TBT: Kids’ Charmed Friendship Bracelets

As you’re reading this, the hubs and I are on an Alaska cruise…WITHOUT OUR OFFSPRING! Don’t call CPS, though…they’re not home alone for the week. One’s in Oklahoma with my parents and the other two are at home with a babysitter (who’s a responsible adult). We’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary (a little late…it was in January), as well as his retirement from the military. And hopefully he’ll be starting his next career sometime in August!

While I’m away, here’s a post from last year that might help entertain your youngsters for an afternoon…Charmed Friendship Bracelets. And the best part? The charms are made from SHRINKY DINKS!

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!

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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:

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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. It only takes about three minutes, so my hooligans love watching them shrink through the oven door. It even inspired me to replace the burned out lightbulb in the oven, so they could see!

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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!

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It’s a quick way to whip up a bunch of fun little gifts. We made them with the school logo for a craft sale the fourth grader had to participate in this spring, and they were a hit. So let your imagination (or your kids’ imagination) run wild!

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