Kids’ Charmed Friendship Bracelets

I have a new crafting addiction…Shrinky Dink sheets that you can send through your inkjet printer. Yes, they make those!  Just think of the possibilities!  I came up with these bracelets when a writer from Military Spouse magazine asked if I had any ideas for gifts kids could give to their friends when they’re moving (as mine are in a couple of months).

I made some similar bracelets last year, using word beads with inspirational words such as “Believe,” “Hope,” and “Create” on them, but that really didn’t work for a five-year-old. So I put on my thinking cap, looked over my craft stash, and spied some Shrinky Dink for Inkjet sheets I bought on a whim last year (when I had a coupon and nothing to use it on at Michaels).

But what if you can’t find those?  Well, you could use regular Shrinky Dink sheets and let your little artist draw charms, or you could use alphabet beads to spell out a name or word. See, easy peasy, and all sorts of ways to be creative with this!


Here are the supplies you’ll need:

Embroidery floss

Shrinky Dink Inkjet sheets

a 1/4” hole punch

Computer and printer

Oven for shrinking the charms

1. Design your charms, or print these on a Shrinky Dink Inkjet Sheet:


If you design your own, print them at 50% opacity, or they’ll be way too dark when they shrink.

2. Punch or cut the charms out of the Shrinky Dink sheet. Use the hole punch to make the holes for the thread to go through.  I place mine on a piece of brown paper bag to bake them.  Bake according to the package directions.


3. Cut three lengths of embroidery floss to about 24” each. Thread all three strands through the charms from the back.  Then loop back through from the front to the back to hold it securely in place. To finish it, braid each side to the length you’d like and tie a knot in the end. Cut off excess, leaving a few inches to tie it. I also put a drop of E6000 under the thread on the back of the charm, as well, to secure it even more.Bracelet-Front-ChaosServedDBracelets-Back-ChaosServedD

4. To make an alphabet bead one instead of the charmed one, cut three strands of embroidery floss to about 24”.  Thread the alpha beads on, with all three strands going through the middle beads.  For the first and last bead, thread two strands through, then tie the third strand to the other two, securing the word where you’d like it. Again, braid to the ends and you’re done!


These will be a perfect little gift for Princess Thundercloud’s friends on the last day of school.  The rainbow “Friends” is even boyish enough that she approved it for the guys in her class. I’m still trying to come up with some cool ideas for the boys’ classes…although they think these are pretty cool, too…but they’ll have to learn to braid. Thundercloud and I have some tired fingers already!

By the way, you can see these ideas and lots of others in the June issue of Military Spouse magazine…woohoo!


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