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a beginner's guide to friendship bracelets by Stephany Moyano
I've been making bracelets for ten years, along the way. I've taught a few people here and there, and although it was a messy process; the people I taught ended up making bracelets (eventually)
In this booklet you will learn the basics of bracelet making. Please remember that it takes a lot of practice to make decent bracelets. So don't give up if you mess up the first few times. (I used up four skeins of string before I made my first decent bracelet!)
I've set up the instructions in the method i thought was best for learning. Picture sequence and written text. I've also included a few websites that teach how to make bracelets through different methods in case mine doesn't work for you.
Enjoy and happy knotting!
Table of contents:
Basic knots 6
Other knots 8
Candy stripe 10
Tips and tricks 15 Basic Knots Forward Knot:
The forward knot is the most used knot, so it is the first that should be learned.
It is usually started in the leftmost side of the bracelet and is finished on the right. Get two pieces of string and practice making this and the other three basic knots before you begin your first bracelet. This knot is called a forward knot because it always moves the string one step forward when it is tied. When you begin tying your know, remember to always keep the sting you're tying your knot around pulled down with your other hand.
The backward knot is the same as the forward knot but reverse, you usually start from the far right and finish on the left.
Forward/ Backward Knot:
The forward/backward knot and the backward forward knot are most used in bracelets that have diamond shaped patterns. The forward backward knot is called this beacause one of the loops is tied forward and the second is tied backward. The same happens inversely with the Backward/Forward knot. Remember to practice these knots on small pieces of string before you start making your bracelets.
Backward/ Forward Knot:
Other Knots Square knot:
You can make bracelets with these knots alone. For a regular bracelet using these knots you will need four pieces of string, two of them will be ten inches long, The other two will be 35 inches long. In the pictures below, I've used two different colors for the long thread to show how the strings change places every time the knot is tied. The square knot is composed of two steps, first step you can see in the first picture and second step is in the second picture, repeat till bracelet is as long as you want it to be, then tie the ends and trim to an inch and a half.
To make this bracelet, you keep the two shorter stands in the middle and use the longer strands to tie your knots. First, you take the string on the right and place it over the middle strings, then take the string on the left (yellow) and place
it over the brown string, then under the two strings and over the brown string again. Take both ends and tie them together. Second; youll notice your strings have changed positions. Yellow is now on the right, but brown still goes on top, yellow goes over, under and over the brown strings. Repeat for pattern ..
Another bracelet that can be made out of knots is the chinese staircase. It is a quick and very easy to make bracelet. It only involves one kind of knot, repeated until the bracelet is long tnough to wear. To make this bracelet, you'll need four pieces of string. Two fo them should be 10 inches long the other two should be 35 inches long. Tie them all together with one and a half inch left at the top and tape your strings to a table. The two shorter strings will go in the middle, the long strings you will use for knotting.
Take the left string and place it over the strings in the middle. Then, take the right string and place it over the string you just used, then under the middle strings, then over the left string. Look at the picture to see if you did it right. Pull both strings tightly and repeat for pattern in secon picture.
Tips and tricks:
-you can use beads in these bracelets! simply thread them through the middle strings and then just keep knotting around them.
Candy Stripe Starting your Bracelet:
For the basic candy stripe bracelet, you need to cut six strings, each around 40" long, tie them together with a basic knot, check the picture to see if youre doing okay.
This is how you start every bracelet in the book. A simple knot keeping all your strings together. Make sure to leave an inch and a half of free string at the end so you can tie the bracelet to your wrist once its done.
Find a flat surface, like a table and tape your strings to it for support. You could also use binder clips on a book or a safety pin on a pillow or your jeans. Separate the strings bu color, then take the leftmost yellow string and tie a forward knot around the string next to it. Remember to hold down the string youre looping around with your other hand. Your strings have now changed positions (second picture) take the same string you used to tie the first know and do it to the rest of the strings from right to left. You should have something that looks like the third picture before you move on.
