Thursday, July 10, 2014

DIY: Braided Anklets

Talk about a throwback. Every summer since I was about nine years old, I made endless amounts of friendship bracelets. For myself, my sister, my mom, all of my girlfriends, my dad (he was a good sport). For me, these bracelets bring back the best of nostalgia - mostly days spent at our cabin sitting around a picnic table with miles of colored string, tape and scissors.

This summer, I was craving a bit of the old days, and decided to brush up on my friendship bracelet skills. While my braiding skills have definitely improved, my patience hasn't! I forgot how long it took to make a really nice bracelet or anklet (about an hour for me). But the end result? Totally worth it.

While it might not be totally acceptable for me to stroll around the office with dozens of bracelets on my wrists, a pop of color on my ankles is the perfect compromise. Not to mention, I think anklets are adorable and perfect for summer sandals and bare feet. So dress up your ankles with this super easy braided chevron anklet.


Embroidery thread


Choose your thread. Choose more colors depending on how wide you'd like for the chevron to be, and how thick the braid. For this bracelet, I chose five colors.

Cut two pieces of each of the five colors (ten pieces total). Each piece should be as long as your wingspan. This should be enough string for a braided/chevron anklet, as well as a plain braided anklet (I think stacked ankle bracelets look best). Tie a knot at the top, leaving 3-4 inches extra string to secure your anklet with when it's finished.

Tape the knotted string to a hard surface.

Braid the thread 5-6 inches, or roughly 1/3 of the final length of the anklet (it may help to measure around your ankle at this point). Then, tie a knot, closing off the section of braided thread.

Separate the thread into two sections. Each section should have one of each color. The colors should mirror each-other when separated.

This is a little further along, but this is how your string should look on each side (mirroring each-other). I'm starting a few rows in to demonstrate how the chevron will eventually look.

Start with the outermost color on the left side (in this case, pink). Make a forward knot by making a "4" shape over the second color (in this case, light blue). Once you've made the four, loop the thread under and back through the loop.

Once your fingers are removed, it should look like this when correctly looped. 

Pull up and to the right to tighten.

Do this twice over each color, knotting toward the right, until the outermost color (still pink) is in the middle. You're half way done with one line of chevron pattern!

Now it's time to do the same thing on the right side. This time, you'll want to take the outermost color on your right (it should still be pink) and make a backwards "4" shape over the second color (it should still be light blue). Once you've made the backwards four, loop the thread under and back through the loop.

Once your fingers are removed, it should look like this when correctly looped. 

Continue looping until both pink strands are in the middle (make sure you make the loop twice over each piece of thread). When you get to the middle, make the backwards four loop with the string to connect the two halves. You're done with the first row of chevron!

Don't worry that your chevron pattern doesn't look great for the first few rows (just take a look at mine). It takes a bit of time for the pattern to develop (around 4-5 rows). Just make sure your colored thread stays in the correct order. It's difficult for the first few rows, but eventually the thread stays in place.

After braiding 5-6 inches in chevron (about 1/3 of the length of the final anklet), tie a knot to close off the chevron section. Next, braid the remaining 1/3 of your anklet, similar to the first part.

Your anklet is now complete and ready to be worn! Feel free to use the extra thread to create an additional braided anklet (they look great stacked).

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. ||

For more details on how to make this bracelet/anklet, check out Honestly WTF for their awesome (and much more in-depth) tutorial!


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