Different Ways to Braid Bracelets

by Kimberly Turtenwald, Demand Media

    Friendship bracelets are good craft project for kids and adults alike. These bracelets are typically made of embroidery floss, but can also be made from yarn if that is all you have or you are a beginner. To make these bracelets, you simply braid several different colors of floss or yarn together to create a patterned bracelet. The way you braid the bracelet affects the pattern that appears.

    Twist

    Perhaps one of the simplest ways to braid a friendship bracelet, a twisted bracelet incorporates two colors into a bracelet for yourself or your friend. Choose the two colors you want to use and cut three pieces of each color in 2-foot lengths. Tie the ends of the strings together and separate them into two groups by color. Secure the end to the table with tape. Twist the two color groups around each other until the bracelet reaches your desired length. Tie off the end and cut off the excess. If you find the twist straightens out, you can tie several additional knots along the bracelet.

    Basic Braid

    When you think of braiding, you probably think of the typical braid that requires three different strands that you overlap over and under each other. If you don't want to attempt anything fancy, you can create a bracelet using the common braiding technique. Cut three strands of thread in different colors about 2 feet long. Double up the strands if you want them to appear thicker. Tie the strands together and secure them to the table with tape. Separate the strands by color. Bring the left-hand strand over the middle strand, pulling it tightly to the knot. Then bring the right-hand strand over the new middle strand, pulling it tight. Repeat the process until the bracelet is the desired length and knot the end. Cut off any excess string.

    Diagonals

    To create a basic diagonal bracelet design, choose two or more colors for the strings. If you only choose two colors, you need to use two strands of each color. This type of bracelet requires at least three strands, but you can use as many as you would like. The more strands you use, the wider the bracelet will be. Cut the strands to lengths of 24 to 36 inches. Tie the strands together and secure them to the table with tape. Separate each strand out. Begin from the left and work your way to the right. Take the left-most strand and cross it over the strand to its right. Position the two strands so they resemble the number "4." Wrap the left-hand strand underneath its neighbor strand and pull it through the middle of the "4" from the back to the front. Pull it tight up to the knot. Create a second knot in the same way. Work your way across all of the other strands using the strand that originated on the left. When that row is complete, begin with the second strand, which is now on the left side. Repeat the process until the bracelet is the proper length, tie it off and cut off the excess.

    V-Shape

    If you want to create a V-shape instead of a simple diagonal, the process changes a little bit. For this bracelet, you need an even number of strands, two of each color. Use at least six strands. Cut the string into lengths of 24 to 36 inches and tie them together. Separate them out so one strand of each color is on each side. The colors should mirror each other so the same colored strands are in the center together and the same color is on the outside of each side. Begin with the left and create double knots up to the middle of the bracelet with the same process as Section 3. Then create the first row on the right using the same process in reverse; for instance, use a backward "4" and work from right to left. After the right side is complete, create a double knot using the two strands in the middle of the same color. Repeat the process until the bracelet is the desired length. Tie off the strands and cut off the excess.

    Swirl Knot

    A swirl knot bracelet offers a different look than many of the other braided friendship bracelets you are likely to see. Choose three different colors for this bracelet and cut the strands to lengths of about 30 inches. Tie the ends and tape them to the table to secure it. Separate the strands and begin with the strand on your left. Take the first strand and tie 15 knots around the other two strands together. To tie the knot, create the number "4" with the first strand over the other two strands. Pull the first strand underneath and up through the center of the "4." After you have completed 15 knots, repeat with the next color. When those 15 knots are completed, use the third color. Repeat the entire process until you reach your desired length. Tie off the ends and cut off the excess string.

    About the Author

    Kimberly Turtenwald began writing professionally in 2000. She has written content for various websites, including Lights 2 You, Online Consultation, Corpus Personal Injury and more. Turtenwald studied editing and publishing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

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