Friendship bracelets were all the rage when I was a kid. Swapping bracelets with your BFF was so fun and a sure sign of ever-lasting friendship. Now, my daughter has gotten into making them too. Below you will find a ton of friendship bracelet patterns so you can get in on the fun too!
First, I just have say how much I love everything about friendship bracelets:
- What they represent (friendship…awe so sweet)
- The beautiful colors and patterns
- How fun they are to make
- The super sweet tradition and skill that I can pass down to my own daughter that can become a hobby, a gift idea…or even a business.
Making friendship bracelets is the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon, a summer camp, Girl Scouts, youth group or even a slumber party.
But don’t save all the fun for a special occasion!
In fact, we just made them for hours during our most recent family road trip. It was a great way to pass the time PLUS – had new bracelets to wear when we arrived!
Ok – now you know how much I love them…let’s move on!
What is a friendship bracelet?
A friendship bracelet is traditionally a hand-knotted bracelet made from embroidery floss that is given to someone as a sign of friendship.
They first became popular in the United States in the early 70’s. It’s believed that they began in Central America where the form of knotting is popular; similar to macrame.
By the 1980’s friendship bracelets had become wildly popular with young girls (me included)
I can remember large groups of us bringing our bracelet making supplies to school and working on them during recess and lunchtime. Usually we either worked on our bracelets.
Or planned how we were going to run our own Babysitters Club.
One of the best aspects of the bracelets is the tradition that once the recipient puts it on, they can’t take it off. This shows the friend that gave it to you how much you appreciate them and represents your “ever-lasting” friendship.
Folklore has it that the recipient should wait until it falls off naturally when the threads become worn. Otherwise, if you take it off before then, you risk breaking your friendship.
I happen to know this isn’t true because I took one off that my BFF gave me in second grade and we are still friends (30 years later). So, the superstition may not be true but it’s just one of those things that makes friendship bracelets special and so much fun!
Friendship Bracelet Designs
Even though I have always been a fan of handmade jewelry, I am thankful for the current boho trend that has helped bring back the popularity of friendship bracelets.
Now you can find tons of gorgeous patterns and designs in lots of colors and thicknesses.
Some even include beads and shells.
They also look amazing when paired with other leather or metal bracelets – allowing adults like me to get in on the trend!
By now, I am pretty sure you are convinced that friendship bracelets are amazing and need to be a part of your life.
Let’s get started!
If you have never made a friendship bracelet before, check out this video that shows you the basics to get started.
Announcement: You will notice that many of the friendship bracelet tutorials below are made by kids. Personally, I think this is totally RAD and I am sure they will all the views this post gives them as we click and learn!
Easy Friendship Bracelet Patterns for Beginners
Just like with any other new skill, you want to start with the basics.
One of the tricks to making professional looking bracelets is to tie consistent sized knots and keep the pattern neat and organized.
Below you will find the best beginning friendship bracelet patterns to help you practice your technique.
Fishtail Bracelet Pattern
This bracelet is great for beginners. It doesn’t require as much thread as some of the other patterns.
This is because this pattern is created from braiding instead of knotting. At first glance this pattern looks similar to the chevron, but if you look closely you can see the difference.
The candy stripe pattern was the first friendship bracelet design that I ever learned and it’s perfect for beginners.
One of the challenges of making knotted bracelets is keeping track of your threads and staying organized.
The candy stripe pattern is the perfect pattern to master the basics of bracelet making. Here is a simple video tutorial.
Chevron Bracelet Pattern
Obsessed with anything chevron?
It’s such a classic pattern that makes everything look good: backsplash tile, wood flooring and…friendship bracelets.
Once you master the basic knotting technique and the candy stripe pattern you will be ready to create a chevron friendship bracelet.
If you can make a chevron, you can make a double chevron!
While it’s a bit more challenging because there are more strings to keep track of, the basics are the same. It looks really impressive though because it turns into a thick friendship bracelet.
Lots of Knots
Perfect for beginners, especially young children who are just starting to be able to tie knots.
This is a another fun pattern to try once you’ve gotten the basics down.
Confetti Friendship Bracelet Pattern
An easy pattern that is as much fun to make as it sounds! The confetti or rag rug pattern is a cute sprinkling of colors that you will love!
Zig Zag Design
A fun and funky design that will help you master your forward and backward knots and prepare you to move on to more advanced designs.
Intermediate and Advanced Friendship Bracelet Patterns
Once you’ve gotten the basics down, it’s time to get fancy-schmancy!
Double Wave/Peruvian Wave Pattern Friendship Bracelet
Bracelets of this style are popular in the open markets of Peru. The end results looks impressive, but is not super difficult to make once you have the basics of friendship bracelet knots down.
This trendy friendship bracelet design is perfect for anyone who is ready to take their skills beyond the basics.
By the time you try this pattern, you definitely want to have the candy stripe and the chevron patterns down. The result is beautiful.
Leaf/Alternating Leaf Pattern
I love this leaf design because it is very unique. It really looks like leaves when it is complete.
This pattern is absolutely gorgeous! It requires experience with knots as well as different lengths of string. Definitely a fun one to try once you become a friendship bracelet making rockstar!
Wave Bracelet Pattern
This is an advanced friendship bracelet design that requires four different types of knots and is quite challenging. That being said, it’s definitely doable with a little practice. Perfect for the beach or ocean lover in your life.
Heart Pattern Friendship Bracelet
This design is so sweet! Perfect for Valentine’s Day – or anyone you love. It’s best to get a lot of practice with the chevron pattern before trying this one as it will require forward and backward knots.
Alrighty! There you have it! Tons of ideas, tips and tricks to start making your own friendship bracelet?
Did I skip your favorite pattern? Please comment below and let me know what it is!