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Click through for 14 easy friendship bracelet patterns that your kids will love to make. We’ve found the best video tutorials to help you discover how to make cute and colorful bracelets. We’ve got everything from simple braids, to chevron, to slightly more involved patterns. Fun, inexpensive, and great for travelling. This is the craft that never fails.
Have you ever made friendship bracelets with your kids? They are a dream craft for us parents. Mess free, portable, and best of all, inexpensive to make. You only need a few things to get going, so you can start making them at a moment’s notice.
Besides, don’t you just love everything about friendship bracelets?
- They are a symbol of friendship.
- Help develop fine motor skills.
- Give kids a chance to do something creative.
- Allow you to make something beautiful without hours of practice.
- Help kids with concentration and attention skills.
Not bad right?! Making a friendship bracelet is a great craft any day. They are great for rainy days, sleepovers, camping, and long road trips. I’ve made them with large groups of kids and one on one with my boys. They have always been a hit.
So, are you ready to dive into the world of friendship bracelets
Is making friendship bracelets easy?
For the most part, friendship bracelets are very easy to make. You don’t need a lot of materials and there are only a few basic techniques that need to be learned. The bracelets use four basic knots in different combination.
- Forward knot
- Backward knot
- Forward-Backward knot
- Backward-Forward knot
This video demonstrates all 4 knots.
Tip: Adjust the playback speed of the video as needed. It can be helpful to slow down the movements, so you can better see what they are doing. The kids will get a kick out of the weird sounding speech. Click though to YouTube and then on the cog to set the speed.
As you can see, the knots need some dexterity and fine motor skills, but the techniques are simple enough that kids aged 7 and up could master them.
What do You Need to Make Friendship Bracelets.
Just a few materials.
Something to hold the end of the bracelet. I’ve seen people use tape, a pin on corkboard and clipboards. If you want to make things really easy, try this friendship bracelet kit.
In a Hurry? Names of Friendship Bracelets That Kids Can Make
Here are the names of friendship bracelets that are easy enough for beginners to make. I have also included a few bracelets that don’t use traditional knots, so that younger kids can join in!
- Two Minute Twisted
- Simple Braided Bracelet
- Simple Half Hitch
- Chinese Ladder
- Basic Square Knot
- Candy Stripe
- Double Chevron
- Zig Zag
- Braided Stitch
- Tiny Diamonds
What is the Easiest Friendship Bracelet to Make?
Now there are some who would say that the following are not really friendship bracelets, because they don’t use the traditional knots. However, I am not a purist. They can be made with care and given to friends. In my book that makes them a friendship bracelet. The following are perfect for younger kids that get frustrated with the knots.
Two-minute Twisted Friendship (No Braid) Bracelet
The twisted bracelet must be the easiest bracelet ever. There is no knots or braiding. All you need to do is twist the yarn or floss. I have made this with so many kids. They are always a hit and are wonderful for larger groups. We used embroidery floss, but yarn would work as well.
Simple Braided Bracelet (With Beads)
These simple braided bracelets use a three-strand braid which is very easy to learn. Kids pick the technique up quickly and they are always a hit. I particularly love the inclusion of lettered beads. If you prefer to watch a video, this one shows you how.
Jellyfish Friendship Bracelet (With a Cardboard Disk)
The Jellyfish bracelet is made with a cardboard loom. They are great for younger kids who can’t quite get the hang of the knots. The best part? They work for all kinds of yarn and string. You can find the written instructions here and the video tutorial is here.
Fishtail Friendship Bracelet
The Fishtail bracelet is another braided bracelet. This time the braid requires multiple strands. They are still easy for kids to make. They look like a cross between the braid and a chevron pattern. I really like the texture. Another benefit of these braided bracelets is that they do not take as much thread as the knotted ones. The written instructions are here.
Easy Friendship Bracelet Pattern Tutorials
Now we will move on to the traditional bracelets made with knots. I’ve found a video tutorial for each design, so that you can see how it works. There is also a link to a written instructions for almost every design.
Simple Half Hitch Knot Bracelet
The simple Half Hitch Knot bracelet is good place to start once your kids are ready to tackle simple knots. This bracelet creates a simple patterned friendship and only needs two colors. You only need to learn one knot. You will find written instructions here.
Chinese Ladder Friendship Bracelet
The Chinese Ladder must be one of the easiest friendship bracelets to make, because you only need to learn one knot. The pattern looks very impressive, doesn’t it? I love how colorful they are. The color combinations are endless. Why not get your Kids to make their favorite sports team colors? Get the step by step written instructions here and here is the video tutorial
Basic Square Knot (Very Easy)
The basic square knot is often found in macramé but has been repurposed for friendship bracelet patterns. Basically, two colors are woven around a third. You can make them from embroidery floss or string. You can also try making them out of parachute cord for a completely different look. My boys would have loved these. You can find step by step written instructions here and here is the video tutorial.
