Step 1: Assemble colored threads in assorted colors and thicknesses. You can see Venessa uses a mix of threads and wool. Pick colors that blend well together.
You want to pull about an arm's length and then double it up, and repeat about 5 times. The amount of thread you pull will determine how thick your braid will be.
Ours is an example of a pretty thick braid
Step 2: With some of your finer thread, tie one end of the bunch together
Step 3: Using a T-pin or tack, pin this end to a project board—or any other cushy, sturdy surface.
Step 4: Braid well, braid tight! Finish the braid by tying the end together—just as you did at the top.
Step 5: Hot tip! To create a clean edge on the braid, apply some tape over the edge to ensure it stays in place. Trim the edge in one swift snip. It's kinda tricky, but you'll get there!
Step 6: With your pliers. cut your metal chain to fit the length of the braid. Note my nervous hands in the background.
Now we're going to sew the braid to the metal chain
Step 7: Grab some thread (use a color in the same scheme as the braid) and loop it through the first link of the chain several times.
Step 8: Now, nice and tight, loop your thread through the links of the chain and join with the edge the braid.
See, nice and tight.
Through every link, and into the braid
All the way down
Step 9: Parental guidance needed! Burn the tips of the thread that connects the braid to the chain. This is just to ensure it doesn't fray or come loose.
Step 10: With your pliers, trim your chain to line up with you braid. Still using your pliers, attach the clasp.
Venessa swears by the Fire Mountain Gems catalog, which has literally every utensil, bead, chain, charm, and clasp ever made for jewelry making. Subscribe to their free catalog here.
Bonus points: sew charms onto the chain for extra flair!
Just some of Venessa's supplies, taking organization to a whole new realm
For whatever reason, I seemed to miss out on a couple of elementary school trends when I was growing up. The Baby-Sitters Club series never captivated me (I was more of a Nancy Drew babe), I found slap bands really scary, and friendship bracelets were just another outlet for me to display my lack of hand-eye coordination. Friendship bracelets have bemused me ever since, so when I decided it was time to learn I knew it would have to be under the supervision of Venessa Arizaga, the undisputed master of the craft. Venessa, being the supernatural being that she is, took my request to the next level by including her signature trinkets and chains in the mix—check out her tips below.
To complete this extra-fancy friendship bracelet, you will need some of the following materials:
- 5-7 spindles of thread in your desired color scheme—these can be of varying textures and thicknesses (for yarns and threads see here)
- Inch-wide curb chain cut to desired length (for supplies see here, we used CV3)
- Large sewing needle
- T-pin or tack (this is to attach the braid to a hard surface, or in our case an antique mannequin!)
For other beautiful ribbons and rhinestones see HERE and HERE.