Gift-giving can be difficult. Finding just the right thing for just the right person is a challenge, but a well-rewarded one. In many cases, however, a simple solution is often the best one. Although many people feel like resorting to handmade gifts is no more than a last alternative, the truth is that just as many people appreciate it more than store-bought items. After all, nothing says “meaningful” like the time and the effort put into making something with your own two hands.
If you enjoy arts and crafts, then finding gifts becomes a little less of a daunting prospect. Especially if you’ve been wanting to learn something new and start an interesting new hobby; it might be just the last bit of motivation you need to finally get you started.
One of the simplest, sweetest gifts is one whose origins come all the way from ancient China: friendship bracelets. Decorative knotting is among the oldest arts, one that hasn’t vanished in time. Things may go in and out of fashion, but the skill behind everything fashionable never will. If your ancestors could do it, why couldn’t you? In fact, technology may even give you an edge – all the patterns and instructions you could ever need are only a few clicks away. Here is one to get you started: the classic Chevron pattern.
The materials you will need can be found easily, and are affordable to boot. Depending on how elaborate you’d like your bracelet to be, you’ll need some string, scissors, and a safety pin.
- First, take a few different colors of embroidery thread.
- Cut strands at approximately 24 inches each until you have two sets of each color.
- Combine the threads and tie a knot, leaving at least 3 inches of slack.
- Use tape or a safety pin to fasten it to a flat surface.
- Separate the two sets.
- Arrange the strands in a mirror-image pattern, with the outside strands being the same color and so on moving inwards. (For example: red, yellow, blue, blue, yellow, red.)
- Start on the left side with the outermost color (red in the example), and make a forward knot by making a 4-shape over the second color. Loop it under and back through the opening.
- Tighten by pulling up and right. Do the same knot twice, over each color. Continue knotting towards the right, until the outermost color makes it to the middle. Now you have one half of the chevron pattern.
- Now pick up the outermost color on the right side and make a backward knot, creating a reverse 4-shape over the second color. Loop it under and back through the opening.
- Tighten by pulling up and left. Keep knotting twice over each color. Continue knotting towards the left, until the outermost strand makes it to the middle.
- Tie a backwards knot with the two middle strands to connect the two halves.
- You completed the first chevron row! Apply the same technique with the next color.
- Finish it with a knot and a braid.
Friendship bracelets can be as original as you are, and best of all, they’re suitable for all manner of occasions! So, the next time you’d like to surprise a friend, get some thread and start weaving!