Friendship bracelets

Welcome to another week of Kid’s Corner!

Are you missing your friends, family and want to let them know you’re thinking of them? This week we get crafty with friendship bracelets for all those loved ones you are missing and want to send a little sunshine and smiles their way. Look around your house and see what you have. A few ideas are yarn, twine, embroidery thread and beads to make your bracelets bright and unique.

For younger children still learning to manipulate small things with their fingers, yarn and beads are a good way to begin. One way to avoid the littles from becoming frustrated with getting the yarn through the beads is to use larger beads or even buttons. Another helpful tip is to wrap tape around the end so that the yarn or thread does not become frayed and finish by tying a knot at the end so beads don’t go flying off.

For older kids and youth wanting more of a challenge, try using embroidery thread of various colors and braiding the colors together to create a band of vibrant designs. Another option, and the traditional way of making friendship bracelets, is to choose five different threads about 30 inches in length, and do a knot-tying method.

You can make the bracelets thin by using only three colors or wide by using five or more colors of the embroidery thread. To hold the thread in place, either tape to the table top, use a safety pin attached to your shoe or even tie it to your shoe. To start, separate each of the threads, grab the first thread (far left) and move it over (number 4 design) and under the second thread to tie the knot to the top, then still holding on to the first thread, now grab the third thread and move the first thread over that and through, again tying a knot. Continue with the first thread and each of the threads, always using the first thread to tie the knot to the other threads. View this excellent visual example of how to move through each knot.

Do the colors hold any specific meaning? Traditionally: RED for honesty, PINK for kindness, ORANGE for energetic, BLACK for strong, BLUE for loyal, LIGHT BLUE for harmony, the sky, water, tranquility and calmness. Of course, you can feel free to find different meaning from the colors to convey your message of friendship.

You might be asking, “Where did the idea or intention of friendship bracelets originate from?” Both Central America and China are said to have origins of the decorative friendship bracelets. It is possible to stretch all the way back to China ca. 481-221 B.C., but according to most, Central America is the real birth place. In Central America this craft is done with a knotting design, though many of us may be more familiar with macramé using weaving and knitting format.

Check out our catalog for available books to check out on other types of jewelry you can make for your friends:

Before you all head off to make your beautiful friendship bracelets, I leave you with a lovely thought to share with your friends when gifting them. Have them make a wish and wear the bracelet until it eventually falls off on its own accord. It is said that the wish will be granted at that time. Happy crafting!

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