When you were little, you didn’t need friendship bracelet patterns. Somehow you just KNEW how to make them. It was just ingrained in your mind how to braid, where to knot, and which order to put the colored thread.
Now, years and years have gone by, technology has changed, and so has the availability of the friendship bracelet designs. Thanks to Pinterest, as always, I’ve discovered so many different patterns that would have made my 12-year-old brain explode.
One of my favorite memories of growing up was going to a cabin up north. Our family rented a tiny little cabin in Northern Minnesota and stayed there for a week in the middle of the summer. There weren’t smartphones then, but I remember that we made a rule of NO TV — it was our way to disconnect in the 90s.
As a busy little kid, I filled my non-swimming time with two things: reading and crafts. My favorite craft to do back then was making friendship bracelets, of course. I would be in the backseat of our huge conversion van with a clump of embroidery floss safety pinned to my knee, knotting away and listening to Backstreet Boys in my walkman’s headphones.
I did the basics — little braids, Chinese ladders, chevron, and stripes. I would make monochrome styles, whip through some rainbow colored creations, and tie them on my wrists as I went.
The bracelets were kind of a time marker of summer, too. When I put them on, the colors were bright and vibrant, each knot was distinct from the next. As the season went on, the bracelets got more and more dingy, the whites turned gross, lake water subdued the other hues, and the knots all kind of morphed into one. The dirty little bracelets were a badge of honor, though, and I would wear them around my wrists and ankles and neck until they fell off.
Every once in a while, I get an urge to bust out my plastic container of embroidery floss and make a few more bracelets. In fact, after I publish this post, I might grab my collection and make a few now.
14 Friendship Bracelet Patterns
Here are some great friendship bracelet patterns that I think are so cute and so summer and so perfectly 90s retro.
#1. The Crazy Complicated Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Wow! All I can say is that if I saw this pattern in one of those great DIY books from when I was little — you know, the ones that came with the materials, too — I would have screamed. This is everything I ever dreamt of when I was little.
#2. Heart Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Now, this guy is perfection. The cuteness of the heart is so easy to achieve — if you know how to do the basic chevron pattern, you can do this one. It’s my favorite now.
#3. Striped Friendship Bracelet Pattern
One of the biggest hurdles of doing friendship bracelets is that all the stripes go at a diagonal — but not here! There are no written instructions, just a picture guide, but this pattern looks like a fun challenge with a cool result.
#4. Fishtail Braid Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Knowing how to fishtail braid is an important skill for any preteen — the pigtails are MUCH cuter and knowing the technique helps you whip up a sturdy looking friendship bracelet in no time at all.
#5. Ombre Stripe Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Learning to follow the friendship bracelet patterns from a site like this can take a little extra thought, but it’s definitely worth it if you get to make bracelets like this.
#6. Classic Knotted Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Don’t let the fact that these instructions are in German scare you — this is one of the most classic friendship bracelet patterns out there.
#7. Chinese Ladder Friendship Bracelet Pattern
The OG! The easiest one you can do! Literally, this is just tying the basic knot around a cluster of string. Easy, done. You did it. Make 1,000 and give them to your friends. Put one on the dog, it’s ok.
#8. Multicolored Macrame Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Here’s another one that I remember making loads of during the 90s. Tension is key in this one, though — you don’t want those side parts coming loose.
#9. DIY Bracelet Buckle Tutorial
Life! Changer! Listen, there is nothing worse than completing your DIY jewelry only to realize that it’ll be impossible to tie the thing on you. I hooked so many on with safety pins or tied the ends together with an extra scrap piece of floss, but this little starter trick is beautiful. No ugly not at the top, either!
#10. DIY Woven Friendship Bracelet with Loom Tutorial
Hardware, wow. This was too advanced for my little kid mind to worry about — I didn’t have time for this, I just needed to go go go. This little loom reminds me of kumihimo, a Japanese form of woven braid-making.
#11. Watermelon Friendship Bracelet Pattern
I’m actually dead. I have nothing else to say about this one.
#12. Friendship Bracelet Color Combination Ideas
Ok, ok, ok. Not really a pattern, BUT — a great resource! Here are some pretty awesome color combination ideas for your next project. That Tudor Rose is definitely my style, but I might have to try to branch out — Bollywood is pretty!
#13. Classic Diagonal Stripe Friendship Bracelet Pattern
If you’re making a list of friendship bracelet patterns, this one most definitely should be included. An easy stripe pattern, you can make it as thick or as thin as you want. You could even make it one color!
#14. Chevon Friendship Bracelet Pattern
Last but definitely not least, the chevron friendship bracelet. She’s so cute. I just love her. I want to make a black and white one right now.
I hope you learned some new patterns! Let me know in the comments if you make any! I know I’m going to today.
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