DIY Beaded Friendship Bracelets

There's nothing like a little new arm candy to brighten up your day....
An incredible tutorial showing how to make your own beaded friendship bracelets. From Sarita Creative An incredible tutorial showing how to make your own beaded friendship bracelets. From Sarita Creative
An incredible tutorial showing how to make your own beaded friendship bracelets. From Sarita Creative
After see some beaded friendship bracelets around and about I decided this was something I could do myself. The results of my experiments are above... the options are endless and its fast to do, and you get a great result for not a lot of money.

If you're keen to give this a try yourself, the following guide will get you started.

Crochet thread
Bead thread (or cotton, but it won't be as strong)
Seed beads 
Beading needle (that will fit through tiny beads)
Embroidery hoop (25cm works well) or bead loom if you have one.

NB. It's important to choose seed beads of high quality that are very even in size, which will keep your bracelet width even as well.

To get started you need to think about your design and decide the width you want your bracelet (ie, number of beads across - I went for 6 in the pink options and 8 in the zigzag designs). I mocked up some basic ideas on paper - graph paper would be great for this.

Diamond shapes and diagonal stripes are a good starting point, or try something a little more free form.

Today I'm going to used these assorted sorbet coloured faceted beads in a graded rainbow pattern.

Once you know the width, you know how many lengths of the crochet thread you'll need. Today, I am going to make my bracelet 6 beads wide, so in this case, I need 7, as these run on the outside and between the beads.

Count out the lengths, ensuring that they're long enough to sit across the diameter of your embroidery hoop. 
Tie one end and lay the threads across your hoop so that none of the threads cross over. You will need to ensure the threads stay taut throughout the beading process, so adjust them as you need to.

I like to put my beads in a small bowl, so that they're easier to thread onto the needle. 
Then you're ready to get started. 

Leave enough space to plait and tie off the ends afterwards (I leave about 6cm) and then tie on your bead thread, which needs to be about 2 arm lengths. 

Thread your needle and then thread on your first row of beads, running left to right. 

Pass the needle behind your threads, pushing a bead up between each crochet thread,

then thread your needle back through the beads, on the upper side of the crochet threads. 
When you pull the thread back through give it a little tug to ensure the thread is taut. You want to keep the rows at an even tension.
You've just completed your first row!
And repeat, ensuring you follow your chosen pattern... every few rows, push the beads up slightly to make sure that your beading is compact and again, remember to keep the tension even.Keep going until your beading is about 15cm long...
Then you need to remove the ends from the embroidery loop, leaving it held in place at the top end (where you started). Plait these loose ends for about 5 - 6cm, depending on how wide your wrist is, and tie off. Then remove the other end from the hoop, plait these ends in the same manner and tie off.

Your done!

I hope you enjoyed this little project and that you've created something you love to wear. Let me know what you've created and I will post the results to share with everyone. A little inspiration goes a long way!

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