DIY Colorful Leather Friendship Bracelets

by Alicia on August 30, 2011

Before I get into the how-to, check out this picture I shamelessly screen-grabbed from Sara Zucker’s Pose account. That’s my wrist early on Day 1 of MAGIC. A few hours later I had even more bracelets because I *had* to keep making new ones as examples. :) Also, 122 hearts! Thanks for the love :) Finally, Sara Zucker is just as funny and awesome as her popular blog – follow now because you’ll want to see her updates from NYFW.

Every bracelet I’m wearing is DIY – later this week I’ll share the ribbon and chain DIY that we did on Wednesday. You might also recognize the sparkly wrapped chain bracelets.

Back to the colorful leather friendship bracelets. You’ll need round leather cord, embroidery floss and a wooden bead. We used 2mm metallic leather cord from (nice URL, huh?) but in the past I’ve also bought similar cord (in smaller quantities) from Etsy supply sellers. The embroidery floss can be found in any craft store as can the wooden beads. Make sure that the hole in the wooden beads is double the width of the cord – we needed a 4mm hole for our 2mm cord.

Subpar photography due to the fact that I can’t teach and shoot at the same time :)

Begin but cutting about 22″ of leather cord and 60″ of embroidery floss. Tie one end of the floss to the leather cord in a secure double knot and then fold the cord in half. You want to position the knot you just made about an inch down from the top of the loop. Next, wrap the floss around both pieces of cord 2 or 3 times – this creates the loop that the bead will go through at the end to secure the bracelet on your wrist. After that, start weaving a simple figure-8 pattern by wrapping the floss around the outside of one piece of cord and back into the center. Repeat for the other piece of cord and continue down the length of the bracelet.

Photo by BurdaStyle

See the pattern emerging? This person used two colors of floss. You can weave it as loose or tight as you like. I like to see the leather in between the colorful floss. Stop weaving a few inches from the end (test on your wrist for size) and wrap around both cords like we did at the start. Secure with a double knot and a dot of glue.

To finish thread the wooden bead onto both pieces of cord and tie and overhand knot with the cord ends. Snip off any extra cord. They get easier and faster as you go- I recommend making an armful. Thanks again to BurdaStyle for all their help teaching this project!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

grace - stripes and sequins August 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Sara Zucker is so fab – adore her! Amazing job with the bracelets, they turned out so well!


Alicia August 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Thanks Grace!


Molly September 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

You know I loved these! And so did Scarlett! :)


Alicia September 1, 2011 at 9:39 am

Fun for all ages!


Anna December 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I know how you feel about just itching to make new ones. This is so addicting. Reminds me of many a slumber parties. Thanks for this post.


Indiana February 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Hi love this Diy but i don’t know if you can make a tutorial with step by step pictures my english is not that good and i want to make them for me and my daughter thanks


Alicia February 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I don’t have the materials right now so I can’t, I’m sorry! :(


Indiana March 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

Can you explain me how to wrap the thread like a figure eight my english is not so good lol


alicia March 16, 2012 at 8:48 am

I’m sorry, I wish I knew a better way to explain it. Google ‘figure 8′ to see what that shape looks like. That’s the pattern for wrapping the thread around each of the pieces of leather cord.


TB April 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I love those pictures and friendship bracelets. They are so fun to make sometimes!


saz May 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

i love these bracelets, they’re simple and wayyy too easy to make
even when i don’t have leather cord i just cut some old headphone wires to use and it still works great :)


alicia May 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Way to use what you’ve got!


Rachel Kim June 5, 2012 at 12:07 am

such a cute idea! love DIY projects. would love to potentially collab.

Email me at


Gail July 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I’d love to make these but your instructions don’t explain anything to me. Useless.


Alicia July 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I’m sorry that the instructions are useless for you. This project was done live for hundreds of people so I wasn’t able to photograph step-outs as I normally like to do.


shikha March 8, 2014 at 3:24 am

Awesome tutorial,
!this bracelet is so beautiful! great job.. i like it..:)
leather more


Angie March 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Luv your friendship bracelets



alicia March 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Thanks Angie :)


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