As a child of the 80's, I remember making many a friendship bracelet, especially during the summer when I had hours and hours of free time on my hands. What a fun craft to teach (and create with) your kids and a great way to keep them busy during those summer days when boredom can set in. It also teaches them the importance of celebrating friendship.
According to history and tradition, "The making of friendship bracelets originated in Central America. The weaving and knotting design is a form of macramé, which is a textile-making form using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. They were first seen in the US in the early 1970s. According to tradition, the recipient of the bracelet must wear it until the cords wear out and fall off naturally to honor the hard work and love his/her friend put into making it."
Modcloth has a great refresher tutorial for making a simple bracelet on their blog.
If you want to experiment with more complex designs, there are lots of websites out there dedicated to these bracelets. Here are a couple of options to get you started:
- AHC Arts & Crafts (instructions especially for kids)
So this summer when you hear your kid say "I'm bored what can I do, Mom!?" Break out the embroidery floss and get them knotting.
The lovely bracelet watercolor painting is by Caitlin McGauley. You can find more of her work here.
(Images: Caitlin McGauley found via Lonny Mag & Heather Ortiz, Modcloth)