Friendship bracelets have been a craze for many years now. It is a simple yet thoughtful way of expressing how important a friend is with the help of a simple hand-crafted item. Though it is the gesture that counts more than the thing itself, improvising never hurt anyone!
While there are hundreds of friendship bracelet designs, most of them require excellent skill and handwork. So we've listed out five designs that look outstanding and yet can be made by practically anyone! For those of you looking for something non-traditional and more creative, we've some different ideas chalked out at the end of the first section. So, do take a look!
Before You Begin
Making a friendship bracelet can be a tricky task for those who've never attempted it before. However, as long as you keep these few things in mind, you should find it to be a lot simpler than expected!
► The designs are based on different kinds of knots, especially forward knot, backward knot, and forward-backward knot. In order to attempt making any of these patterns, you would need to learn and practice each of these knots thoroughly. Practice them a couple of times before starting off. Once your knots are precise, most of these designs will be a cakewalk for you!
► Get a good work surface. To tie the knots correctly, you will need to constantly maintain pressure on the strings. Thus, it is a must to secure the free end of the bracelet firmly.
► Quick Tip: Safety pins can be life saviors while making friendship bracelets. You can knot one end of the strings to a safety pin and secure it onto the lower portion of your trouser. This way, they are held firm at the perfect distance to continue knotting!
► It is important to maintain moderate and constant pressure along the strings. Holding too tightly will cause the bracelet to curl up weirdly, while holding too gently will cause the knots to be aloof, and the pattern won't come together as visualized.
- Color strings of embroidery floss
- Pair of scissors
- Good work surface
- Assorted beads
- Twist and tie rope
- Elastic bands
- Safety pins
Friendship Bracelet Patterns with Making Instructions
Style I: Braided Design
✦ To make a three-color braid, take three thick strings of three different colors.
✦ Tie these three strings together on one end with the help of a knot.
✦ Place this knot on a work surface; something which will hold it firm, giving you grip to tie it with the correct pressure -- clipboards work well for this purpose.
✦ Once you have the knot fixed to a surface, you can start braiding your bracelet, like a simple hair braid. Those who aren't aware of the exact steps for hair braiding can follow the instructions mentioned below.
✦ After clamping the knot somewhere, you will have three strings; let's call them A, B and C from left to right.
✦ You can begin by taking A over B; the resulting order is then BAC.
✦ Next, place C over A; the order then becomes BCA.
✦ Once again, place B over C; making the order CBA.
✦ Take A over B; the order should be CAB.
✦ Complete the entire braid in a similar fashion.
✦ Note: Keep cross-checking with the mentioned order at every step, so you can rectify your mistakes, if any, at that particular stage itself.
Style II: Chevron Design
✦ To make a simple chevron of three colors (A, B & C), you will require six strings -- two of each color.
✦ Arrange these six strings in the order: A1 B1 C1 C2 B2 A2.
✦ Take A1, and form a forward knot on B1.
✦ Next, make A1 form a forward knot on C1. If you have got it right so far, the order of the strings will be: B1 C1 A1 C2 B2 A2.
✦ Now, take A2 from the right-hand side, and tie a backward knot on B2.
✦ Next, take A2 again, and make a backward knot onto C2. If you've got it right, the order should be: B1 C1 A1 A2 C2 B2.
✦ At this point, the outermost strings, A1 and A2 are now the innermost ones. Tie them both at the center with either a forward or backward knot.
✦ Hereafter, the pattern is repetitive and one needs to redo the same knot till the bracelet is of the desired length. However, we've given out two more steps in case you're still somewhat stuck.
✦ Take B1 and form a forward knot on C1 and then A1. So the order will now become: C1 A1 B1 A2 C2 B2.
✦ Next, take B2 and form a backward knot on C2 and then A2. Ideally, the strings should be in the order: C1 A1 B1 B2 A2 C2.
✦ Once again, the outermost strings, B1 and B2 are now the innermost ones. Tie them at the center with a forward or a backward knot.
✦ Keep repeating these steps until the friendship bracelet is of the required length.
Style III: Inverted/Alternating Chevron Design
✦ To make an alternating chevron of three colors, you will require four strings of each of the predominant colors and two strings of the third color (that form the intermediate arrows).
✦ For easy understanding, we're referring to the three colors as A, B, and C. So, you should have four strings of A, two strings of B and four strings of C.
✦ Arrange them as: A1 A2 A3 A4 B1 B2 C1 C2 C3 C4, and secure them firmly onto your work surface.
✦ Tie B1 and B2 together with the help of a forward knot.
✦ Then take B2 and tie a forward knot with C1, then C2, and so on till C4. Bear in mind that you don't have to form these knots in a straight line. Instead, they must form a slanted line that forms half the arrow head.
✦ Similarly, take B1 and form forward knots from A4 to A1. Note that this line of knots should form the other half of the arrow, so the two knotted lines should be somewhat symmetrical.
At this stage, B1 and B2 should be outermost instead of innermost. The order will be: B1 A1 A2 A3 A4 C1 C2 C3 C4 B2.
✦ Now take A4 and tie forward knots from C1 to C4. Order after completing this step will be: B1 A1 A2 A3 C1 C2 C3 C4 B2 A4.
✦ Take C1 and tie a backward knot on A3, A2, A1
and B1. Order on completing this step is: C1 B1 A1 A2 A3 C2 C3 C4 B2 A4.
