How to make friendship bracelets

One of my most favorite crafts to do when I was in elementary school in the 1970s was to make friendship bracelets. If you were my friend, acquaintance and sometimes even my enemy you received a friendship bracelet made by me. I sold them at a stand in my neighborhood and got busted for making them in class. One of the easiest and quickest bracelets to make is the finger weaving kind.

I have noticed they are making their way back on children’s wrists. So I thought I would show you how to make some so that you can have a boredom buster for your children this summer.


woven friendship bracelets (1)

These are different than the macramé knot tying bracelets. These are all done by finger weaving loops.

Depending on which loops you use you get a different pattern. The first bracelet it a flat 7 strand braid (which I will demonstrate in pictures and written instructions), the second bracelet is a 4 sided cubed braid (which is shown in the video).

Both are cute and your children will love to make these in different colours and see them in the wrist of a friend. It is easy once you get to grips and great for beginners.

Supplies you’ll Need:

  • Embroidery Floss
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Nimble fingers
  • Piece of cardboard (optional)

Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Prepare the strands

Cut 7 strands of embroidery floss about 24” long (60 cm). Take both ends and tie it in a knot.

woven friendship bracelets (8)

2. Pin it

Pin the knot to a pant leg or pillow.

Separate the stranded loops and put them on your fingers (4 strands on one hand and 3 on the other).

woven friendship bracelets (12)

3. Pinky works

You will always be working with the hand that has only three strands on it. In the picture above it will be my right hand.

Your pinky and fingertips do all the work.

Depending on how you want your bracelet to look you will loop your pinky under that strand and pull the end loop (#7 and #8) through them all. That’ll be your first strand done.

woven friendship bracelets (17)

woven friendship bracelets numbered

4. Flat Braid

For the flat braid, you loop your pinky through the 2, 3, 6, and 7.

woven friendship bracelets (21)


5. Tighten

Then grab that last loop with your pinky (letting go with the pointer finger) and pulling it through the rest of the strands and tighten.  Now you have 4 loops on your opposite hand.




6. Free the Pinky

Shift the loops on your hand with 3 loops on them towards your pointer so that pinky is free again.


Here is a video showing you the process with the skinner four-sided braid pattern.

If you can’t view the video click here to view it on You Tube.

7. Keep at it

Keep finger weaving back and forth with your pinky until it is complete.

Unloop all of your fingers and tie an overhand knot in the end.





8. Spray it with water (optional last step)

Before removing the tape, it is better if you moisten the bracelet with a good amount of water in spray and allow it to dry naturally. Once dry, remove the tape.

Your children will be kept busy making embroidery floss bracelets all summer.

I used to have a bracelet making stand and sold them on my street corner for $.25.

Since inflation I am sure they could get $1.00 for them.  {giggle}

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How to make friendship bracelets

FAQs About Friendship Bracelets

Where did friendship bracelets originate?

Friendship bracelets originated in Central America, specifically in the Mayan culture of Guatemala and Mexico in South America. They have been used for centuries as a symbol of friendship, love, and loyalty by this native people.

The traditional Mayan friendship bracelets, also known as “worry dolls,” were made from string or yarn and were given to friends as a symbol of friendship and protection.

These bracelets have been popularized around the world, and are now made from a variety of materials such as beads, leather, wool and other.

What is the most popular friendship bracelet?

Let’s note that the term “friendship bracelet” can also refer to any bracelet that is given as a symbol of friendship, and so the most popular friendship bracelet may also depend on the person giving the bracelet.

Some popular patterns include the “Candy Stripe,” “Chevron,” and “Fishtail” bracelets.

  1. Candy Stripe: This is a simple pattern that involves creating diagonal lines with different colored threads. The lines alternate in color creating a striped effect, hence the name “Candy Stripe.”
  2. Chevron: This pattern involves creating a V-shaped design using different colored threads. The V-shape is created by knotting the threads in a specific way, and the different colors are used to create a pattern.
  3. Fishtail: This pattern is created by knotting threads together to form a braid-like design. It is called the “Fishtail” because the finished product resembles a fish’s tail.

All of these friendship bracelets are made with embroidery floss, each color is knotted together to make the desired pattern.

What is the meaning behind a friendship bracelet?

A friendship bracelet is often made by one person and given to a friend as a symbol of friendship. The idea behind a friendship bracelet is that the person who made it is wishing their friend good luck and happiness, and that the bracelet is a reminder of their friendship.

Friendship bracelets are often made out of string or thread and can be decorated with beads or other embellishments. They are (or at least were in the past!) popular among young people and are often exchanged between friends as a symbol of their bond.

What does a bracelet symbolize?

This is going to depend on the culture, context, and design of the bracelet of course. In some cultures, bracelets are worn for protection or as a symbol of wealth and status. In other cultures, bracelets may be worn as a symbol of friendshiplove, or commitment.

They can also be worn as a fashion accessory. Some people also wear bracelets as a reminder of a significant event or person, or to show support for a cause or organization.

What are the easiest bracelets to make?

