I rather like making friendship bracelets, and have since I was quite young. Back then I would pin some cords to the leg of my jeans to make the knotting easier. Yes, this did sometimes make holes in my jeans.
A few years ago I spotted and bought a friendship bracelet maker by Prism. This made the job very easy and I was soon once more making friendship bracelets. I will review that product in a later blog post.
Back in the summer I happened to spot another, slightly smaller, friendship bracelet maker, on special offer. I couldn’t resist and have been using it ever since.
This item is called the “Choose Friendship My Friendship Bracelet Maker Kit” in the USA and “My Friendship Bracelet Maker Traveler“. They are the same product.
This is intended as a product for children, but it is a fully functioning craft tool that works just as well for we big kids too!
What you Get
The main Friendship Bracelet Maker is a very sturdy creation in very bright yellow and purple plastic. The top is covered with raised words saying “friend” in different languages.
There is a round clip, with a raised image of much of the world (mainly the Atlantic Ocean, actually) on it, and this holds the ends of your bracelet making threads in place. Underneath it are four little pins that grip the threads.
At the other end there are 10 fat pegs in alternating yellow and purple. These hold the individual threads taut whilst you knot. They hold them just right, enough to keep them in place but they are easy to remove when working.
On the side of the bracelet maker is a purple drawer with ten slots, each of which holds two skeins of embroidery floss.
You have everything you need to get making bracelets right away.
The Skeins of Thread
You get 20 skeins of thread, each of which is pre-cut to an ideal length for making bracelets. I use mine as a template to cut more thread. There are two skeins each of 10 bright colours.
It is standard 6-strand cotton embroidery floss and this is available in many places (often very cheaply nowadays). You can use other threads as long as they are not stretchy, you need the non-stretch to make the knots even.
Using the Bracelet Maker
There are simple instructions included and a link to a website with more ideas and patterns. There are huge numbers of bracelet designs freely available online too.
I have included a link to my favourite friendship bracelet book at the bottom of the post.
The bracelet maker has ten strand slots, but could be used for bracelets with more than ten strands quite easily (just pop more than one strand in one slot). Beginners are best starting with less than ten strands.
You fold your threads in half, knot them at the top and hook them under the green globe clip.
Then you can separate the strands into the peg-slots and begin to knot. The slots make it easy to keept the strands neatly arranged, something I couldn’t do back when using my jeans!
Comparison to Original Friendship Bracelet Maker by Prism
The original Frienship Bracelet Maker Kit by Prism/Choose Frienship was rectangular and purple and lime.
The Travel Edition is, as the name suggests, smaller than the original product. The actual length of the bracelet that can be made is the same though. The clip is adjustable on the original product but not on the travel edition – I never adjust mine anyway.
The orignal had rather more storage space for threads underneath (and comes with 50 skeins), but the ten slots on the Travel Edition are probably fine for most purposes. Additional threads can easily be transported in your bag or pocket if needed.
I have found myself mainly using the smaller Travel Edition rather than the original one because it is smaller and seems slightly easier to handle.
The frienship bracelet maker has four little rubber feet underneath and will stay put quite well on a table. However, I prefer to use it on my lap, as I suspect most people do. It is not as slippery as the original product was, but it may slip around a bit if you are wearing silky trousers or something similar. I glued a piece of thin rubber to the back of my original bracelet maker to prevent this and may do the same to the Travel Edition too.
To start with it can seem a bit odd using the bracelet maker, compared to pinning on your leg etc. I soon found I was used to it though.
And the Advantages…
One of the best things about this device is one can leave a friendship bracelet that is in constructions and walk away. When you come back the threads are all in place and everything is ready to continue. This is a big plus over techniques such as pinning to your jeans.
Whilst the Travel Edition is not really the most travel friendly way to make friendship bracelets, it is a very convenient one. Mine stays at home and I use it regularly.
It would make a great gift for any crafty person and is suitable for children and adults. Well, let’s be honest, it is marketed as being for kids. But it is a perfectly functional craft product so don’t let that stop you if you are a wee bit older than the target demographic – or even rather ancient, like me 🙂
If you like making friendship bracelets, or fancy trying, this is a fabulous product. It is ideal for anyone who likes to do a few knots now and doesn’t want to have to faff around pinning things to their legs each time. Plus it will save your jeans.
Links to Amazon
Here are links to the Travel Edition Friendship Bracelet Maker on Amazon.com (top) and Amazon.co.uk (bottom). I have also included links to a couple of other useful accessories you might like, including the original, larger bracelet maker (last link).
If you purchase something from these links then I would get a small commission from Amazon for sending custom their way. At no extra cost to yourself. Thank you.
If you prefer making beaded bracelets you may want to check out my reviews of beading looms.
Peak Dale Ultimate Beading Loom – my trusty beading loom, highly recommened
Style Me Up Loom – my mother’s favourite. Aimed at kids but brilliant for everyone.