It will surprise no one that at summer camp my favorite activity was always and without fail arts and crafts! I wasn’t great at archery or rowing, but I could make a lanyard like nobody’s business. I loved that camp craft projects were simple and fun to make, with no fussy equipment required. My summer days were happily filled with the satisfaction of gods-eyes, reed baskets and of course, friendship bracelets!

I’ve talked about my love for friendship bracelets here before, and we have created versions in cotton, wool, and even cashmere. This time Ikept the colorful essence of a traditional macramed friendship bracelet but used a completely different (and much easier) technique to create a new kind of bangle: a craft-hybrid of friendship bracelets, rope tying, and lanyards!

To create these little beauties I used our thickest Chinese Knotting Cord which comes in a vibrant rainbow of colors, and I finished them with a neat and effortless sliding closure. The resulting bracelet is so pretty and best of all, it perfectly captures the spirit of summer camp!  -Molly

Materials

To make several bracelets:

You will also need scissors and a lighter.

Pattern

Cutting

These bracelets can be made in three lengths: to wrap around your wrist once, twice, or three times. For a one-wrap bracelet cut the cords to 19 inches; for two wraps cut them to 27 inches; and for three wraps cut them to 35 inches.

Starting and Finishing All Bracelets 

To start, tie all of your cords in a simple overhand knot 5 inches from the end, and tape the knotted end down to a flat surface.

To make the body of the bracelet follow the desired braid pattern (see below). For a one-wrap bracelet make the braided section 7 inches. For a two-wrap bracelet make the braided section 14 inches. And for a three-wrap bracelet make the braided section 21 inches. 

At the end of the braided section use an outer-edge cord to tie a simple overhand knot tightly twice around all of the other cord strands.

Snip off all of the strands (except for the one you used to tie the knots) very close to the knots. 

In a well-ventilated room burn the ends of these snipped strands with a lighter until they melt together and are secured. Untie the knot at the beginning of the bracelet. Use an outer-edge cord to tie a simple overhand knot tightly twice around all of the other cord strands, just as you did for the end of the bracelet. Snip off all the cords except the one you used to tie the knots and burn the beginning just as you did the end.

You will have a 5-inch tail coming from each end of the bracelet.

Make sure the bracelet isn't twisted and tie the left-hand tail in a double knot around the right-hand tail 1 3/4 inches from end of the braided section. Snip off the left-hand tail and burn the tail and the knot wraps together to secure the knot.

Repeat for the right-hand end. Your bracelet will now be complete with a closure that slides open and shut by pulling on both knots.

Doubled Basic Braid

This is the easiest of the braids!

Cut six strands, two in each color, to the correct length.

Put one same colored pair to the left, one to the center, and one to the right.

Pull the left-hand pair over the center pair so that it becomes the center pair. Keep the pairs of thread flat, one strand next to the other, making sure they don't get twisted as you go. This way the bracelet will lay flat when you are done.

Pull the right-hand pair over the center pair so that it becomes the center pair.

Keep braiding in this manner until you reach the desired length, then finish the bracelet.

Single and Double Five-Strand Braid

Below are photo instructions for making a single five-strand braid. To make a double five-strand braid you will need to cut five pairs of cording and treat each pair as one strand. Just as for the doubled basic braid, you need to make sure that the pairs lay flat and don't twist as you go so that the bracelet will lay flat.

Cut five strands of cording to the correct length.

Arrange the strands so there are three on the left side and two on the right side. You will always be working towards the center.

From the left side, pull the outermost strand towards the center, traveling under its neighbor and over the next adjacent strand. 

Repeat from the right, pulling the rightmost strand under its neighbor and over the next adjacent strand towards the center.

Slowly a pattern will start to emerge. This braid, as well as the seven-strand braid, are a little hard to make look nice at the beginning, but that's okay. Just braid a little further than your desired length, and when you undo the beginning knot, you can take out the messier beginning section before you finish that end.

Keep braiding in this manner until you reach the desired length, then finish the bracelet.

Five-Strand Dovetail

You can make a dovetail braid with any odd number of strands, but with cording this wide more than five can start to look a little messy.

Cut five strands of cording.

Arrange them so you have three on the left and two on the right.

From the left side pull the leftmost strand over the two adjacent strands, making it the new middle strand.

From the right side pull the rightmost strand over the two adjacent strands, making it the new middle strand.

Repeat from the left.

And from the right again.

Keep braiding in this manner until you reach the desired length.

Seven-Strand Braid

This braid is made in much the same manner as the five strand braid.

Cut seven strands of cording.

Arrange them so you have four on the left side and three on the right side.

Working towards the center pull the leftmost strand under its neighbor and over the next adjacent strand and then under the following one.

Repeat for this right side: pull the rightmost strand towards the center, under its neighbor and over the next adjacent strand and then under the following one. 

Keep braiding in this manner until you reach the desired length and then finish the bracelet.