Bulk Friendship Bracelets / String Bracelets

Scott Smith Oct 14, 2023
46 People Read

This blog post is geared towards people wanting to learn all about what is known as Friendship Bracelets

This blog, generally, is about helping retailers and re-sellers understand why they should want to acquire things like bulk friendship bracelets and how to source them and sell them. 


Indigenous Central and South American folklore is a rich tapestry of stories, traditions, and symbolism. The friendship bracelet symbolizes friendship. The friendship bracelet symbolizes friendship. Similar examples of native artisan crafts with special meanings are Worry Dolls, Tie-Dye T-shirts, Wish Bracelets, and Dream Catchers.

After a long history within these Indian traditions, Friendship Bracelets began to be adopted into Western culture gradually in the 1950s; both the technique of making them and the idea that they hold a special meaning. The Friendship Bracelet is a bracelet that two friends wear simultaneously as a token of their friendship. They are handmade and woven in a macrame style with a variety of styles and patterns available.  Numerous and varied patterns can be thought into existence. But it takes a really advanced skill level to make some of the more complex multi-multi-threaded versions. Although the popularity of these unisex bracelets first started gaining traction during the counterculture movement of the 1960s and into the 1970s, they hit a crescendo in the late 1980s. This coincided with an overall retro-60s movement stimulated, in no small part, by the strangely new commercial popularity of the Grateful Dead. (Anyone lucky enough to see any live shows knows what it was like to see people walking around selling bracelets off of a stack of foam core boards fastened into with side- notches so that all the bracelets could be lined in neat rows, presenting a compelling display).   

As with so many fashionable and trendy things, there comes a point of critical mass. As they get really popular, everyone sees other people wearing them, and they want one, and their friends and relatives get it into their mind that maybe they should have one too.  The trend continues until market saturation and then peters out. 

What it means:

t's important to note that the concept of a friendship bracelet is more about the intention and meaning behind the bracelet than the specific style or technique used. These bracelets are often exchanged as tokens of affection and symbolize the bond of friendship between the giver and the recipient. The personalization and effort put into creating and sharing the bracelet are what make it a friendship bracelet.

It’s a Friendship Bracelet because:

1/You don’t wish for anything...but you and your friend both wear it to remember and show off your friendship. The more work, time, and love are put into making it, the longer it will hold up and not break or get damaged or fall off, and so the more robust and longer lasting the friendship.


2/You wish for something when you tie the bracelet onto your friend's wrist. The second at which it finally falls off, the wish is supposed to come true.

Who wears them:

Friendship bracelets are traditionally worn most commonly by young adults from around 13 to around 25. But for sure, many people do wear them into their later years. For hippies, beatniks, hipsters, and bohemians, it‘s ageless and timeless.  They have a laid-back festival concert beach vibe. They’re great for wearing at the beach because, unlike many other simple bracelets, they can get wet and not be damaged in the water while you're swimming or surfing. When you buy one, ask if it's colorfast. Usually, they aren't, but if they are, it might be worth paying an extra couple of bucks for it so the dyes don't run in the water or just due to long-term wear and tear.  

What it isn’t:   

Unfortunately, nowadays, a lot of people refer to various types of bracelets as "friendship bracelets." As more and more individuals have adopted the term to describe different kinds of bracelets, regardless of how they are made, the original meaning of the name has been gradually diluted. Although it may still be a bracelet you give to your friend, it no longer retains the essence of being a personal, handcrafted item meant for your friend. For instance, celebrities like Taylor Swift have popularized the term Friendship Bracelet by endorsing mass-produced bracelets that “Swifties” call the Taylor Swift Friendship Bracelet. However, I do not consider such bracelets as true Friendship Bracelets.

Learning how to make them and where to get the materials

Youtube has some amazing videos if you want to learn how to make them yourself. 

You can quickly get what you need if you order from places like Michaels's craft store. For example:

Friendship Bracelet Kit

Embroidery Floss

Books that teach you to make them 

Silk embroidery floss is one of the nicest threads you can find. It has a shimmery shine to it and, consequently, a  more feminine look. The basic cotton thread is better for making unisex bracelets. You can also try acrylic or rayon thread. This is less popular to work with, but the cost of the thread is more economical.  

If you are in an artsy type of area, then do an Internet search to find small independent stores, art supply stores, and craft stores. They will usually have an interesting variety of materials to create with.

It may take just a couple of minutes, or it may take up to an hour or longer to make a bracelet. It largely depends on how fast and dexterous your fingers are.  But it is definitely a fun craft project to learn for those with some patience.  The simple ones have two or three different threads, and once you get a rhythm going, you can watch TV in the background while you are making it.  But when it comes to four, five, or six threads, you have to maintain total focus due to the complexity of the patterns to be followed. 

There are many styles and patterns, most of which revolve around the ½ hitch knot.  You can find Friendship Bracelet tutorials online to help you out. There are so many Friendship Bracelet patterns to choose from, but ½ inch-wide cotton threaded Chevron Friendship Bracelets are pretty straightforward. They only have two colors, so they go faster than the complex multi-thread bracelets.

Where you can buy them:

Although it’s a fun craft project, many people don't have the patience and/or inclination to learn how to braid and weave at home. But no worries, these days, you can easily find them on places like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. Or you can take a nice vacation to the central highlands of Guatemala or Chiapas, Mexico, or any tourist market in Peru and find them for sale directly from talented folks who handcraft them. 


 — from wiki—-----

Various friendship bracelets exist, including standard bracelets and alpha bracelets, which differ in their tying methods. Standard bracelets are created with diagonal knots, whereas alpha bracelets involve horizontal knotting.

Each type of friendship bracelet boasts an extensive array of patterns, passed down through generations, featured in books, or accessible online. The potential patterns are limitless, although only the most widely recognized and frequently employed ones possess names. These monikers may have slight regional variations but maintain a fundamental similarity.

Alpha Bracelets: Knots are horizontally tied, enabling the crafting of letters and symbols.

Name/Word Bracelets

Rag Rug

Normal Bracelets: Knots are tied diagonally.

1212: Utilizes only fb and bf knots, facilitating the formation of letters and symbols.



Candystripe: Basic diagonal stripes

Flip Flop Candy Stripe or Flip Flop Zig Zag


Inverse Chevron

Bordered Chevron

Double Chevron

Fishbone Chevron



Mini Hearts


Zig Zag

Other Bracelets

Chinese Staircase

Double Chain Knot

Knitted Bracelets

Swirl and Braids: A blend of braids and the Chinese staircase.

Wrapped Bracelets

Zipper Bracelets

Shaped Bracelets: Bracelets with non-straight edges or holes.

Chain Bracelets

Broken Ladder: A fusion of the chevron and the Chinese staircase.

Daisy Chain

Totem Pole