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9 DIY friendship bracelets for kids

Teach kids how to make DIY friendship bracelets. It's a fun craft and also provides a great opportunity to talk to kids about friendship.

9 DIY friendship bracelets for kids

Remember those knotted DIY friendship bracelets that kids and their BFFs made together at summer camp? Making and trading friendship bracelets was a fun rite of passage for many of us. However, a friendship bracelet is more than a cute craft. The fun, trade-worthy jewelry actually symbolizes an important bond between two people — which is why it’s a great idea to talk to kids about friends and ask what friendship means to them while making friendship bracelets.

“Asking questions of children is an excellent way to help them strengthen their mental muscle,” says Wendy Young, child and adolescent therapist and founder of Kidlutions. “When we ask open-ended questions, we help them explore their opinions, thoughts and feelings.”

Can’t quite remember the intricate braids that went into making friendship bracelets? We’ve got you. Plus, we’ve got several other beyond-the-braid variations of DIY friendship bracelets:

1. Traditional friendship bracelet

Looking for a no-nonsense DIY friendship bracelet tutorial for beginners? Start right here with this how-to from Red Ted Art.

2. No-sew solution

For younger kids, consider a no-sew DIY friendship bracelet craft. Cut strips of scrap fabric into long, thin rectangles. Punch holes into the fabric, making each one about an inch away from the next. Kids can then “sew” yarn through the holes, and you can tie the ends with a bow.

3. Sturdy pipe cleaner jewelry

Instead of stringing beads on thread, yarn or fishing line, kids can create a sturdier bracelet for their best bud by using pipe cleaners. Push beads through pipe cleaners, and then twist or weave them together.

4. Taylor Swift friendship bracelets

DIY friendship bracelets
Image via Pretty Providence

Even if you’re not heading to a Taylor Swift concert near you anytime soon, these Taylor Swift friendship bracelets from Pretty Providence are perfect for Swifties (and besties) everywhere.

5. Straw ‘bead’ bracelets

On her blog, Young shares how to make bracelets from colorful straws, along with a friend-to-friend question game. When a group of children asks each other deeper get-to-know-you questions, she says, “they become more engaged while simultaneously building rapport with others and participating in the give-and-take that builds social and critical thinking skills.”

6. Washi tape

Barbara Rucci, graphic designer and creator behind the blog Art Bar, shares instructions for making colorful washi tape bracelets. Rucci and her kids found this project completely “cool.” Not only can kids make the bracelets on their own, but they can use the tape to create their own unique designs and patterns. “It’s great for all ages,” Rucci notes, “my teen loved it as much as my 4-year-old art students.”

7. Easy ‘loom’ printable

Make Friendship Bracelets with Square Loom Printable
Image via Kids Activities Blog

Here’s a great DIY option for tweens and teens. Download this free bracelet loom printable from Kids Activities Blog for simple homemade friendship bracelets that look amazing.

8. Safety pin bracelet

DIY friendship bracelets
Image via Crafts by Amanda

Another super-cool bracelet for older kids to make is this safety pin bracelet, found via Crafts by Amanda. You have full color control on these and can make some pretty lovely designs.

9. Craft stick bracelets

DIY friendship bracelets
Image via Mama Miss

Turn craft sticks into bold bracelets with this washi tape wooden bracelets idea from Mama Miss. Soak the sticks in hot water until they are pliable (usually 2 days). After the wood has softened, bend the wood to fit inside a jar, so it dries in a ring shape. When it’s completely dry, kids can decorate them with washi tape, tempera paint or thread.