Origin of the friendship bracelet
The origin of the friendship bracelet is thought to have started with the Indigenous Peoples in Central and South America, being a common tradition that symbolised the bonding of souls. It honours the energy and time put into a friendship, used as a meaningful gift that would be worn with pride.
They have made a lasting impact too, with friends continuing to craft their very own friendship bracelets for each other to show just how much they care well into the 21st century. Whether as a birthday present, for a special occasion, or simply an excuse to get involved with a touch of crafting, they make the perfect gift. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to create one, you’ve come to the right place.
What will you need to make a friendship bracelet?
Before you start weaving, make sure to get your crafting tools together. Thankfully, you won’t be needing an awful lot for this delightfully simple DIY project. Coloured macrame string or decorative braids are ideal to use when crafting your friendship bracelet, as they come in an array of colours, they’re versatile, and slide effortlessly between the fingers. With so many combinations to choose from, you’ll be able to make your design completely unique.
Now you’ve got the string, grab yourself some masking tape or a safety pin to keep everything in place whilst making the braid. This is a crucial step (especially for beginners), because it means you can focus all of your attention on the weaving process, rather than struggling to hold everything in place.
Finally, and this step is optional, you could incorporate letter beads and charms into your friendship bracelet for added personalisation. This will ultimately depend on your friend’s style, so choose whatever you think they would like best. Weave into any of the following designs as you see fit.
Friendship bracelet patterns
Alternating half hitch
To make a friendship bracelet with an alternating half hitch pattern, you’ll need to cut two strands of string in colours of your choice to around 5 foot long. Begin by making your loop by folding the top of the string in half, knotting in place in the middle. As mentioned previously, secure everything down with tape so that you can get an even braid.
For the half hitch tie, you’ll need to make a clockwise loop with the string on your left (we’ll call this cord 2), wrapping it around cord one whilst holding everything tight. Now, use a similar technique with cord 1, this time making a counter-clockwise loop. Tighten as before.
Alternate until you reach the end of your string. Et voila!
As the name suggests, you’ll need to start with five different shades of string to make your braid for the perfect colour explosion. Begin by snipping your string into ten pieces (which will be two per colour) to around 32” in length. Group your colours together, tying a knot at the top and securing down as with the alternating half hitch.
Take the far left string and loop underneath the adjacent strand, then go over the next strand. Repeat this process on the other side, continuing with the under-over motion.
To make the zipper friendship bracelet, knot and secure two string cuttings for the top of your braid. Take the string on your left and make a forward backward knot around your base string, bringing it back to the side you originally started on. Repeat the process with your other string and tie a knot once you’ve reached the end.
For this next friendship bracelet pattern, get three colours of string and make your loop at the top to begin braiding. Separate one string apart from the other two and loop over both of them, pulling through to bring it back to the side you started on. Repeat this as many times as you like (the more you do it, the longer the chunk of colour will be), continuing on the process with the other two colours.