5 Easy Ways to Embellish Friendship Bracelets
Alright you guys, I am BACK with a fresh 5-in-1 DIY for you: how to embellish all those friendship bracelets you’ve been cooking up!!! It’s been so awesome to see so many of you getting knotty with our Friendship Bracelet DIY Kit, crafting up bracelets in candy stripe and chevron patterns as well as reading friendship bracelet patterns to create all sorts of funky designs.
Now it’s time to take your friendship bracelets to the next level and learn how to add some flair with assorted embellishments you likely already have amongst your jewelry supplies and inevitable collection of broken jewelry. I don’t know about you but I absolutely love repurposing little bits and bobs from my favorite jewels when they are no longer wearable. Beads, charms and chains can all be removed from old pieces and attached to new, and friendship bracelets are the perfect way to put those pieces to good use! Don’t have any old jewelry findings lying around? You can source almost any jewelry finding from your local craft supply shop or Amazon!
When I was in college about 10 years ago, embellished friendship bracelets were all the rage. Frieda & Nellie were fusing handmade bracelets with vintage jewelry, nearly every accessories shop carried varieties embellished with studs and chains, and Teen Vogue was showing blinged-out styles on the wrists of oh so many of their models. Needless to say I’ve been obsessed with funky takes on friendship bracelets ever since!
Below you’ll find five ideas for how to easily embellish you friendship bracelets using jewelry findings, jump rings, pliers, a needle and some thread. In addition to giving any one of these tutorials a try, I also encourage you to use these ideas as a jumping off point to come up with your own favorite ways to embellish friendship bracelets!
These are all suggested items to mix/match/use as you please! Feel free to incorporate any bits, bobs, and jewelry findings that suit your fancy.
- Assortment of friendship bracelets or Friendship Bracelet DIY Kit if you’re starting fresh!
- Flat-nosed pliers and wire cutters (this is my go-to inexpensive set of 3 jewelry tools)
- Assorted jewelry findings such as rhinestone chain, metal link chains, and vintage bracelets
- Small pom poms and tassels
- Shells, beads and charms
- Jump rings
- Thin tapestry needle
- Small scissors
POM POM FRIENDSHIP BRACELET
Create a mini pom using a fork and our free pom pom video tutorial. To attach a pom to a friendship bracelet, sew it on using some string/Omegacryl and a thin tapestry needle. Thread your needle and sew under the interior string of your pom, pushing the pom down the string slightly. Sew both ends of the string through the friendship bracelet from the top surface going towards the underside of the bracelet. Tie the two string strands together tightly to secure.
CHARM FRIENDSHIP BRACELET
Gather up some fun charms and beads. Use large jump rings to attach each charm to the bottom edge of your bracelet about two knots up from the edge. Use flat-nosed pliers to close up the jump ring, then repeat with your remaining charms. You can learn how to create charms from beads plus the proper way to open and close a jump ring in this DIY!
RHINESTONE CHAIN FRIENDSHIP BRACELET
To attach a rhinestone chain to a friendship bracelet, start by threading a long length of string/Omegacryl onto a thin tapestry needle and tie a double knot at the end of your string. Place the rhinestone chain where you want it on the bracelet and sew between the first two stone settings going from back to front so that the knot ends up on the backside of your bracelet. Sew in between each setting at least twice before moving onto the next space between settings. Continue until your entire chain is attached to your bracelet and knot the string on the backside of your bracelet to finish.
VINTAGE RHINESTONE & FRIENDSHIP BRACELET
This tutorial can vary depending on the design of your vintage bracelet. The idea is to find a vintage bracelet that has large spaces between its elements so that you can weave a friendship bracelet through it. You can use a plastic yarn needle to help you weave your bracelet if it’s being stubborn or hard to control. To finish your bracelet, fold each end of the friendship bracelet so that it goes to the backside of the vintage bracelet. Do this by feeding each end of the bracelet through its nearest half of the the bracelet closure. Then, use a thin needle and string/Omegacryl to sew through both parts of the folder over friendship bracelet, sandwiching the vintage bracelet in the middle. This will attach the friendship bracelet to itself as well as the vintage bracelet. Once secure, trim off excess friendship bracelet.
COWRY SHELL FRIENDSHIP BRACELET
You can sew any number of cowry shells (or any type of bead for that matter!) to the surface of your friendship bracelet. Thread a long length of string/Omegacryl onto a thin tapestry needle and tie a double knot at the end of your string. Place the first shell where you’d like it to go (I recommend starting in the middle) then sew the shell on each end, sewing from the back of the bracelet to the frontside so that the knot ends up on the backside. Sew around the edge 2-3 times to make sure shell is secure before sewing the other end of the shell the same way. Add as many shells / beads as you like!
Et voila! In just a few easy steps your friendship bracelets go from patterned string creations to a blinged- and beaded-out arm party! If you’re looking for more inspiration, you can find more embellished friendship bracelet ideas over on our “Embellished Friendship Bracelet” Pinterest board.
As always, be sure to let us know if you try any of these ideas by sharing details in the comments or posting photos to Instagram and tagging @theneonteaparty!
Peace, love & neon,
I love the charm friendship bracelet! I’m going to make some polymer clay charms and embellish a bracelet with them. Thanks for the tutorial!
I love that idea, Jenn! I can’t wait to see how your charms and bracelet come out. So cute!!
Clever idea! Do you know where to find polymer clay?
Any craft store or Amazon will have! It should come with instructions too for how to mold and bake them. Be sure to add a flat-head pin in the clay before baking so you can turn a loop to make a charm! -Marisa
You said that twice, but yes, you can find it a Michael’s or any other craft store. I’m sitting next to you Laine, you could have just asked me!
Thank you, Vivieanna! -Marisa
Oooh, I love making bracelets, and I never knew you could put stuff on them.
Yes!! And these are just some ideas to get you started! You can sew or attach lots of different adornments to friendship bracelets to make them your own. 🙂 -Marisa