Iron Craft Challenge #26 – Beaded Friendship Bracelets

We’re remembering the days of summer camp this week for Iron Craft and making Camp Crafts. I went back and forth between a few ideas then finally decided I want to learn how to make friendship bracelets.
Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets
There is something about the way these look that makes me think of long summer days by a lake in shorts and sandals. Plus, they are a little addictive to make, especially if like me, you have a few hundred colors of embroidery floss to play with. I started with the simple black, tan and white striped bracelet then, I decided I wanted to try adding in beads. Then embellished ones I had seen before had the beads and rhinestones sewn on afterwards, I wanted to knot them in. So, here’s how I made them

Beaded Friendship Bracelets
I learned the technique for knotting the bracelets from Honestly…WTF, thanks for the link Susi.


square of styrofoam or piece of cardboard (I used a needlefelting board)
straight pins or tape
embroidery floss
beading needle (you want one small enough to go through your beads but with a long eye you can get the embroidery floss through)

Making Striped Bracelets

Chose the colors of embroidery floss you want to use and cut 30″ pieces of each color (or multiple pieces of the same color if you wish). This made  the knotted part of the bracelet about 5″ which is about 1 1/2″ shorter than my wrist. Six strands of floss will give you a bracelet about 1/4″ thick. The more strands you use the thicker the bracelet. Lay the strands next to each other and tie them together in a knot about 3″ from the top. Pin that knot to your styrofoam or tape it to the cardboard.
Day 24 - Spaghetti Monster or...
Now lay out the strands in the way you want the colors to appear on your bracelet. For this simple striped bracelet my strands were black, tan, white, black, tan, white.
Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets
For my black and grey bracelet I wanted thicker stripes so I went black, black, grey, grey, steel, steel.
Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets
Starting with the strand furtherest to the left, put it over the next strand creating a sort of 4 shape. Now, take the first strand behind the second and up through the hole in the 4. Hold the second strand taut while pulling up on the first to tighten the knot (if you don’t the strand you are tying around will show through). Now repeat this exact knot with those same two strands. Continue tying two knots with the first strand around each of the other strands in order until you reach the end of the row. You are always knotting with the same color as you move down a row. Then you start back over at the left with the strand that is now first (the next color). You will have to pay attention to the order of your strands for the first two or three rows but after that they fall right into place.
Adding Beads
Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets
For this example we are putting a bead on the edge of the bracelet. Before you start knotting, thread the first strand onto the beading needle then thread on a bead and move it to the top of the strand (you can remove the needle until you need it again). Now, tie the knots as above. You could so a bead every other row so, they line the whole edge or space them out like I did.
Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets
You can also put beads in the middle of your bracelet like I did on this one. I would suggest using a smaller bead like a seed bead. Once again, when you get to the place in the bracelet where you want a bead just put the bead on the strand before you start knotting. One things to know when putting the bead in the middle is that it will not lay straight, it will lean towards whichever strand you put it on. So, if you put it on the strand you a knotting with it will lean left, if you put it on the strand you are knotting around it will lean right. (click the picture above to see it bigger and see what I’m talking about. I switched the way the bead leaned every other one.)
Making the Chevron Design
Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets
For this type of bracelet you want to arrange your strands so they create two mirror images. Mine is red, blue, red, white then the mirror image, white, red, blue, red. I wouldn’t recommend using less than 8 strand for this. Start knotting from the left as above but stop when you hit the middle (for this first row that would be between the two white strands). Then start knotting from the right using the furthermost strand as the strand you are knotting with. Stop when you hit the middle . Knot the two middle strands (the strand you were knotting with from each direction) together twice. Continue with each color in this same method)
Stop knotting your bracelet when you have about 3″ of floss left. At this point you can just braid the remaining thread and tie it off in a knot. Go back to the beginning untie the knot you started with, braid those threads and tie off with a knot. Then you can just use those braids to tie your bracelet on and off. I wanted to try something a little different so I created a sort of clasp.
Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets Iron Craft Challenge #26 - Beaded Friendship Bracelets
On one side I tied a large knot. On the other side I made a little loop. To wear it I just put the knot through the loop. I think this will work best when you are wearing the bracelet tightly as the tension helps hold it on.

Now, go make a whole armload of these for your besties or be greedy and make them all just for you!

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13 years ago by in Challenges , Craft Projects , Crafts , Iron Craft , Projects | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
One Comment to Iron Craft Challenge #26 – Beaded Friendship Bracelets
    • Linda (simplyLAF)
    • Nice! I was just proud to go from a 3 strand braid to 4 strand macrame. Maybe, someday, I will attempt this. It would be a fun, teen library program.

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