There are many different types of bracelets that are easy to make, even for those without a lot of crafting experience. Here are a few examples:

  1. Beaded bracelets: These can be made using elastic cord and a variety of beads in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Simply thread the beads onto the cord and tie a knot to secure them in place.
  2. Friendship braceletsThese can be made using embroidery floss or thin yarn and a simple knotting technique.
  3. Chain bracelets: These can be made using jump rings and a variety of chain links.
  4. Leather bracelets: These can be made using leather cord and a variety of beads, charms or other embellishments.
  5. Wrap bracelets: These can be made using a long strip of fabric, leather or ribbon and a button or toggle closure.

All of these are easy to make and doesn’t require much of materials or tools, also you can customize them as per your taste and liking.

My suggestion is to try with yarn made out of old-t-shirts (which I am planning to do). It can seems similar to macrame or a form of macrame rather

Do you shower with friendship bracelets on?

It would be better not to do it as the moisture and chemicals in the water can cause the bracelets to degrade or lose their color over time. The materials used in friendship bracelets, such as thread or string, may become stretched or weakened when wet, which can cause the bracelet to lose its shape or break.

However, due to the nature of the knot I remember never taking it off and just make the most of it whilst it was in good condition.

Which hand do you wear a friendship bracelet on?

Traditionally, friendship bracelets are worn on the wrist of the non-dominant hand. This is because the bracelet is meant to be a reminder of the friendship, and the non-dominant hand is more visible and accessible, making it easier to see and touch the bracelet throughout the day.

However, some people may choose to wear friendship bracelets on their dominant hand or even on the ankle, it depends on personal preference.

Need some more fun ideas to do with the kids this summer? Take a look at these:

String Art Made Easy

DIYKidsCraftsStringArtMadeEasy thumb

Dyed Popsicle Stick Sunburst

Kids Craft Popsicle Stick Sunburst

DIY Minion Flip Flops


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  1. I used to make these exact bracelets! how fun to remember! I used to safety pin them to my pants leg while I was working on them. 🙂

  2. Wow my mind is reeling…I love these bracelets (yes for myself, ha ha!) but for the life of me STILL cant figure out how to do it. So I think a couple of boys and I will be on a quest this summer… teach mom how to finger weave! That way I can do something other than crochet washcloths on our drive to the grandparents.

  3. I totally used to make these when I was a kid too & my dd’s have started doing them as well – along with beading bracelets. They are so fun. In fact, at the last couple garage sales we’ve had in past summers, they’ve set up their own little table & had their own little business and sold their jewelry. It’s been so fun for them to get all excited about making $ on things they’ve created. Gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment!

  4. I spent a lot of time making those bracelets when I was a kid! There is also the knotting technique that makes stripes or chevrons!

  5. Wow, this really brought a smile to my face. I went through a huge friendship bracelet phase in my youth! I still have the embroidery thread in my stash (how sad is that?). Thanks for the memories!

  6. My aunt taught me how to make these when I was 8 and I LOVE them! 🙂 They’re always a huge hit on youth group trips when I chaperone. I’ve always used just 5 loops and it creates a 4-sided bracelet. I will have to try out the 7 strand bracelet!

  7. We used to make these at summer camp and then for the rest of the summer every year! I hadn’t even thought about them for years until I saw a girl I know making those plastic lacing lanyards and that made me remember making those and friendship bracelets. People were always amazed at these finger weaving bracelets because they were different than the standard flat knotted ones. We used to make super long ones and wear them as necklaces. Hmmm…I’ve got a new rainy day activity for my house this summer! THANKS!

  8. I haven’t made these in years, but my boys have been wanting them soooo. Thanks for the reminder of how to do it. And also, love your videos. How did I miss those?!?

  9. Just the other day I was just thinking about friendship bracelets and that I could not remember how to do them. Then your post appears. Thanks!!

  10. While at Target today, I noticed they’re selling these! It appears the trend has come back, yet again. Thanks for posting… this brings back memories of saving money up for embroidery floss & making these in the summer with pals. Good times.

  11. wow! I love these bracrlets but I didn’t know that you could make them out of Embroidery Floss. I make mine out of straids of plastic grocery bags! Their very cool and water proof so they are very good for Summer time in the pool!! I’ll have to try the string ones!! thanks!!

  12. You should teach how to separate the strands (after its knotted) so that they dont get all knotted at the end. That way, people can separate the strands and be able to get started on their bracelets. That would be helpful.

  13. Can you email me ( about that step please? String is very expensive here. And Ive already wasted 6 friendship bracelets worth of string because of #2

  14. I don’t know how to tell you to separate them except to separate it. After you are done with the bracelet if the beginning looks terrible then you can undo the knot and cut the strands and unravel them.

  15. i follawed the instructions but mine came out as the skinnier of the two braclets. how do you make the flat one?

  16. The woven bracelets were always my favorite to make. Now the flat one has become my new favorite! Great tutorial!!!! Thank you 🙂

  17. I love this bracelet! It was so easy to make..
    Problem is.. Idk how to wear it..

  18. I am having trouble with step number 5. Which last strand do I grab? The 7th or the 8th. Also, which index finger do I let go, the one on the hand with 3 strands or 4. Would it be at all possible to post a YouTube video of the flat one too?

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