Summer Craft for Kids - Rattail Cord Braided Bracelet

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Summer Craft for Kids - Rattail Cord Braided Bracelet

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

This braided bracelet made with shiny and colorful satin rattail cord is fun for kids to make. Older kids can try this 5-strand braid, which is easy once you get the hang of it. For younger kids, you may want to stick to a simple 3-strand braid since it may be a bit more manageable.

Either way, you'll end up with a beautiful braided bracelet that your child can wear proudly or give out as a friendship bracelet to people she loves. And while she's creating something fun and pretty, she can exercise those fine-motor skills. It's a great summer craft for kids!

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You will need a few materials to make these braided friendship bracelets.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

  • To make these braided bracelets, you will need just a few things:

  • satin rattail cords in a variety of bright and vibrant colors
  • clipboard or other hard surface such as a table
  • masking tape
  • scissors
  • decorative craft button with a shank (a rounded piece at the bottom of the button that's used to sew or attach the button onto fabric) (Note: For this craft, I used a ladybug shank button but you can use any pretty shank button you prefer.)
  • fabric glue

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Cut 5 strands of rattail cord in different colors and line them up.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Cut five strands of rattail cord in various colors, each measuring about 2 feet in length. (I used fuchsia, yellow, blue, purple, and lime green for this bracelet, but you can experiment with other colors--say various shades of blue and purple or red and pink--to create a different look.)

Once you have cut all five strands, line them up in a row (see photo).

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Make a knot at one end.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Next, take the cords and make a tight knot about 4" in from the end.

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Tape down the cord and separate the strands.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Use masking tape to secure the cords onto a flat surface such as a table or a clipboard. Then, separate out the strands, putting 2 strands in one hand and 3 strands in the other. (It doesn't matter which colors you have in which hand since they will all get mixed together as you braid down.)

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Transfer one of the 3-strand rattail cord group to the 2-strand group.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Next, begin braiding the bracelet. Start by taking the rattail cord strand that's farthest out in the 3-strand group and moving it to the 2-strand group. (If you had 3 in your right hand, move the strand that's the farthest right--in this case the purple cord--to the left hand, now making your left hand the hand with 3 strands.)

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Now move the outermost cord in the left hand over to the right.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

To continue the braid, take the outermost rattail cord in your left hand (in this case, it would be the green cord) and move it to the right hand. (See photo.)

Remember to keep the braid tight as you go.

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Continue the braid by bringing the outermost cord in the right hand to the left.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Next, bring the outermost cord in your right hand (in this case the fuchsia rattail cord) to the left hand, again keeping the braid tight.

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Now move the outermost cord on the left over to the right.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Continue making the bracelet by moving the outermost cord in your left hand (in this case the yellow) over to the right hand.

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Continue the braid by repeating the pattern.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Now move the outermost cord in your right hand (in this case the blue) over to the left hand as you continue the braid.

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Secure with more tape as you continue making the braid.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

As you make the braid, secure the bracelet with a bit more tape to help you keep the braid tight as you go.

How long the braid should be depends on how big the wrist of the wearer is. If the bracelet is for your child or one of her friends, check the length by trying it out on her wrist. The braided part should go all around the wrist, with the beginning knot meeting the knot you will make where you want the bracelet to end.

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Tie off the end of the braid.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Once you've reached the desired length of bracelet, you can either make a button closure or finish the braid by tying off the end and then simply tying the ends together.

If you want to make a button closure, which is a bit more secure and make it easy to take the bracelet on and off, DO NOT tie the end when you are finished. Instead, add your button (see the next steps for instructions on how to make a button closure).

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Put the button on the open end of the bracelet to finish the closure.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

To begin making your button closure, take your button and put it on the open end of the bracelet by feeding one (or two, depending on how many fit) through the loop at the bottom of the shank button. Tie the cord to secure the button.

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Make a big knot and add fabric glue to finish the bracelet button closure.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Next, take all the cords together and make a big knot, putting it right up against the button and pulling it tight.

If you have some fabric glue, put some at the knot to really secure the button in place.

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Make another knot on one end for the closure.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

To make the other end of the closure, make another tight knot spaced a bit apart from the knot that you made when beginning your braided bracelet. (How widely the knots should be spaced depends on the size of the button.

(Note: When deciding where to make the second knot, gauge the size of the button. Then, try to put the button through the space to make sure it's the right size.)

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Feed the button through the hole to check the spacing of the knots.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

To make sure your closure works, feed the button through the space you made between the knots. Adjust as necessary to make sure the button stays put when fed through the cords.

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Here is a finished rattail cord braided bracelet.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Your bracelet will look something like this when it's done. Cute!

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Trim the ends short or leave it a bit long for a fun fringe.

braided bracelet
Katherine Lee

Finally, you can trim the ends short or keep a bit of loose cords on the ends to give the bracelet a bit of fun fringe.

Either way, your child will love this fun summer craft, and will want to make one not only for herself but for her friends, too!

 

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