Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIY Ombre Fishtail Friendship Bracelet Tutorial

I love friendship bracelets. They're one of the first crafty things that I ever learnt to make as a kid and they make me rather nostalgic. They're so easy to make and so fun to mix and match, I for one really appreciate the resurgence of the friendship bracelet trend!
The fab Mollie Makes magazine did an issue about friendship bracelets a while back and flicking through recently, I got a little inspired and decided to make up my own design and tutorial, so I present to you my Ombre Fishtail-Braid Friendship Bracelet! I say this every time I write a tutorial (which is rarely), but I'm fairly new at it, so apologies if large portions of this don't make a lot of sense! I've tried to include a couple of photos diagrams, so hopefully with the aid of both words and pictures, we'll muddle through!

Step 1: The first thing you will need is a bunch of thread, in varying degrees of your chosen colour. I'm using good old Anchor brand embroidery floss here, as there were so many colours to choose from. Going with an oceanic theme, I chose 6 graduated shades of blue/teal.

Step 2: I then measured out my threads. I measured about 50cm of each colour, and then cut the lengths in half, so I had two bunches of 25cm each. These measurements are really rough, but if you're unsure, definitely go longer than shorter, because there's nothing worse than getting to the very end of a bracelet and finding out that it's *just* too short and won't fasten! Arrrrgh!

I then tied the two bunches together at the top, and pulled them slightly separate, so half the colours were on one side and half on the other, as pictured below, ready to begin braiding.

Step 3: Start braiding! I love the look of fishtail braids in hair, and if you've never tried it before, head straight to youtube, because there are heaps of great tutorials to be found. I found it a little tricky to get the hang of at first, but I dare say it's a bit easier trying it with thread than in your own hair!
Basically the concept is super simple: you work with two bunches, and cross the back strand of each bunch over one another (and over the bunches), so that they meet in the middle and form the fishtail pattern.

I'm not sure if that makes any sense, so one more time using pictures and arrows! Take the back strand of bunch 1, cross it over bunch 1 so that it now becomes part of bunch two. Then, take the back strand of bunch 2, and cross it over bunch 2 so that it now becomes part of bunch 1, and the two strands cross in the middle.

Continue this until you've got a bracelet that fits around your wrist, leaving a trail of about 4cm on each end.

Step 4: Finish and fasten! It's really up to you how you'd like the finish and fasten your bracelet, but I decided to divide the left over 4cm tails in half and plait them, so there were two plaits on either end. You could simply tie these plaits together to fasten, but I decided to try something fancier and went to trusty old youtube and found this brilliant tutorial on how to create a macrame fasten that makes your bracelet adjustable! So neat!
(I tied my macrame knots in a different colour so they were easier to see. The ends just slide right through and fasten up again so easily, I'm really stoked with this trick!)

I also found these little shell and fish beads that I threaded and braided in.

So there we have it, an ombre, fishtail friendship bracelet! Apologies if parts of this didn't make sense, but I hope you like it, let me know if you try making it yourself!



  1. pretty cool.
    I'll try it. ♥
    Thank you. And you habe a really nice blog.
    I'm sure I'll come again.

  2. Awesome! Thanks you for the inspiration!

  3. Thank you for this! I've been getting into this recently as well, mostly to embroider bracelet my initials onto sweaters a la Laverne. I've only done one and I did it freehand. But scripts and things, I'm going to have to figure something out. I couldn't get sewing through tissue paper to work well: is it my needle? Did I not pin the paper enough? I think I just need to use transfers.

  4. Aewsome!!!
    Inspirational work
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  6. Thanks I have been getting into this kind of jewelry making and this looks very pretty and mostly simple, I HAVE to try it!