Want to make an easy friendship bracelet that feels more like jewelry? This simple accessory starts with a keychain-style chain, which you can trim to the size you need. Then all you have to do is add some knots with colorful perle cotton embroidery thread!
Friendship bracelets are fun to wear, no matter how old you are. One way to make them a little more grown-up is to add some metallic bling! Working with ball chain is an easy way to do that, especially because it comes in different sizes and metal shades. This bracelet uses a similar technique to other macrame friendship bracelets, but working the knots over the chain makes all the difference.
Of course, even though adults will love wearing these, kids will enjoy making them too. And because they don't take as many hours as larger knotted macrame friendship bracelets, they're a perfect project for tween birthday parties or an afternoon hangout!
The first few knots take some practice to make sure you are knotting around the chain, but once you get the hang of it, the process is oh so easy. It gets trickier again at the very end, as it can be hard to manage the short bit of chain, but all you have to do is pay attention to the placement of the threads and chain.
Ready to give these friendship bracelets a try? Grab your supplies and get started!
NOTE: You can buy bead or ball chain by the yard or in necklace or bracelet form. If you want to make a lot of bracelets, it may be more cost-effective to buy it bulk. If you do this, be sure that you also have the connector pieces.
Before you begin your bracelet, make sure the chain fits comfortably around your wrist (or sized to fit a friend). If you need to trim the chain, use utility scissors.
Equipment / Tools
- 2 feet color A perle cotton embroidery thread
- 2 feet color B perle cotton embroidery thread
- 1 ball chain bracelet or necklace
Cut Your Thread and Tie
Start with two 2-foot pieces of perle cotton embroidery thread. Tie one set of ends together with a tight overhand knot. Trim the ends close.
It's easier to see the knotting process when you work with two colors, but you can also make this with one color. If you're using one color, start with a 4-foot piece and skip this first knot.
Tie the knotted thread around the ball chain, near the connector piece. Arrange the threads with the chain in the middle.
If you're working with one color, tie the piece so it's centered and you have two equal pieces with which to knot.
Attach the Top of Your Bracelet and Begin Weaving and Knotting
Secure the top of your chain while you work. A clipboard is helpful for this, but masking tape also works well.
Start with the left thread. Make a 4 shape with the thread passing under the chain and over the right thread.
Next, bring the right thread over the chain and under the left thread.
Pull the threads tight to make a knot. The knot should fall between the balls on the chain, just below the starting knot.
Tie Another Knot With the Left Thread Then Right Again
The two colors of thread should on the opposite sides now, but the process is still the same.
Tie a knot with the left thread going under the chain and over the right thread, then bring the right thread over the chain and under the left thread.
Tighten this knot in the next section in the chain.
Repeat this to add knots on your chain bracelet. As you make more knots, the design begins to twist. As this happens, you'll need to rotate the threads and the bracelet. The knotting process stays the same, no matter which direction it's going.
Continue Knotting Until You're at the Desired Length
Keep adding knots until there are only two or three ball sections left. End off the bracelet by tying a square knot to secure the thread. Trim the thread ends.
Finish Off Your Bracelet
Use the connector piece to attach the ends of the bracelet.
You can change the look of these by working with different diameter bead or ball chain. A larger size will show off more of the bead, while a smaller size is more subtle. The samples here use a 1.5mm chain, to give you an idea of the look.
If you're using larger ball chain, you can also double the perle cotton embroidery thread as you work, producing a much thicker bracelet.
Make one for you and one for a friend or make a whole armful of bracelets in a rainbow of colors!