Once you've done all the yellow strings your bracelet will look something like this. Your yellow strings will all have moved to the right and now your left strings will be the green. Keep making forward knots and eventyally youll have a striped pattern. When your bracelet is as long as you want it to be, tie a knot around
all the strings, then trim the ends to an inch and a half and your candy stripe bracelet is done.
Starting your Bracelet:
For the chevron youll need an even number, of strings al~ays, For this bracelet you will need 4 blue strings and 4 yellow stnngs each 40 Inches long, Tie them together at the top and leave and inch and a half at the ends,
Find a place to put your strings, a flat surface or a table, Set up your strings in this order: Blue, blue, yellow, yellow, yellow, yell~w, blue, bl~e, Take the leftmost blue string and tie a forward knot onto the blue stnng next to It" then the left y~lIow, then
the last yellow, When you finish, you ~hould have s~methlng ,that looks like the 12
second picture, Now, take the blue stnng from the nght and tie a backward knot
onto the blue string to its left, then the first and second yellows, Check the picture
to see if you're doing okay,
Now comes one of the most important parts, You need to take the left blue string in the middle and tie a forward knot onto the right blue string, This ties both sides of the chevron together and make it look complete, Repeat with the bl,~e strings on the left and right ends of the bracelet Your s~nngs have changed position, n~w the yellow strings are on the outside, Keep making chevrons until your bracelet IS as long as you want it to be, then tie off the ends and trim to an inch and a half,
Starting your Bracelet:
This bracelet is the most advanced bracelet in this booklet, you will need five different colors of string, two pieces of string per color, I used red, white, yellow, blue and green, Here's the length of string you need to cut for each color:
red 45", blue 45", green 40", yellow 40", white 35"
Once your strings are cut, make sure you haye two of each cobr, you ti~ them like usual and tape the end to a table, You Will set up your strings like this (from left to right):
Blue, yellow, white, green, red, red, green, white, yellow, blue, (check the picture to see if you're doing okay so far)
Both red strings should be in the middle, take the left one and do a forward knot onto the right one, you should have both red strings knotted together, Take the red string on the left and make 3 backward knots and one backward/forward knot. Afterwards, take the red string on the right and make 3 forward knots and one forward/backward knot. (check the second picture)
Your middle strings should now be green, join them together with one forward knot, with the green on the left, make one backward knot, then one backward/forward knot. with the green on the right; make make one forward knot, and one forward/backward knot. Your middle strings should now be white, join them together with one forward knot.
-Take the green string on the left and tie a forward knot onto the white string next to it, then take the green string on the right, tie a backward knot onto the white string next to it, tie both green strings together with a forward knot.
-Take the red string on the left, tie 3 forward knots, take the red string on the right and tie 3 backward knots. Join together with a forward knot.
-Take the blue string on the right and make 4 forward knots, then take the blue string on the left and make 4 backward knots. Join together with one forward knot. (check the first picture to see how you're doing).
-Your leftmost string should be yellow (same with your rightmost string) make 2 backward knots with the yellow string and then one backward/forward knot.
Take your rightmost string, make 2 forward knots and one forward/backward knot. -your leftmost and rightmost strings should be white. make 1 backward/forward knot with the left white string and make one forward/backward knot with the right white string (check second image)
-take the yellow string on the left and make 2 backward knots, take the one on the right and make 2 forward knots.
-Your middle strings should be blue make 4 forward knots with the bue on the right and 4 backward knots with the blue on the left. (check third picture) -Repeat for pattern until as long as you wish, then tie bracelet as usual.
Tips and Tricks:
-Run out of string? tape a new string to the back of your bracelet and continue using new string, once bracelet is finished tie a double knot in the back and add a drop of superglue or nailpolish so the knot doesnt become undone.
-Apart from using tape on a table, you could use a clipboard, binder clips on
a notebook, or safety pins on your pants, or a cushion.
- Keep a blunt embroidery needle in your kit to undo knots and mistakes, keep a colored thread around it so you don't lose it.
-Here are a few websites you should check out once you feel ready to start more advanced projects:
In this website you can purchase many advanced patterns in PDF format for a dollar each.
15 Website with several free sets of patten and the alphabet pattern set
website where a user can create and upload his or her own patterns, thousands of free patterns.