Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Friendship Bracelets (Mollie Makes Magazine)


According to my latest issue of Mollie Makes, friendship bracelets are back in fashion. At the ripe old age of 34, this might be my first "Oh, I remember when those were first in fashion!" moment. These woven bracelets take me straight back to being eleven years old. My sisters and I used to buy these on French market stalls on holiday. Then I learnt to make them, prompting memories of comparing newly made friendship bracelets and tanned forearms. They remind me of Summer, of beach holidays, friends and carefree days, and I can see how they fit into the Summer festival fashion theme.

And yes, despite all meteorological evidence to the contrary, IT IS SUMMER. Do you see how hard I have been working at this lately?? I've deliberately been focusing on all things summery in July's posts. It's making me feel better.


I haven't shown you a finished "make" since the Somewhere Over the Rainbow tea towel  over a month ago. One month! There has been baking and decorating and playing and many, many trips to IKEA, but no "I made this!" moments for you. Or for me. I am working on a couple of crochet projects that are hugely rewarding but sloooow in the making, so it will be a while before I can show you them. I needed a quick and easy "make", a little pick me up. These bracelets are very easy, all you need is some embroidery threads, and there are many tutorials on YouTube. I like them because the variations are endless - candy stripe or cross or chevron pattern, any colour combination you can think of, keep it simple or embellish with beads and charms and feathers. Bella demanded one straight away and it prompted a relaxed crafternoon of playing with bracelets and beads. I love crafting with my girl.


I had endless amounts of fun choosing colours and patterns. I made one with a nice nautical feel, one that reminds me of the colours and flavours of Neapolitan ice cream, and the third is inspired by this one that I saw on Etsy. I like the muted colours and irregular colour stripes. It reminds me of Autumn and tweed for some reason.


To take full advantage of my Mollie Makes subscription, I set myself the challenge of making one thing from each issue. Issue number 11 (my first) - fabric mice, issue number 12 - a patchwork apron. Issues 13, 14 and 15...still waiting. Issue number 16, consider yourself made.

I will wear my friendship bracelets with my Hunter wellies, while I trudge to the shops in the rain to buy milk. In my head I will be at a really cool festival, sipping cold beer in a (non-muddy) field of daisies while listening to folk music in the sunshine.

36 comments:

lou said...

wow these are so cool. Yes I was thinking I'd like one, just to pretend I've been to a cool festival... ah well I must do the laundry! ;-)

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

My girls have been swapping these for a while now, I love the colours. Friends, what would we do without them! Ada :)

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

What fun these are! Glad they have made a come-back. Love your Neapolitan ice cream colours!

Linda Stefansdottir said...

I used to make these as a child! I've completely forgotten how, but these look great. I'd love to be able to make the chevron pattern! Do you have any links to tutorials?

Andrea @ little buckles said...

I've been swooning over these on etsy and used to love making them. You've just inspired me (how old are we?!). I have a little weaving thingy somewhere just for the job. Fab! x

Rowantree Design said...

Love, these precious little wrist adoenments. I bought a. Bunch of of wonwn and leather ones from the street artists in New York. I wore them up to my elbows in the seventies. Making them is the fun part.

Jen Walshaw said...

Me likes. I have been busy doing beads with the boys and I have tons of thread, so will have to make some of these. You are so inspiring

Hazel said...

So very cute! I remember the more colourful you made them, the more coveted they were in school and you could get really great "swapsies" because of it! My older sister was great at making fancy ones for me when we were younger... ah nostalgia lane! Thanks Gillian! X

Jo said...

Believe it or not, I've never made a Friendship Bracelet. Have I missed out or what! I love the blue and white one.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Do you know, I never learnt how to make these! Yours are soooooo pretty ... I'm really tempted to have a go :D

mags said...

Love the bracelets. I've never made any and though I saw them in Mollie Makes and would have liked to have a go I thought they might be more difficult than it looks (as is sometimes the case in Mollie Makes) but yours are beautiful so I might be inspired!

Col @ Hello Olive said...

Ooh yes, I remember these from a gazillion years ago! I love the 'neapolitan' one - it's my favourite flavour of ice cream :-) x

Anna said...

Yes, I remember making these when we were younger! Ah, happy times! You have chosen some really pretty colours.

Jenny said...

I love your bracelets, especially the pink & brown one. So fun. My girls got really into these last summer.

Andrea said...

20 something years since I made one but they are fairly common at markets around our way.

Erica said...

I love your challenge to make at least one thing from each issue.

I've been meaning to try making friendship bracelets myself. They are so bright and colorful and perfect for summer!

...Tabiboo... said...

I saw these too, but the instructions looked like they would go way over my head - I really must knuckle down though as my girls would love to do something like this over the holidays.

Nina xxx

Gillian said...

Yes, sadly I think laundry will feature more heavily in my summer than festivals... x

Gillian said...

Swapping them! I remember swapping them, that takes me back... I have been greedy and kept them all for myself, I should give some away!

Gillian said...

Good enough to eat! And such fun to make as you get to choose pretty colours and no dropped stitches to worry about.

Gillian said...

If you go onto YouTube and type in "Friendship Bracelet Tutorial" lots should come up. I haven't had time to watch any to recommend specifically, but I bet there's some useful stuff on there. Good luck!

Gillian said...

Am I officially old yet? When I saw Bella's teacher for next year my first thought was "She's SO young!!"

Gillian said...

That is so much cooler than me buying mine on French market stalls on family holidays! Rowena, you sound like you've got some fab fashion stories to tell.

Gillian said...

Oh thank you Jen! They are easy and quick, to major factors in crafting projects at the moment. I love how much crafting you do with your boys.

Gillian said...

Yes! The really wide rainbow-y ones were always in demand! I still can't get my head around how i made the cross pattern ones as a child - my thirty something, sleep deprived brain can't cope any more... x

Gillian said...

That's my favourite too. Anything with blue and white stripes is good in my book.

Gillian said...

Thank you Annie. They are an easy-peasy crafting pick-me-up, the tiramisu of the sewing world!

Gillian said...

I promise they are simple and the tutorial in the magazine is really clear. I know what you mean about the Mollie Makes "difficulty" levels - when they says it's an afternoon's work it's actually two weeks.

Gillian said...

"Gazillion" and "Swapsies" - two excellent and long forgotten words that have been brought back into my life along with the friendship bracelets...it takes me back to being 11 again! x

Gillian said...

We must've made hundreds. I wonder what we did with them all? Maybe we wore them until they wore out and fell off as you are supposed to! xx

Gillian said...

I guess they are about the perfect age. Unlike me, who is far too old for such nonsense!

Gillian said...

How lucky you are to have local markets selling such things! Our local market is a very dreary thing indeed. Apart from the flower stall, that is always pretty.

Gillian said...

Hi Erica, thanks for stopping by! I like a challenge, but if you read Mollie Makes you'll notice that I am making the easiest thing from each issue (no tricky knitting or crochet patterns for me please!) x

Gillian said...

I tried to teach Bella but at 5 she was too young I think. They are dead easy to make when you get the hang of it, I promise! x

trishie said...

I used to make friendship bracelets too, so sweet to see this coming back in trend.

Gillian said...

What goes around comes around. Although there are many fashions from that era that would be best left behind, like the dreadful perm i had when I was 13!