Zipper Friendship Bracelet
The Zipper friendship bracelet is another great friendship pattern for beginners. It only uses 3 stands, so it is easy to keep everything straight. This pattern is great way to practice forward and backward knots. The finished bracelet looks like a zipper, hence the name! You can find step by step written instructions here and here is the video tutorial.
The Candy Stripe pattern is one of the first designs many of us learned. It is a good way to learn the basics of bracelet making. The pattern is actually quite simple and the finished product looks so impressive. Kids love to make these. This pattern only use forward knots, so it is perfect for beginners. You can find step by step written instructions here and here is the video tutorial
Once you have got the candy strip down, it is time to try the Chevron pattern. It uses half rows of forwards knots and half rows of backwards knots. These connect in the middle to create that classic V design. Once you master the chevron bracelet, you’ll be able to try all kinds of patterns. Encourage your kids to experiment with different colors. You can find step by step written instructions here and here is the video tutorial
Once you’ve got the chevron bracelet down, you can try a double chevron. Basically, it is made from two joined chevron bracelets. It is more challenging because there are twice as many strings to deal with. You make it the same as the single chevron with an extra knot to join the two halves. This video tutorial will show you how. You can find written instructions here.
Zig Zag Pattern
The zig zag pattern is a fun design, and you can see immediately how it got the name. I really liked this version that creates a 3-dimensional effect by choosing graduating shades of the same color. This pattern is great if want to make something a bit more interesting than your average bracelet.
The braided stitch is an intriguing design. It is made with knots, but the pattern looks like a braid. I understand that it is not as complicated as it looks. Still, you would probably want to master the knots before trying it. I was not able to find a written tutorial for this one, but you can find the video here.
Friendship Bracelet Patterns for the More Experience Knotters
I really like the design of the Tiny Diamonds bracelet. You need to be familiar with all the knots from the Chevron bracelet. The advice is to move onto this design after you have mastered the easier patterns. Still, it looks as if it is worth the effort. You can find the written tutorial here and the video at
Can there be a better symbol of enduring friendship than the heart? I really like this Hearts design. This pattern is adorable, and the color combinations are endless. Again, you will need lots of practice with the chevron pattern before trying this one, but it is easy once you get the knack of it. You can find a written tutorial here.
Leaf/ Alternating Leaf Pattern
Leaf/ Alternating Leaf bracelets are very similar in design to the Chevron pattern. Think of them as backwards Chevrons! One helpful tip is that the more strings you use in this design, the more of the pattern you will see. As you can see the pattern looks like string of leaves. You can find a written tutorial here.
How to Start and Finish Friendship Bracelets
Before I end this post, I want to say a quick word about starting and finishing your bracelet. The easiest way is to tie a simple knot. Make sure you leave about 4 inches of thread on each end for tying.
However, if you want to get a little more fancy there are some pretty ways to start and end your bracelets. You can use buttons, teardrop loops, and adjustable knots. This tutorial provides several different ideas and will get the creative juices flowing.
Friendship Bracelet F.A.Q
A friendship bracelet is traditionally a hand-knotted bracelet given by one person to another as a symbol of friendship. They symbolize a friendship that is strong and enduring. They have an interesting history (see below) and became popular in the 70’s and 80’s. Many of us will remember making them during camps or youth groups. Hands up if you spent hours with your friends honing your bracelet making skills. There are many patterns ranging from simple to complex. Most of the patterns are made using various combinations of 4 basic knots.
The idea is that once you put the bracelet on, you cannot take it off. You must wait until the threads wear and the bracelet falls off. What happens if you take it off instead? Legend has it that you may break your friendship.
The answer can vary greatly from a few minutes for the simple twisted/braided bracelets to 5 hours for a more complex pattern. There are a few things that determine how long it will take to make a bracelet. How fast you knot, what kind of thread you use, the difficulty of the pattern, and how long you make your bracelet.
The joy of the Internet is that it makes it very easy to find friendship pattern bracelets. Pinterest and YouTube are good places to look if you know the name of a particular pattern. You may want to read this post about how to read friendship patterns before using any patterns, you find on-line. I found the best place to find patterns is Friendship-Bracelets.net This site is dedicated to the making of bracelets and has patterns, tutorials, videos, and galleries full of pictures of people’s creations. Another site I discovered is Bracletbook. It also has patterns, photos and tutorials. There is also a forum for asking questions.
Did you know that knotted bracelets have been around for thousands of years? Many of the knots and patterns can be traced back to the indigenous peoples of Central America. However, records of some decorative knots associated with the bracelets have been found in Ancient China. Some dating back as far as 481-221 BCE. The knots used in friendship bracelets are the same as those found in macramé. Samples of this kind of work have been found in items made in the Middle East during the 13th Century. The technique slowly spread to France and Italy and onto Europe. It became very popular in North America in the 1970’s. At that time, the peace movement was strong and young people wanted to celebrate friendship and love.
So what are you waiting for? Dig out some embroidery thread and scissors and show your kids how to make their first friendship bracelet. It might even entice them away from their screens for a couple of hours!
Not quite ready? Pin the post using the image below and come back to it at a later time.