When I was younger, we busied ourselves with making hair scrunchies and bracelets for friends. At senior school a couple of friends and I set up a small scrunchie business - I used my mum's sewing machine to make a long tube, we threaded elastic through and hand-sewed the rest. We used scraps donated by other people, and sold them for a couple of quid each,
Friendship bracelets were more time consuming, what with tying knots across 5 strands of embroidery thread hundreds of times! Maybe I should make one this week and that will be my next blog post!
Forward 30 years and a lady in period clothing manning a table at the Cressing Temple Barns' medieval fayre showed me how to weave a bracelet using a piece of card and wool. Pretty easy, once you get the hang of it, and something to keep a bored 7 year old boy happy for 10 minutes (those with a primary school age child will understand the frustration in these times of lockdown). Maybe a bit longer if you have a girl... And, bonus, your house will not be awash with loom bands!
As it turns out, it can also keep daddy occupied for an afternoon and evening!
Here are the instructions for the ones we made - if you have any problems or need any help, please get in touch. There are lots of YouTube videos explaining how to make these, too, as well as other types.
Cut a circle from a piece of sturdy cardboard. Snip 8 notches into the circle around the outside and put a hole in the middle.
Cut 7 lengths of wool or embroidery thread, approximately 1m each; seize needed depends on what you're making. Thread them all through the hole in the middle and knot together at the back.
Separate out the untied ends of the threads, putting one thread in each slot. There will be one empty slot.
The threads are woven together by moving the threads to the empty space, in the right order, creating the bracelet through the hole.
Hold the card with the empty slot facing down. Unhook the 3rd thread round to the left (clockwise) from there and move it to the empty slot. Make sure the long threads at the back don't get tangled.
Turn the circle around so the empty slot is facing down and move the 3rd thread to the left to the empty slot.
Continue turning the circle and moving the 3rd thread from the left to the empty slot, weaving the threads as it goes. Make sure the long ends don't get tangled.
You will see the bracelet emerge from the back and your threads will get shorter. If the woven section starts bulging through the hole at the top, gently tug the bracelet at the back.
When it's the length you want (necklace or bracelet), stop weaving, take the threads out of the slots and remove it all from the cardboard.
Gather the ends together and tie a knot.
Now you can either add jewellery findings, like a clasp, or tie a sliding knot in it, so it's adjustable.
And, so, you have made your very own friendship bracelet! And, with any luck, without spending any money at all. Just give it to a friend and they can enjoy wearing it!