Friday, June 24, 2011

Friendship Bracelets Intrepreted

I saw from Honestly WTF the other day a great tutorial on making friendship bracelets. Reminiscent of good old grade school times, I refreshed my memory with the tutorial and made myself half a dozen of colorful bracelets. As I was making the bracelets, knot by knot, I wondered to myself what the meaning of these bracelets are. I mean, they make a great piece of fashion statement, but what makes them a symbol of friendship for what they are?

So here's what Wikipedia along with some other sites said about the meaning of friendship bracelets:
Friendship bracelets, like its name implies, are bracelets made to celebrate everlasting friendships. These beautiful striped bands originated from the Native Americans in Central America. Traditionally, one would hand-make it for a good friend, have the friend make a wish, and tie it to the friend's wrist. The bracelet is then worn until its naturally worn out and falls off, which is the moment the wish should come true. 

What about the colors? Do they symbolize anything? Apparently there are different meanings associated to each color too:

Red is for Love (wasn't hard to guess)
White is for a Pure Friendship
Orange is for Close Friends
Yellow is for Happiness, or Best Buddy (as opposed to a romantic one symbolized by red)

But as I was making the friendship bracelets, I came up with some of my own interpretations as to why friendship bracelets are called what they're called. The process of making friendship bracelets is analogous to some of the things that happen in a friendship: 

A friendship is the knotting of two people together, just as the bracelets are made of many tiny little knots.

A friendship sometimes have bad knots (or misunderstandings) like those bracelets do. We fix a bad knot in a friendship bracelet by pinpointing where it went wrong and untangling it like friends make up from their fights by clearing any misunderstanding and reconciling.

Just as the process of making these bracelets, there are no short cuts nor easy ways to obtain true friendships. Only hard work and investment will prevail.

Just like the friendship bracelets, once made, it's hard to break.

Like the threads in friendship bracelets, friends build upon one another, help eliciting our potentials.

Some Tips for Making Friendship Bracelets:

1. Don't knot too tightly. When I made my very first bracelet, I strangled each and everyone of the knots before moving onto the next one. My bracelet ended up looking very distorted and hard.

2. Align the threads somewhere visible in the order of your bracelet's colors to prevent confusion. This is very helpful at first when the threads are still unruly.
 3. Baby powder your hands if they start to get a little sweaty after extensive braiding. Maybe it's the result of over-concentration, my palms start to run a little wet after a while and the threads become yuckily soggy. Baby powder helped solve this problem.

4. Enjoy the process! I pinned my friendship bracelet to a pillow and snuggled in bed with a cup of hot cocoa next to me. It might be a good idea to start your bracelet at a desk, but as the threads fall nicely in order, move to somewhere comfy!
Some Red White and Blue for 4th of July!
I'm going to do it the good old traditional Native American way, and have my best friend make a wish before I put it on her. Happy braiding! :)


  1. ooh. thats so pretty! and using baby powder is so clever! my hands do get quite sweaty when i do braiding too~~

    my friend just made me a few friendship bracelets.. they are really cute.. but not as cute as the ones you have here!

    ideally.. i would LOVE to "make" one in black, white, grey, and maybe purple, yellow, or turquoise.. but i just dont have the patience to do it.. unlike you..

  2. Thanks so much s.gee! :D

    The baby powder definitely helps! I would hate to give my best friend a soggy bracelet at the end of the day :/

    Black, white, grey, purple, yellow and turquoise sounds like a beautiful combination! I might have a few friendship bracelet giveaways coming up! Check back for your requested color combo ;)


  3. I just posted about friendship bracelets on my blog a coupla weeks back! I love how they're getting back into fashion again, I used to love making them when I was a kid!

  4. I agree Vixie! Something about a pile of stacked up friendship bracelets looks so awesome on the wrist. Kudos to your post btw! Super cute :)

  5. This is such a great post - I love the 'bad knot' past especially.

  6. Thanks so much Rachel! :) The process of knotting the bracelets definitely is therapeutic I feel :D And makes me want to fix all my past "bad knots" with friends :P

  7. Great article! Love the interpretation of it.

  8. Good to read these article and awesome friendship bracelets post you have i like to see that!