Aug 10, 2011

fabric friendship bracelets *tutorial*

While I was in Oregon I found this really colorful woven fabric rug (kind of hippy-ish but so cool!) and decided I'd have to find somewhere in the house where it would be useful. Well it lasted for 4 whole days in front of the patio door before our 3 yr. old Lab chewed the corner of it. Oh well - it was a cute rug.... for 4 days. Rather than toss it in the trash, I started to think of projects where I could repurpose the fabric. After dismantling, cleaning and drying all of the fabric strips I remembered an old summer favorite - braided friendship bracelets!

To get started you'll want to use long strips of fabric (about 2ft.+ long), preferably cotton as it's easy to work with and I like that it frays on the edges a little.

Choose 3 fabric strips and use a clip to hold the fabric in place. Of course, if you have an extra set of hands available, ask for help in holding the fabric. To keep tension on my fabric I put a heavy book on top of the clip.

Loosely braid the fabric. When you get close to the end of your fabric, take a moment to measure the bracelet to your wrist. Since this is a slip on bracelet, you'll want to make sure you have enough room to wiggle the bracelet over your hand.

(I bribed Alaina to be my little hand model :))

Once you have made the bracelet to fit your hand (and because we're using cotton you can stretch the fabric a little too) remove the clip and hold both ends together. I would measure one last time before we sew the ends together! Measure twice and sew once!

Lay your bracelet flat, with both ends pushed together. Then using a straight stitch, sew the ends together, going forward and backward to ensure that all of the fabric has been sewn together and is secure.

Remove the bracelet from the sewing machine, trim off strings and cut fabric to just above where you sewed.

To cover up the sewed edges, cut or tear a piece of fabric about 2 inches wide and about 8 inches long. Slip the fabric into the bracelet where you sewed the ends and tie a single knot. Trim off the extra fabric from your knot.

We played with fabric combinations all afternoon, mixing and matching contrasting colors with patterns. I forgot how fun making simple bracelets could be and I'll bet if you try this tutorial, you'll end up making more than one! I think Alaina and I made 6 bracelets on Sunday. (4 for us and 2 for her friends.) :)

Happy crafting! xo~ Tara


blogauthor said...

Sweet, Tara! These would work really well as hair accessories, too. My little Butterfly will adore this!

blogauthor said...

ooo, weird. I'm now "blogauthor," lol. So much for Christina or elephantandbutterfly;)

Anonymous said...

I love that friendship bracelets are coming back! I need to make some & your tut is a great inspiration! Thanks!


Jackie said...

you can even sew an elastic band to the two braided ends to make a headband - i found one on etsy that was made using the same technique :)

Anonymous said...

a really sweet idea love them ;)

Leah's Crafty Life said...

These are beyond COOOOL! I love them, and I bet my oldest and youngest girls will like making these as well. Thanks so much for the sweet inspiration!

Amy Louise Stokke said...

So cute and so simple! I love it!

j. wilson said...

aw man i love it AND you totally scooped me...back to the drawing board. i didn't have a nifty chewed up rug, just a bunch of braided scraps. heehee.

Mutlu Eller said...

I love them. Thanks for your tutorial, great!