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How to make friendship bracelets

By Stacey Donovan on February 9th, 2021
How to Make Friendship Bracelets 600

July 30 is the International Day of Friendship! No, Hallmark didn’t make it up—the United Nations did, to celebrate how friendship leads to understanding and peace.

There are all kinds of ways we can let the people around us know how much they mean to us. In the past several decades, handmade tokens of friendship have been popular. Here are some things you might not know about friendship bracelets and jewelry, plus simple instructions to make your own.

How to Make Friendship Bracelets 600

Braided and knotted friendship bracelets

This craft, which originated among the Mayans in Central America, became popular in the United States in the 1970s. It became traditional to make two identical bands, giving one to a friend and wearing the other one yourself, day and night, until they fell off naturally. Because the bracelets are cotton, they can be worn all the time, even while swimming, which makes them a great summer accessory.

Some people associated different colours in the bracelets with different meanings:

  • Blue: Loyalty
  • Red: Honesty
  • Yellow: Happiness
  • Green: Generosity
  • Orange: Closeness
  • Purple: Creativity
  • Pink: Kindness
  • Black: Strength
  • White: Peace

Of course, you can just make one in your friend’s favorite colours, and they don’t have to wear it constantly. Here’s how to make three different kinds of braided and knotted friendship bracelets!

Twisted friendship bracelet

Made with embroidery floss, pearl cotton or yarn, this easy friendship bracelet comes together in two shakes, or rather, twists.

Braided friendship bracelet

You can make this bracelet short, so it wraps around your wrist once, or long, so it wraps around your wrist three times. These instructions show how to make a long one with embroidery floss, pearl cotton or yarn.

Knotted friendship bracelet

This is the traditional bracelet we made as kids for friends to wear until they fell off. They’re fun to make on road trips because they’re portable—but they take a LONG time. These instructions show you how to make a chevron-patterned friendship bracelet.


Safety-pin friendship jewelry

In the 1980s, girls started to make little gifts for each other by putting colourful beads on safety pins. These friendship pins were usually attached to shoelaces, so you only had to look down at your sneakers to remind yourself of how much you were liked. The pins could also adorn a jacket or a bag.

We’ve put together instructions you can follow to make these traditional friendship pins—as well as pendants and bracelets, just to spice things up. To make any of these projects, you’ll need some safety pins and lots of colourful seed beads.

Friendship pendants

For the pendants, grab all your friends and set aside a little time for you to do them together. They’re quick, easy and fun. They also make a great project for a team.

Friendship pins

Here’s how to make a pretty pin to give to your best friend. You can put both your initials in it to display your BFF status, or make a pretty pattern with her favorite colors. (Or make one of each!)

Friendship bracelets

And for those of you crazy for bracelets—we’ll show you how to make one to give to a good friend—or keep for yourself. These are pretty time-consuming but VERY ADDICTIVE to make. You’ll find all sorts of patterns you’ll want to try out. Just be sure to work in a well-lit area or your eyes may cross!

And if you’re wondering when someone is too old for things like this, the answer is: never (like Shannon and friends demonstrate in the bonus video below!). It’s always a good time to celebrate the people who make us smile. Hope these projects inspire you to give your friends a handmade token of friendship.

Stacey Donovan has been a writer and editor at Hallmark for more than 20 years. She also writes romance novels (under a pseudonym), and hascollected a wealth of obscure knowledge in the process.