While at the mall the other day, I couldn’t help but notice all of the woven & braided cord bracelets on the shelves. Stores like Forever-21, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie are full-on embracing this trend that undoubtedly invokes thoughts of the breezy pines in a summer camp. I mean, they are basically friendship bracelets, amped up a few notches.
I was contemplating buying one, but then had a better idea. I high-tailed it over to the crafts store and filled up a basket with string, cord, embroidery scissors, and nautical-esque metal closures. I spent the rest of the afternoon and subsequent evening on the floor of my living room, carefully weaving my first knotted/braided bracelet since my camp counselor days.
The basic stitches of a friendship/woven bracelet are not difficult. Once you master the basics, it’s easy to move on to more difficult patterns, incorporating beads, etc. Since it had been a few years, I started with the ultimate beginner’s stitch.
The diagonal is the easiest stitch to do, basically because it is the same motion all the way through. You have to be careful though, because this stitch tends to make the bracelet curl and spiral as you work. In order to avoid frustration while knotting, keep the bracelet anchored with scotch tape in at least three places:
- The very top
- About 1/4″ above where you are currently knotting
- The furthermost right string
Sometimes, the bracelet curls anyway. Mine did. And when this happens you have a choice. Either you can try to straighten out the bracelet, by ironing it (yes) or getting it wet and then flattening it overnight with a hard book, OR you can accept your fate and create a spherical bracelet, which ends up looking pretty complicated and impressive. In this case, I chose the latter.
To create your own woven bracelet, all you need is:
- At least 3 strings of embroidery floss or cord (you can use as many as you want, but the more you use, the more difficult your bracelet will be) – 2 1/2 feet long
- Scotch tape
- Some kind of closure object (or none at all- you can just knot it closed around your wrist, but good luck removing it.)
To create your bracelet:
Step One: Fold your strings/floss/cord over in half and make a looped knot at the top. Spread out the strings in the order you want the diagonal pattern to go.
Step Two: Starting with the left-most string, make a knot around the string to its right. Then, make a knot around the third string. Continue on until your left-most string is now all the way at the right end of the bunch.
Step Three: Repeat step two, using what is now the most left string (originally your second string from the left.)
Step Four: Repeat steps two & three, creating your diagonal.
Step Five: When your bracelet is most of the way complete, knot the bottom and braid it off. Cut the loop at the top and braid that section too. Secure your metal closures by tying them to the braid, or if you aren’t using a closure system, simply tie around your wrist and ankle.
And ta-da! You now have a woven bracelet that did not come from the mall, but was made in your living room. Don’t you feel proud?