After this point, the pattern of knotting is similar; you only have to repeat the same knots till you finish the bracelet. However, two more steps have been explained in case you haven't got the hang of it yet.
✦ Take A3 now and form forward knots along C2 C3 C4 B2 A4. Order after completing this step is: C1 B1 A1 A2 C2 C3 C4 B2 A4 A3.
✦ Take C2 and form backward knots along A2, A1, B1 and C1. Order after completing this step: C2 C1 B1 A1 A2 C3 C4 B2 A4 A3.
✦ Keep repeating this pattern till the bracelet is of the desired length.
Style IV: Zigzag Design
While all the other styles can easily be attempted by anybody, the zigzag bracelet is a tad more complicated. You can try to finish a chevron, or an inverted chevron first, and then give this one a try; it ought to be a lot easier that way.
✦ We're elaborating on a 3-color zigzag pattern, so you will need six strings, two of each color. Get the strings together and form a knot on one end, then pin this knot to your work surface. Assemble these strings in the order A1 A2, B1 B2 and C1 C2.
For better understanding, we've referred to the colors as A1 A2, B1 B2 and C1 C2 hereafter; starting from left to right.
✦ Take the leftmost string, A1 and form forward knots onto A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 individually. Order at the end of this step: A2, B1 B2 and C1 C2 A1.
✦ Next, take A2 and form forward knots on B1, B2, C1 and C2 individually. Order at the end of this step: B1 B2 C1 C2 A1 A2.
✦ Now take B1 and form forward knots on B2, C1, C2, A1 and A2 individually. Order at the end of this step: B2 C1 C2 A1 A2 B1.
✦ Take B2 and make forward knots onto C1, C2, A1, A2 and B1 individually. Order at the end of this step: C1 C2 A1 A2 B1 B2.
Use C1 to tie forward knots on C2, A1, A2, B1 and B2 individually. Order at the end of this step: C2 A1 A2 B1 B2 C1.
✦ Lastly, take C2 and tie forward knots onto A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1 individually. Then, using C2, tie a forward-backward knot onto C1.
✦ Then, using C2, form backward knots onto B2, B1, A2 and A1. Order at the end of this step: C2 A1 A2 B1 B2 C1.
✦ Similarly, use C1 to make backward knots on B2, B1, A2, A1 and C2.
✦ Next, take B1 and B2 and make backward knots till they're on the outermost strings on the left side. Order at the end of this step: B1 B2 C1 C2 A1 A2.
✦ Keep repeating these steps till the bracelet is as long as required.
Style V: Candy Stripe Design
✦ To make a three-color candy stripe bracelet, you will need nine strings; three of each color you desire.
✦ Start by assembling them together in the order: A1 A2 A3 B1 B2 B3 C1 C2 C3.
✦ Tie a knot at one end, and secure it to any comfortable working surface.
✦ Start by using A1 to tie a forward knot on A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2 and C3. The order at the end of this step is: A2 A3 B1 B2 B3 C1 C2 C3 A1.
✦ Then use A2 to tie forward knots on A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3 and A1.
Continue these steps till the bracelet is of the required length. This is one of the simplest bracelets to attempt if you're a newbie at braiding bracelets. You simply need to start with the leftmost string, and make forward knots onto the rest of them!✦ Note: The image shown is that of a six-color candy stripe. Though the knotting is exactly similar, the only difference here is that we have taken a total of six threads, one of each desired color.
Be unique and creative with this link-ribbon bracelet. It is one of the easiest bracelets to make by yourself, which will definitely stand out in any group! A pretty ribbon added to a simple chain of links, topped off with a well-crafted bow brings together this unique bracelet.
If you can't get your hands on one of these link chains, you can go ahead and make a similar one with a twist and tie rope. Take two of them; gold and silver usually make a great combination, and make knots at small intervals (say around one or one and a half inches apart). Now take a thick and stiff matching colored ribbon, and lace it through the inch
intervals between every knot. You can derive many different looks from this bracelet by changing the ribbon size; a small ribbon and tiny intervals will give you a more petite look while a big ribbon with a large bow will give a more bold look.
Loop the Ring!
Another funky idea for a DIY friendship bracelet is a ring bracelet. All you need is a string (a good quality elastic will work better) and a whole bunch of rings. As of the rings, you don't need classy or beautiful ones; instead you need to look out for an assortment of simple and more colorful ones. Loop all of them in the elastic and secure it well!
For this, you will need four to five chunky stone-finish beads and two strings (ideally brown or black). Start with knotting the two strings and slipping a bead into one of them. Once the bead is tightly in place, knot the strings together and once again, put a bead in one of the strings. Continue this process till you finish the entire length of the bracelet. This is an easy, creative, and economic option for a friendship bracelet. If you don't have stone-finish beads, you can always use the same concept with different materials. It's more of a vague idea; you can find many ways to better it or work your way around it!
These were some ideas that we felt were easy, and at the same time, unique. If you have better patterns and designs for friendship bracelets, feel free to drop them in the comments section below; we'll add them in our write-up!✦ Note: Though we've tried to make the instructions as elaborate and explanatory as possible, one might still find it difficult to follow through at times. The images provided are merely shown for reference, your final outcome may or may not be similar; depending on your knotting technique and materials used.