Although a child can make these items as a surprise for their friends, it is even more fun for them to get a group of friends together and make these items so they can exchange them at the end of their get together. Try these crafts at a birthday party or during a sleepover.
Neither project uses a large quantity of craft materials, although you’ll want some variety in the colors you offer. These low-cost kids’ crafts can be completed within an hour and cost approximately a dollar for each completed craft. The friendship bracelets are appropriate for boys and girls.
Both the bracelets and the charms require small amounts of materials so you should have leftover supplies for other projects.
- Embroidery floss, craft thread, or lightweight yarn in at least three colors
- Ruler, scissors, masking tape
- Fimo or Sculpey polymer clay in at least two colors
- Round toothpicks
- Jump rings and pliers (optional)
- Baking pan and oven
Double Chain Macramé Bracelet
Before you start making the bracelet, read the directions for adding the charms. You don’t have to make bracelets with charms. Even if you make one friendship bracelet with charms you may want to make other bracelets to wear. The bracelets look great in a stack so have each friend make you a bracelet and make one for each of your friends.
- Select two colors of the yarn or craft floss.
- Cut three 30″strands of both colors.
- Hold the strands together so the ends are even. Fold the long strands in half.
- Tie a knot within an inch of the fold. This will create a small loop.
- Tape the knot and loop to something heavy. Check that the tape won’t ruin the finish on a piece of furniture.
- Divide the strand into two bundles: color A and color B.
- Place the bundle of color A over the other bundle so they form the number “4.”
- Take the tail of bundle A, wrap it under color B and pull it through the loop. Slide the knot up toward the knot you taped to the table.
- Now take color B and fold it over (making the number “4”), under and through the strands for color A.
- Repeat knotting the strings around the strands of the other color, alternating colors A and B.
- Continue until the bracelet wraps around your wrist plus enough so you can slide the knotted bracelet over your hand to remove the knotted jewelry.
- Remove the tape, knot the ends together and trim the excess string.
Divide each block of Fimo or Sculpey into a dozen tiny pieces. Kids should warm one piece in their hands so it will be easier to work; they may need additional pieces for multicolor charms. They should work the pieces into a small shape of their choosing. Kids can select an object that represents their favorite animal, sports, or activity.
If a group is making this so that they can exchange charms, each child should select one object to represent them and then make enough of the items to give one to each child present. If possible, kids can use the toothpick to scratch their initials on the charms they are making.
Use the toothpick to poke a hole in each charm. Set the charms on baking sheet and bake according to the directions on the package.
Friendship Bracelets with Charms
Kids can attach the charms in one of two ways. They can slide jump rings (found with jewelry making supplies at the craft store) through the holes they made in the charms and then slide the jump rings onto the bracelet.
Or, while making the friendship bracelet, slide one charm onto a thread and continue knotting the yarn several times and then add another charm.
Friendship bracelets are a quick and easy craft (particularly this “double chain” pattern) for kids to make and give. The polymer clay charms make the bracelets a bit more special by connecting specific details about your child’s friends to this jewelry.
Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy