Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Friendship Bracelet Secrets, Tricks and Patterns

I love friendship bracelets. If you know me at all, you probably know that. It's turned into quite the obsession in the last few years. I regularly post pictures of finished bracelets on Instagram and then pass them out to friends all year long, but this is the behind scenes scoop of my friendship bracelet addiction. 

All the bracelets I make are given away-- that's the best part of making them. If you keep them then they are Yourself Bracelets (which is just kind of lame). I have kept every bracelet I've been given for as long as I can remember. People see the ones on my wrists and my backpack the most often, but I've got jars of older ones at home too.

I keep a running total of how many I've made every year. The pictures are taken of each new set of bracelets before I add them to the total (so bracelets are never in a picture more than once).

Did you know that I take these bracelet pictures on my porch?

As you might assume, I use a whole freak load of string. Michael's and Hobby Lobby regularly have coupons online so you've just got to wait till you find one for 40% off your entire purchase and then stock up on all your favorite colors. I keep all of my string in a desk drawer along with the bracelets that I need to give away this semester.

When you finish a bracelet by braiding the ends there is always a chunk of string left over to cut off. I always threw that tail of string away until I realized how much I was wasting.

I figured out that I could french braid all of those little chunks together and make these friendship bracelet ropes out of the scraps. I give them away to counselors during staff training to use as the necklace part of their counselor wooden name tags.

In the last few years the FBC has collectively improved their skills exponentially. Sometimes girls look up patterns, sometimes we teach other and sometimes we can figure it out just by looking at the bracelet.

Cutting string for bracelets may be one of my least favorite parts of the process because it's so time consuming. I've got a system to make it work a lot better-- I cut string for 12 bracelets at a time and then work on them all week long. 

Once you learn to read a pattern, nothing is too difficult to tackle. Here are the patterns I use most often. 

Double Earthquake-- opposite direction

Double Earthquake-- same direction

Nashville-- (you make four of the small squares before shifting the colors for the next section)

4 Square



Honeycomb-- (all three pictures)

New Big

New Small

Stained Glass

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