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Easy Beaded Friendship Bracelets

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These easy beaded friendship bracelets show how adding a few beads to the mix totally ups your friendship bracelet game! Learn my other technique for how to make a beaded friendship bracelet too! This post contains affiliate links.


Easy beaded friendship bracelets based on the Chinese Staircase stitch

Oh, how I miss the days of being able to pass time just knotting! Yes, that’s how I spent my tween and teen years (also scrapbooking and beading, but friendship bracelets were the OG).

Now, every time I decide to pull out a tutorial for you guys my tendinitis kicks in because I guess I’m old. But I still can’t help myself because friendship bracelets are awesome, and adding beads to them make them awesomer.

Easy beaded friendship bracelets vertical shot

The colors (muted) and thread (thin) I chose for these, as well as the beads (metal) make them very mature. You can definitely opt for doing this with brighter colors and typical embroidery floss, just make sure your thread size is compatible with the beads you choose.

I also stuck to two colors but you can switch it up and use as many colors as threads in this tutorial (six).

easy beaded friendship bracelets photographed with bokeh on a blue background
A vertical flatlay of the easy beaded friendship bracelets

To make these easy beaded friendship bracelets, I started with the simplest, most brainless first friendship bracelet of all – the Chinese Staircase. This is the first bracelet I advise you to learn when you’re starting to make your own friendship bracelets. It’s legit cool. You simply forward knot and the knot spirals around the core strings to form a staircase.

On this one, I added beads to ever third round. So I made either fifteen or twenty forward knots, and then switched colors. Every 3rd color had beads inserted in. You can try to make the beads appear at opposite sides of the bracelet so that it’s flat, but I like it with the beads just plopping in all directions. It goes better with the style of the Chinese Staircase.

These easy beaded friendship bracelets are on the quicker end of things and look beautiful stacked. Make them in grown-up colors, tween colors, or whatever suits your fancy.

What you need to make easy beaded friendship bracelets

How to make easy beaded friendship bracelets

1. Cut your strings to size and knot them together. I usually cut to arm’s length but that was totally extra for this tutorial.

2. Using your first color, create 15-20 forward knots. You’ll see the spiral staircase begin to form.

3. Repeat with your second color.

4. Slide a bead onto the next color. Make 2 or three knots. The first knot secures the bead and goes just around the string. The second positions it better, and if you need to, you can do it around the bead too. Start by going around the strings, and when you pull it up, just make sure you’re going around the bead. The third is if you want a little more space between your beads. Don’t worry too much if the bead doesn’t sit in the exact right spot – it’s not necessarily meant to.

5. Flip over your bracelet each time you add a new bead. Repeat an even number of times (6-10 is ideal).

6. Continue alternating between Chinese Ladder style forward knots and beaded portions until you’re done making easy beaded friendship bracelets.

7. If you want to finish it off properly, refer to this tutorial

Your easy beaded friendship bracelets are complete! Wear ’em, stack ’em, gift ’em, enjoy them!

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