In this post, I’ll be sharing with you some friendship bracelet basics, mainly how to start and finish a friendship bracelet and how to end it so that you can take it on or off. Learn how to make your own friendship bracelets and then become a pro at finishing them!
Now that you spent hours knotting that gorgeous friendship bracelet, you probably want to tie it off in a way that it can be reused, right?
Today, I’m going to share with you three ways how to start and finish a friendship bracelet, and then how to close it off, so that you can rewear it.
Some are more rewearable than others. The method you choose should depend on how much of a time and material investment you want to put into that bracelet.
The third method is hands down my favorite, and the one I use on bracelets that I plan to wear again and again.
One popular method that I did not include here is a sliding knot. The reason for that is simple: I’ve never found it to be smooth enough to really be worth your time on bracelets that use embroidery floss. I also have found that the friction can be too much for the floss and wear it down.
Now, for the methods that I do find effective.
- How to start and finish a friendship bracelet: three ways to make reusable closures
- Method 1: Basic Braids
- Method 2: Advanced Loop
- Here’s the step-by-step rundown for the advanced loop method:
- Method 3: Most Reusable and my favorite way to start and finish a friendship bracelet
How to start and finish a friendship bracelet: three ways to make reusable closures
Method 1: Basic Braids
The most basic method involves making basic braids. While this is not a purely reusable method how to start a friendship bracelet, it is much easier to unknot a braid. The loose ends will also hold better when braided rather than totally loose.
To do this, you can start your bracelet one of two ways:
- If you’re making a bracelet that uses each color twice, fold over the strings and leave them connected, forming a loop at the end. Meaning, instead of cutting two of each color, cut one but double the length. When you fold it over, you get a loop. Braid the end in two braids. Knot those two braids together through the loop.
- The second method is just to braid each end. Once you knot your working threads together, simply split it into three sections, and braid a couple of inches before creating your actual bracelet. Finish off your bracelet similarly – with a knot, a braid, and another knot.
Method 2: Advanced Loop
The second way I like to start and finish a friendship bracelet is by making a much stronger knotted loop. This one also only works for bracelets where you use two strands of each color, (although I’ve done it with a bonus strand), however many friendship bracelets start this way.
The cool thing is that because this loop is so secure, you can even attach a button to the other end to finish it off for a totally reusable bracelet! Otherwise, just split the other end into two braids and knot around the loop.
Here’s the step-by-step rundown for the advanced loop method:
1. Start by Cutting one of your working colors a good foot longer than the others. Fold it about a foot off the center, place it under the center point of the rest of your strings, pull the ends of the loop color through that center fold to form a larks head knot.
2. You’re going to start with the longer side and start making backward forward knots around the strands. Simply take the longer string and knot it backwards around the other threads.
3. Then knot it forward and tighten to form those running “stitches” you see on the side.
4. When your loop is big enough, simply form it into a loop and make one last forward/backward knot, however, this time do it around ALL the strands, including the ones that are coming out of the other side of your knotted portion. This forms a teardrop shaped knotted loop.
A cool way to complete the other end, other than braiding it, would be once again to split it into two halves, but to complete the same forward/backward knots at the ends, making two tails to tie.
Method 3: Most Reusable and my favorite way to start and finish a friendship bracelet
My absolute favorite way to start and finish a friendship bracelet is to attach ribbon crimps to the ends using pliers. This makes it “real” and is a very quick process. You can then wear it like you would other jewelry.
Many of your friendship bracelets take an incredible amount of effort to create. Why not give it the respect it deserves with some ribbon crimps?
To do this, simply start and end your friendship bracelet with a secure knot. Add some glue to your knot to make it even stronger.
Secure a ribbon crimp around each of the ends. For thinner bracelets, use a cord end. Make sure to squeeze it really tight. Trim your strings close to the metal. Add jumprings and clasps. You can even add some cable chain to one end to make it adjustable.
The only situation this is really not suitable for is those who wear them day in, out and in the shower. That’s because the fake metals on these bracelets tend to rub out with time. Otherwise, this is a fantastic way to start and finish friendship bracelets for the most durability.
Learn how to make a beaded friendship bracelet too with this gorgeous and easy tutorial!
What’s your favorite method for how to start and finish a friendship bracelet? Comment below!
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