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How to Make Easy Colorful Friendship Bracelets

My interest in making jewelry started at a young age. In high school my friends and I used to wear bracelets practically up to our elbows. Eventually we realized that for the money we spent buying bracelets we could buy far more beads and string and thus started making our own. It became sort of an obsession. We made them almost weekly and would trade amongst ourselves and give them away as gifts. And even though our wrists were all different sizes, we never had a problem because we used stretchy cord.

That’s the great thing about stretch cord: you can make one bracelet fit a range of people. It’s the quickest and easiest way to make some gifts or practice working with beads and jewelry. Now, through wear and tear,¬† I have found that the cord itself does not last forever. Shocking, I know. Don’t be frightened if it snaps when you’re putting in on one morning. But if that does happen, you can just collect your beads and start over, which is sometimes more fun. It’s a very versatile medium.

So here are some simple instructions on how to make your first beaded bracelet.


That’s it! Sounds simple already doesn’t it?


  1. Start by picking out the beads you want to use and lay them out in the order they will be on the bracelet. I found it’s usually better to pick out more than you think you need and take off the excess later. I always end up with not enough beads somehow.
  2. You’ll want to measure the length of cord around your arm, leaving an extra 3 to 4 inches to be able to tie it off.
  3. Put a little bit of tape at the end to keep your beads  from sliding off. you can do this by either folding the tape over at one end of the cord, or taping one end to the table.
  4. Start adding beads to your cord one by one. Keep adding beads until you have about 3 inches of cord left.
  5. Measure the beaded cord against your arm to see if you need more or less beads. Once the length seems to be about right, take the tape off of the other end of the bracelet.
  6. Tie the two ends of cord together tightly at the base of the beads in your knot of choice, making sure that when you pull on it the knot doesn’t come undone.
  7. Cut off the extra bit of cord at the end of the knot and slide on your new bracelet!

There you go. Now you’re ready to start making bracelets for all of your friends! Pick up some alphabet beads and add inside jokes and special messages to them.

If the stretch cord isn’t your thing or if you’re ready for something more advanced after giving this a try, check out these other pretty bracelet projects I found:
Macrame Meteor Bracelet
Bubblicious Bracelet
Blue Malibu Bracelet