Friendship bracelets

When I was a young girl I enjoyed writing to my pen friend, playing tag and drawing but making friendship bracelets wasn’t one of them. Before the internet if you didn’t know someone who could teach you or find a book to show you how to do it then the process was just a mystery.

Today is also International Women’s Day and in my younger days I think I struggled with being female, finding your voice and identity as a woman is a difficult thing – especially for girls. There are so many messages and social pressures, often these messages masquerade themselves as female empowerment but are really just another form of control.

There are still prejudices against women in certain societies, industries and cultures maybe one day there won’t be a need for Women’s Day. Until then today is a great day to celebrate the women in your life be they mums, sisters, cousins or colleagues.

I’ve created a quick tutorial for making friendship bracelets, they make great little mementos and if I still had my pen pal I’d drop one in the post for them!

How to make a chevron friendship bracelet

You’ll need four different colours of embroidery thread. Cut lengths of thread about 36 inches in length, you’ll need two of each colour – or two sets of four. Leave a tail about 1 and a half inches in length and knot each of the sets together.

Use a bit of tape to fix your threads to a book or bench then get your threads in order. Each set of four threads on the left side should mirror that on the right – so if I have red, purple, blue and grey on the left it should be grey, blue, purple, red on the right.

With the chevron pattern your knotting two sides of the bracelet and then joining them in the middle. The direction of the knots on each side is what creates the shape. So you’ll need to know how to front knot and reverse knot.

To forward knot take the outermost strand and shape it into a 4 over the top of the next strand, loop it under and then pull it up to the top. Repeat this again and you’ve got your first knot! You must knot over each thread twice to make your bracelet. Repeat this until you’ve reached the centre of your with this thread.

For backwards knotting you do the same as the forward knot only in reverse, once you’ve reached the centre of the bracelet you should have two strands of the same colour in the middle. All you do then is knot them together – it doesn’t matter if you do a backward or forward knot.

Once you’ve got enough to go round your wrist plait the tassel ends together as ties and its ready to wear!

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