This Friendship Bracelet Tutorial came about as a collaboration with a friend who has a magazine. It can be a complicated bracelet but if you have the time it’s worth the work! There are so many tutorials out there for friendship bracelets of all kinds so you may want to look at a few and see which explanations fit your needs. I hope I’ve explained it well enough for anyone to follow along. It’s a lengthy tutorial but that’s only bc I like to be as detailed as possible. Enjoy and I would love to see what you create from this or any of the tutorials on Handmade Jade. Share your works of art with me on Facebook or Twitter!
1. Things You’ll Need: 4 colours of embroidery thread here I used mauve, teal (blue), mint (green) and fuchsia (pink), scissors, safety pin, tape, 4 beads (for the ends)
2. You’ll need to measure out 2 strands of each colour. Each strand will need to be 63-65 inches long. You should have 8 strands total. Bunch them all together and smooth out the length of string.
3. Next, fold the entire length of string in half. At the half way point, cut all of the strands. You’ll now have 16 strands.
4. Take all 16 strands together and tie a knot leaving a 3 inch tail at the end. Attach the safety pin to the back of the knot and lay it flat on the surface you’ll be working on. Take 3 long pieces of tape (2 vertically on either end of the safety pin and 1 horizontally across the bottom 2 pieces of tape) which will hold the pin down to the surface you’re working on.
We will be using 2 basic knots for this bracelet. First one is the Backward Knot (B-knot) and the second one is the Forward Knot (F-knot). The backward and forward knots are the same just going either backward or forward. 1 B-knot or 1 F-knot = 2 half hitch knots. You must do 2 knots for it to be 1 B-knot or F-knot. In other words, 2 half hitch knots = 1 B-knot or F-knot. So really, I’ll show you how to do a half hitch knot which you will do 2 times. Before we start the bracelet I wanted to show a detailed version of how to do the knots. This will make explaining the rest of the bracelet easier.
Backward Knot a.k.a. B-Knot
This knot will take the pattern right to left so we’ll work with the colour on the outer right side which is the colour of the current line of knots, it’s also the ‘active’ colour. In this case the blue line. We will do 2 half hitch knots per colour.
5. So the blue string is the active colour and the first string next to it on the left is the mint string. Place the active string over the mint string. The shape kind of looks like the number 4.
6. Take the active string under, up and through the ‘4’ shape.
7. While holding the mint string in your left hand, guide the active string up towards the top until it makes a knot of the active colour, in this case the knot will be blue (the colour of the active string). Make sure the knot is secure but not too tight. Then repeat the exact same knot with the same string. These 2 knots just made 1 B-knot.
8. Take the same active string you just used (blue) and do the same 2 knots with the next colour, in this case it’s the fuchsia one, to give you 1 more blue B-knot. Then do the same 2 knots again with the next colour (mauve) to give you 1 more blue B-knot. You’ll end up with 3 B-knots of the active colour (blue). The active colour string will end up being in the center. * Note: there are 4 B-knots in the photo but don’t mind the top most one, I’ll explain why it’s there later on.
Forward Knot a.k.a. F-Knot
This knot will take the pattern left to right so we’ll work with the colour that’s on the outer left side, in this case the active colour is blue. We will do 2 half hitch knots to equal 1 F-knot.
9. Take the active string (blue) bring it over top of the string you’ll be working with (mint), in the shape of a ‘4’.
10. Wrap the active string under the mint string, up and through the ‘4’ shape.
11. Holding the mint string in your left hand, guide the knot of the active string up towards the top and tighten it, not too tight. Repeat the same knot to equal 1 F-knot.
12. Repeat these steps with the fuchsia string and then the mauve. When you’ve done an F-knot in all 3 colours the active string will then be in the middle.
13. The B-knots from the right side and the F-knots from the left will bring the active string from each side to the middle.
