20 Friendship Bracelet Patterns (+Tutorial Videos)
Friendship bracelets are a timeless craft project for kids (and adults) of all ages. Whether you’re just learning each simple knot for the first time or you’re ready to move on to more advanced techniques, you’ll find what you need in these friendship bracelet patterns!
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 her own friendship bracelets too.
Below you will find a ton of friendship bracelet patterns so you can get in on the fun and share it with your kids as well!
First, I just have to 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 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, a 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 70s. It’s believed that they began in Central America, where the form of knotting is popular, similar to macrame.
By the 1980s 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!
What Do You Need To Make DIY Friendship Bracelets?
One reason that friendship bracelets are such a fun craft project for kids of all ages is that you really only need one thing – thread.
You can find embroidery thread online, at any craft store, or even at Walmart, and it comes in pretty much every color under the sun. It’s super cheap, and you can even get starter kits that come with fun color combinations to get started.
Some of the more advanced friendship bracelet patterns may also call for beads or buttons, but typically you’ll just need the thread to get started.
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.
While the traditional bracelets with a simple braid still exist and my daughter is learning how to make some of my personal favorite friendship bracelet patterns, there are so many options these days.
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!
How to Make Friendship Bracelets
Easy Friendship Bracelet Patterns for Beginners
Just like with any other new skill, you want to start with the basics.
In this case, that means perfecting basic friendship bracelets with techniques like a simple braid, backward knot, and forward knot.
Once you have the basics down…go wild!
One of the tricks to making professional-looking bracelets is to tie consistently 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.
DIY Fishtail Friendship Bracelet Pattern
This bracelet is great for beginners. It doesn’t require as much thread as some of the other patterns, though you can choose to use up to 6 or 8 strands.
This pattern is created by braiding instead of knotting, which is familiar to most people. The fishtail pattern can look similar to a chevron pattern (my favorite - see below!), but if you look closely, you’ll see the differences.
This fishtail friendship bracelet pattern takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to make, depending on how quickly you braid.
Candy Stripe Bracelet Pattern
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.
DIY Chevron Friendship 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.
Double Chevron Friendship Bracelet Pattern
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.
Spiral Staircase Friendship Bracelet Pattern
The spiral staircase design also called the Chinese staircase or Chinese ladder friendship bracelet, is one of the most classic friendship bracelets.
It’s easy to make and requires just a few strands of floss. It’s a great bracelet pattern to start with, as it focuses on the forward knot, which is the basis of many other patterns on this list.
Lots of Knots Friendship Bracelet
Perfect for beginners, especially young children who are just starting to be able to tie knots.
This is also a great way to build coordination and consistency while tying knots to develop the skills to make professional-looking bracelets.
Braided Stitch Friendship Bracelet Pattern
This fun friendship bracelet pattern uses the forward knot to create a unique design with just 9 strands of thread in 3 colors.
Though the design gives the final product a complex feel, it’s an easy friendship bracelet to make.
This is another fun pattern to try once you’ve gotten the basics down.
Beginner Confetti Friendship Bracelet Pattern
A confetti friendship bracelet, or rag run friendship bracelet, is as much fun to make as it sounds. The patterns features a cute sprinkling of colors through and it doesn’t require any complicated knots or skills.
Zipper Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Another fun and easy design, this pattern creates a fun zipper design using 3 different colors and easy knots. It’s a great one to add make with some bright colors to really make a statement.
Zig Zag Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Once you have the basic knots down, give this fun zig-zag pattern a try. It’s a fun and funky friendship bracelet design that will help you master your forward and backward knots and prepare you to move on to more advanced designs.
DIY T-shirt Friendship Bracelet Pattern
A fun alternative to traditional embroidery floss is to use old t-shirts! This design is a great way to upscale shirts and create a chunkier look, which is instyle right now. Plus some find the bigger pieces of fabric easier to work with than the embroidery thread.
Sliding Knot Friendship Bracelet Pattern
This DIY bracelet is a bit different from the other easy friendship bracelets on the list, as it’s made with paracord instead of embroidery floss. But the design is simple and easy, making it a great option for beginners!
Intermediate and Advanced Friendship Bracelet Patterns
Once you’ve gotten the basics down, it’s time to get fancy-schmancy with these advanced friendship bracelet patterns.
Double Wave/Peruvian Wave Friendship Bracelet Pattern
How fun is this double wave bracelet pattern?! Also called a Peruvian Wave 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.
Arrowhead Friendship Bracelet Pattern
This trendy friendship bracelet design is perfect for anyone ready to take their skills beyond the basics.
Before attempting this arrowhead friendship bracelet design, I recommend practicing first with the candy stripe and chevron patterns, as you’ll use similar techniques to create this beautiful bracelet.
Leaf/Alternating Leaf Friendship Bracelet Pattern
I love this leaf friendship bracelet design because it is very unique. It really looks like leaves when it is complete. You can choose whether you want each life to the same color or to alternate a few different colors.
Diamond Friendship Bracelet Design
This diamond friendship bracelet pattern is absolutely gorgeous! It requires experience with knots as well as different lengths of string, so you’ll want to perfect a few other designs first. Definitely, a fun one to try once you become a friendship bracelet-making rockstar!
Wave Friendship 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 Pattern
This heart friendship bracelet 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.
Jellyfish Bracelet Pattern
This jellyfish bracelet design isn’t necessarily difficult but since it requires working with 8 strands and a paper wheel, I’m placing it on this list of advanced friendship bracelet patterns.
You’ll definitely want to be comfortable working with multiple pieces of floss before attempting this. But it’s such a fun one to make - as you work through the pattern, you’ll quickly see how it got its name!
Teardrop Loop Friendship Bracelet Pattern
The teardrop loop design isn’t for a full bracelet on its own but rather the start of pretty much any bracelet of your choosing. The main requirement is that the design has an even number of friends.
Adding a teardrop look is a great way to make any of the bracelets look a bit more sophisticated, and you can use it to create some colorful bracelets!
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!
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