top of the cardboard. Cut as many slits at the bottom as colors of thread you use. I'm using 4 to make a thinner child sized piece, but you can use as many as you like, just know it will make your bracelet thicker.
Slide the knotted end through the slit at the top of the cardboard and slide the thread into the bottom slits. Make sure to order them according to the pattern you want. Left to right will translate from top to bottom on your bracelet. I arranged mine lightest to darkest for an ombre'd look.
Step 2: Weave the Bracelet
Take the leftmost piece of thread out of the slit. Create a "4" shape over the piece of thread next to it. Pass the thread under the second piece of thread and up through the center of the "4." Pull tight and repeat on the same thread. Tie each "4" knot twice on every thread until the first thread is woven all the way to the end.
Move all the lengths of thread over one slit and repeat the steps.
Step 3: Optional Beads
Once I wove two cycles of each thread, so there are two lines of each color visible, the threaded a bead onto the center two pieces of thread.
I put some Vaseline on the ends of the thread and twisted them together so it would be easier to thread them through the center or the bead together.
Once you have your bead in place, continue weaving, stopping every increment you chose to add another bead. This looks really fun if you make a rainbow colored bracelet and add beads in rainbow color order.
Step 4: Finish and Enjoy
Once you weave to the end, tie a bead to the end of the bracelet to use for the clasp. Make these in many colors for a stacked look!
Slip it on and enjoy!
If there are any steps you feel are unclear, please comment and I will clarify :)