14. To create the point of the chevron ‘V’ shape, we need to do another F-knot in the center with both active colour strings. So bring the left string over the right one, take it under, up and through and guide the knot to the top center. Repeat the knot so that it’s 1 F-knot. The active strings will both still be in the center. When you move to the next colour the outermost right and left will now be the new active colour.
15. To start, separate your colours into 2 identical sections. There should be a right section and a left section. Each section will have 2 sets of 4 colour. In this pattern there are 2 ‘V’ shapes, a right ‘V’ and a left ‘V’. Each ‘V’ has 2 sides to it and meets in the middle. Do F-knots on the left side of the ‘V’ and B-knots on the right side of the ‘V’and at the center point of the ‘V’ is another F-knot. We’ll start with the left section. Separate the colours into a pattern like this 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1 (mauve-blue-mint-fuchsia-fuchsia-mint-blue-mauve).The first row of knots will be mauve.
16. With the mauve string being our active colour we’re working from left to right doing Forward knots. (Remember that 2 half hitch knots = 1 Forward knot) Do F-knots in all 3 colours and the mauve string will end up in the center.
17. On the left side of the same section do B-knots for the right side of the ‘V’ shape in all 3 colours. The knots will go right to left and the mauve string will end up in the center.
18. Now do an F-knot with the mauve string to create the point of the ‘V’ shape.
19. The mauve row of the left section is done. The active colour is now the blue. The pattern will now look like this 2-3-4-1-1-4-3-2
20. Do F-knots on the left side of the ‘V’ and B-knots on the right side. In the center do another F-knot and you should have 2 rows of knots on the left section, mauve and blue. Your pattern will now look like this 3-4-1-2-2-1-4-3
21. Set the left section off to the left side, out of the way, and lay out the right section in the same order you did the other side. (1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1). Do the exact same thing on this side that we just did on the left side to create the second ‘V’ shape in mauve first then blue.
22. At this point you should have 2 identical ‘V’ shapes and the pattern on both the left section and right section should now be 3-4-1-2-2-1-4-3 (mint, fuchsia, mauve, blue, blue, mauve, fuchsia, mint).
Now we’re going to connect the 2 ‘V’ shapes together!
23. The 2 strings in the center where each ‘V’ shape meets will be how we connect them together. At this point it’s the mint string so bring them together in the center.
24. Do an F-knot with these 2 mint strings and set the right section off to the right.
25. With the mint string of the left section, start with the F-knots, then do the B-knots, then the F-knot in the center.
26. Then, set the left section off to the left side and do the F-knots, B-knots and center F-knot with the mint string on the right side. You should now have 3 rows of knots. The pattern you’ll have now is 4-1-2-3-3-2-1-4.
27. The fuchsia string will now be in the center between both ‘V’ shapes. Do an F-knot with these 2 fuchsia strings to connect the fuchsia row together.
28. On the left side with the fuchsia string do the F-knots, B-knots and center F-knot.
29. On the right side with the fuchsia string do the F-knots, B-knots and center F-knot.
30. You’ll have 4 rows of ‘V’ shapes and you’ll be back to the colour pattern of 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1.
31. Keep on going until you have a length that will wrap around your wrist.
32. When you have the length that will wrap around your wrist we’ll just finish off the bracelet. Separate the left section and right section again and don’t join them in the center with a knot.
33. Do a green row ‘V’ shape on the left side.
34. Do a green row ‘V’ shape on the right side.
35. Don’t join the fuchsia in the center of the 2 ‘V’ shapes either. Do a fuchsia row ‘V’ shape on the left side.
36. Then do a fuchsia row ‘V’ shape on the right side.
37. You’ll end up with ‘V’ shapes being separated slightly so that we can finish off the ends.
38. Take the safety pin and tape off of the surface and untie the first big knot you made at the beginning of the bracelet.
39. You’ll notice that both of your ends will look similar now with each end having 2 slightly separated ‘V’s and length of string.
40. Section the ends and braid them. Then repeat this on the other side.
41. String the bead onto each end, after the braid, and tie a knot. Trim the excess string from the ends.