Friendship Bracelets – A Quick Guide to a Sweet Tradition

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The giving of friendship bracelets is a tradition where a person makes (or buys) a simple string bracelet and gives it to a friend to show much they mean to them.

Today this tradition is increasing in popularity among people of all ages. Whether you’re thinking of making one or buying one, friendship bracelets are a nice way to honor a friend.

Let’s take a look at what friendship bracelets are all about.

History of Friendship Bracelets

Woven Wrap Friendship Bracelets
Woven wrap friendship bracelets. See them here.

It’s difficult to pinpoint when the concept of exchanging bracelets as a way to represent friendship began, but it’s believed to have originated in Central America.

The weaving patterns and designs evoke South American craftsmanship and colors.

But the friendship bracelets we know today rose in popularity around the 1970s in the US.

This was the time of hippie culture and anti-war sentiment, and a general sense of simple things, returning to nature and positive feelings towards others hung in the air. These might have contributed to the rise in friendship bracelets.

Friendship bracelets have continued to be popular, among children, teenagers, celebrities, and even adults and are unisex.

How to Wear a Friendship Bracelet

How to wear friendship bracelets

Friendship bracelets are exchanged between friends or given to a friend as a symbol of friendship and to represent how much they value and appreciate their friendship.

These bracelets are typically hand-made but you can simply buy one if you don’t have the skills or time to make it yourself. There are many videos online showing you how to make various friendship bracelet patterns, and it’s not supposed to be that hard.

In any case, tradition states that you have to wear the bracelet until the string or cord wears out and the bracelet falls off. This is to honor the time and effort that your friend put into making it.

It’s also believed that if you make a wish while putting on the bracelet, the wish will come true when the bracelet eventually falls off.

Does this still apply if you buy the bracelet?

We think so because it’s the thought that counts.

How to Make a Friendship Bracelet

embroudery floss for friendship bracelets

Friendship bracelets are typically made using embroidery thread or other similar strings. There are many patterns to choose from, ranging from easy to more complex to make.

The bracelet is made using a knotting technique and not a weaving one. Most are made based on the half-hitch knot.  This makes the bracelet durable, strong, and difficult to unravel.

Double chain knot friendship bracelets
Double chain knot friendship bracelets. See them here.

Depending on the pattern and style you choose, you can have as few as two strings knotted together using a double chain knot, or forty strings to create a more complex pattern.

This video shows you how to make a simple friendship bracelet with a button closure. It’s very easy to make and great for beginners.

Types of Friendship Bracelet Patterns

There’s a range of friendship bracelet patterns to choose from.

Some of the most popular include chevron and double chevron, candy stripe, Aztec, fishtail braid, and diamond.

Aztec-inspired friendship bracelet
Aztec-inspired friendship bracelet. See it here.

The pattern often determines how thick and what color the bracelets end up being.

Thicker bracelets are perfect for those who are exposed to water a lot, like swimmers and surfers. You can also have the bracelet made out of waterproof thread or wax it to increase water resistance.

Where to Buy Friendship Bracelets

If making a friendship bracelet is not an option, you can purchase one either online or in-store. Purchasing a friendship bracelet from a special place, while you’re traveling, for example, is a nice way to make it more meaningful. It also shows the person that they were on your mind.

However, if you decide to buy online, there are many options on sites like Amazon and Etsy. You can pick a pattern and color scheme that suits your preferences and one you know your friend will love.

Click here to browse friendship bracelets.  

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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