You’ll learn pretty quickly at summer camp that friendship bracelets are AWESOME. Whether you’re already a pro (in which case you’re going be massively popular at camp), or have never even picked up a peice of string before, friendship bracelets are going to be a big part of your life at summer camp – it almost becomes a competition sometimes as to who ends up with the most bracelets covering their wrists by the end of the summer.
There are heaps of different styles of bracelets and some of them can seem really complicated, but they are really much simpler than you might think…once you learn the basic steps you can pretty much do anything!
I’m going to teach you how to make one of the simplest styles – the Candy Stripe. You will need string (often called floss… available on amazon), scissors and tape/safety pin.
Step 1: Choose your colours. I would start with just 3 or 4 colours until you get the rhythm and pattern sorted in your brain, and then you can step it up to something a bit fancier!
Step 2: Cut your strings. As a rough guide I usually hold the string between my fingers, stretch out my arm and pull the string up the length of my arm, then cut it when it reaches my shoulder… about 60-65cm.
Step 3: Tie your strings together. Knot the strings at the top, leaving about an inch or so above the knot so you have something to tie the bracelet together with then you’re done. Separate your strings out in the order you want your stripes to go, from left to right.
For example, let’s say we have:
String 1 – Blue
String 2 – Orange
String 3 – Red
String 4 – White
Tape the top of the string to a table, or pin it to your trousers… anything that will keep it in place.
Step 4: The ‘Forward Knot’ (FK) Part 1. This is the basis of all bracelets… other patterns use a ‘Backward Knot’ (BK), but we won’t go into that now. And once you grasp the FK, the BK will make perfect sense to you, I promise.
Pick up your first string (blue) and fold it over string 2 (orange) so it looks like the number 4 (see image above). Loop the blue string around the orange string and pull it up so a blue knot forms around the orange string at the top. Do this twice.
Step 5: The FK Part 2. Now do the same as above but around string 3 (red). So make a knot with the blue string around the red string and pull up as before. Do this twice.
Step 6: The FK Part 3. Move the blue string onto the white string and repeat the above process. Tie the blue string around the white string and pull it tight. Do this twice. Your blue string should now be all the way over on the right.
Step 7: Repeat. Follow the instructions above using the orange string next. So orange over red, orange over white, orange ove blue. Then red over white, red over blue, red over orange. Finally white over blue, white over orange, white over red.
Step 8: Keep going. Repeat this process over and over again until you have a whole heap of strings that make a bracelet long enough to go all the way around your friend’s wrist!
Step 9: Tie it off. Once your bracelet is long enough, tie all the strings together to stop it all coming undone. Then I always like to plait the left over string so it looks nice and neat.
Step 10. Give it to your friend! Tie your lovely new bracelet around your friend’s wrist! Then go make another one!
And that’s a candy stripe bracelet! Simple really, isn’t it? Now you can do this one, there’s no stopping you… I’d recommend trying a Chevron next – it’s basically a double sided candy stripe and uses that Backward Knot I was talking about earlier. Then have a look online for a some awesome patterns or get the kids at camp to teach you – they’re usually pretty talented at making them and it will be a great thing you can do together!