Here's a super-easy one to learn! You won't believe what a hit this can be....especially in group settings like youth groups, summer camps, etc. Kids love to fit in, or have a gimmick. I actually don't remember where I learned this, but I think it was at a summer camp, and then I taught it to hundreds of kids through the years that I worked at camps. You need only 2 supplies: cotton string, and a pushpin.
Don't underestimate the power of this craft project! Every summer, when I taught this to a few kids sitting around after dinner, they all quickly picked it up, and within a week, nearly every kid in camp was wearing one. Kids like to "belong" ....and something this simple can have a really cool impact on kids.
Rope Bracelets are really macrame. Here's how:
1. Push the pushpin into a hard surface (but don't ruin anyone's furniture!). I use the edge of my desk.....but I don't mind a little pinhole in it.
2. Start by cutting 1 piece of string about 1 yard long. You can use the old "fingertip to nosetip" measuring guide... this doesn't have to be exact. Stretch out your arm, and extend one end of the string from your fingertips to your nose. This is about 1 yard.
3. Then cut a piece of string 2 yards long. Fold this piece in half, and join the 1-yard piece with it. Now you have 3 strands, and a loop at the top.
4. Include all 3 strands, and tie a good knot near the loop. You only want to leave about a half-inch loop. Better to be a smaller loop, than large, as this will be the "connector" of your bracelet or anklet. (like, the "clasp" of a bracelet)
5. Hook the loop onto your pushpin, and move back a little, so that you can work with the string, and have a little tension on it, as it hangs from the pushpin.
6. Now, see the picture. You hang the center string straight downward. The right string goes out to form the "sail" of a sailboat.
7. The far left string travels OVER the center string, then UNDER the bottom of the Sail, and up through the center of the sail. Now pull everything gently taut, but mainly hold onto the center string as you pull things taut.
I tend to hold the center string between my knees, and work the other two strings with my hands....then I tug on the center string at the end, to tighten it up. Another option is to use a clipboard instead of a pushpin. This is a great idea for car trips. (You could make a zillion bracelets while travelling, then come home and sell them to all your friends.)
8. EUREKA! That's it! That's almost all you need to know! A few more tips, though.
9. You don't want to pull too tight, nor leave it too loose. Gentle, even pressure as you pull taut. Be consistent in how you do this. If you leave some strings looser, and don't pull gently snug, you'll end up with an uneven and sloppy-looking bracelet. So just be kinda consistent.
10. You keep repeating this. Whichever string ends up hanging down in the center, becomes your center string for each next step.
11. Now here's the big trick. If you always make the sail on one side (choose one side and stick with it), your bracelet will spiral as you work, and you have a lovely spiral effect at the end. If you alternate sides, you get a flat woven look. It may be that the guys will prefer the flat look, and the girls the spiral effect, but not necessarily.
12. You can stop halfway through your weaving, and add a bead to the center string, or all strings. Then just continue weaving as before. Or you could add a bead every 5 or 10 stitches, or whatever.
13. When you get the bracelet or anklet to the desired length, stop and tie good knots, including all 3 strands. Then, just tie the bracelet on. Knot it well, and trim off excess string.
This bracelet is not particularly removable, unless you leave it oversized. A common thing to do is make an anklet, and leave it on. For MONTHS. Even a year or more. Because it's just cotton string, it will wash and dry just fine when you shower. I did this numerous times when I was a college student, and yes, I wore one for more than a year. It did not get grungy, stained or dirty. It just weathered very naturally, and I never specifically washed it, just kept it rinsed. I'd swim in pools and rivers and ocean, and just shower off and the anklet would rinse as I showered.
These were even the days when pantyhose were commonplace, so each Sunday morning, I'd slip my pantyhose onto my foot, then up and under the anklet and put them on as usual.
The reason I wore one for more than a year, was that at a camp i worked, the kids asked me to. We all agreed to have our anklets on when we returned the following year. These were underprivileged kids, and that kind of loyalty and devotion could mean a lot, and I LOVED my job with these kids....so I kept my anklet on all year, showing it to them when we re-united the next summer. Many of the kids did the same.
if you like this project, you might love making Friendship Bracelets, (Google that phrase). You'll be fascinated with the colors and patterns.