Loom bands are the fashion accessory of the moment. Adorning the wrists of David Beckham, Harry Styles and Prince William alike, even Pope Francis has been spotted wearing a few.
For the uninitiated (where have you been?), loom bands are small rubber bands which you can weave together to make friendship bracelets.
As well as accessories, they have also stretched to the world of fashion, being used to create everything from sandals to swimwear and, most famously, a dress made from 20,000 bands, which sold for a staggering £170,100 last month.
We’re fans of anything that gets kids being more crafty, but loom bands are also a great entry point if you’re new to making stuff and don’t know where to begin.
Here Ursula, our work experience placement for the week (pictured above), shows us how to make two simple multi-coloured loom band styles: one using pencils, and the other using a fork!
You will need: a pack of loom bands, several ‘S’ clasps, a weaving hook, two pencils and a fork.
To make the first bracelet, take one band and place it over the two pencils in a figure of 8 shape creating a twist between the two pencils.
Slide two more bands down the pencils, this time without a twist. This forms the base of your bracelet.
Now you are ready to weave your bracelet. Using either the weaving hook or your fingers pull the right-hand bottom loop up over the right-hand pencil and into the space between the pencils. Repeat with the left-hand bottom loop.
It should look like this:
You will have two loops left. Now add another band and repeat the process, adding a new band every time you pull the bottom loops up over the pencils.
The bracelet will start forming between the pencils. Keep weaving your loops over the ends of the pencils until you have reached the desired length.
To turn your weaving into a bracelet add the last band in a figure of 8 shape, as you did with the very first band. Pull the last two sets of loops up over the end of the pencils until only the figure of 8 band is left of the pencils. CAREFULLY (otherwise it will all come undone!) slide the whole bracelet off the pencils keeping hold of the last band.
Hook the last loops onto the ‘S’ clasp, wrap around your wrist and attach the other end of the bracelet with the ‘S’ clasp.
Et voila! Congratulations – you have just completed your first loom band bracelet.
This bracelet uses the same basic looping-over technique, except with four bands instead of two. To begin, slide a band over the first two prongs in a figure of 8 shape, then add another onto the second two prongs, again with a twist in between.
The front of the fork should now look like this:
The next band is added over the middle two prongs, without a twist.
Now you’re ready to begin weaving. Using your fingers or the hook, bring the loop on the second prong over into the middle. Repeat with the loop on the third prong.
It is really important to keep the bands taut on the prongs, so pull the loops tight from behind. It should now look like this from the front:
Add two more bands onto the first + second prongs and the third + fourth ones. In the image below, these are the purple bands. The pink bands are pulled up over the purple bands to repeat the weaving process.
Keep adding bands and weaving them over the prongs until you have your desired length. The bracelet will form at the back of the fork. Use the same technique as the first bracelet to close the loop and add the ‘S’ clasps.
Ta-dah! Experiment with different colours, lengths and shapes – you could even try adding beads!
Have you made any crazy loom band creations? Let us know below or tweet us @EtsyUK.