As I latched a favorite bracelet made of reindeer leather and spun silver/pewter designed by the Sami artisans in the north of Sweden around my wrist, I couldn’t help but think that sometimes “things” really do matter. I wear it paired with a silver bangle when I dress up, or as is when I come and go. A Swedish cousin gave it to me after her extended stay with our family in Minnesota when she was a teen. It was a “thank you,” and a token of our friendship. When I wear it, I think of Annika.
Bracelets can be stylish reminders of friendships in our lives, past and present, but they don’t need to be made out of reindeer leather to accomplish that purpose. It’s no wonder colorful strings of embroidery floss woven in patterns and stacked up on wrists and ankles of kids are so popular. Make that, still popular. Maybe you remember creating the classic “friendship bracelet” as a child and giving it to your bunkmate at summer camp with the promise that you’d be friends forever.
Cousins Amy Weiss and Maddie Reeder got into making bracelets this summer when they met up at their grandmother’s mountain cabin in California. As they chose colors, braided and chatted, Amy said: “If you wear a lot of them, kids wonder where you got them. I like to share the story behind each bracelet when they ask. One time, someone wanted to know how my favorite was made, so I showed her and then we became friends. It just continues.”
A basic friendship bracelet can be easy to make. Start by measuring three lengths of embroidery floss from the tips of your child’s outstretched fingers to his shoulder. Cut, and tie the three lengths from one end to a doorknob, or even his toe! Tie a firm knot 2 inches from the tied ends, and start braiding like you would braid hair. Continue, then check the size by wrapping around a friend’s wrist. When it fits as a single or double bracelet, make a knot and cut off any extra thread.
Kids may wish to add extras, like stringing on colorful beads or charms from craft stores. A high school graduate made bracelets for her friends using school colors and alphabet letter charms representing the colleges her friends will attend this fall.
Get started now. Pick up some embroidery floss to braid bracelets with your kids, and have fun making one for each other and more to send to new summer friends. As interest grows, check out more advanced designs online at www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Friendship-Bracelet
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”
© 2018 Donna Erickson
Distributed by King Features Syndicate
–PRIME TIME WITH KIDS: Summer friendship bracelets–