Are you looking for a creative craft project that’s perfect for beginners? Look no further! Gimp bracelets, also known as lanyards or boondoggle bracelets, are a popular form of handmade accessories that have been cherished by crafters for decades. And for me, they bring me right back to my childhood – memories of long summer days weaving and trading bracelets with my friends.
Making them is easier than you may think. You’ll learn how to master the art of gimp bracelets with these15 step-by-step video tutorials. So, get ready to dive in and discover the joy of crafting these much-loved colorful bracelets!
What Are “Gimp Bracelets”?
Gimp bracelets are intricately woven accessories made from plastic craft lace, or gimp. They are typically made by weaving and knotting together strands of gimp, creating various patterns and designs. These bracelets can be customized with beads, charms, or other embellishments to add a more personal touch.
The origins of gimp bracelets can be traced back to Native American and Scandinavian cultures, where they were used for various decorative purposes using threads made of silk, wool, or cotton. The word “gimp” itself comes from the Old French word “guimpe”, meaning “a ribbon or band.”
Gimp bracelets have been popular among children and teenagers for decades, with a rise in popularity during the 1950’s, when they offered a fun and creative way to express personal style and engage in craft activities. With the introduction of plastic gimp, or lanyard string, they became the most popular material for crafting bracelets due to its flexibility, durability, and vibrant colors.
In the 1970s and 80s, they were a big part of summer camps and scouting activities. In fact, the term “boondoggle” originated from the Boy Scouts of America, referring to a braided leather lanyard used to secure a pocketknife.
Then during the 90s, gimp bracelets experienced another surge in popularity, becoming a symbol of friendship and a way to showcase one’s crafting skills. Many young kids and teenagers would spend hours creating intricate patterns, exchanging them with friends, and wearing them as a form of self-expression.
Making gimp bracelets offers kids an opportunity to learn basic weaving and knotting techniques while creating unique patterns. Even today, they remain a symbol of the special bond between friends and are the perfect nostalgic craft to share with others!
5 Essentials You’ll Need
Before you start making gimp bracelets, you’ll want to gather a few essential materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need, along with some helpful tips:
- Plastic lacing – Plastic lacing is the key ingredient for making gimp bracelets. It can be flat or round and comes in various colors and textures. The most common type is flat plastic lacing, which is the most ideal choice for beginners. Be sure to choose colors that resonate with your personal style and preferences.
- Craft scissors – A good pair of sharp craft scissors is essential for cutting the plastic lacing to the desired length. Check to make sure they’re sturdy enough to cut through the plastic easily.
- Clips or hooks – You can use metal clips or hooks to secure the ends of the bracelet while you work on it. You can also use binder clips, clothespins, or even specialized bracelet clips, depending on your preference.
- Beads – Adding beads is optional when it comes to making your gimp bracelets, but they can help give them a little extra personality and flair. Be sure to choose beads that fit the lacing’s width and consider using different colors and shapes to complement your design.
- Instructions or patterns – Try one of our gimp bracelet video tutorials below or check out this book. Patterns will help you create different designs and allow you to experiment with more intricate styles.
15 Gimp Bracelet Tutorials for Beginners
How to Start the Box Stitch | How Violet
The box stitch is the most basic stitch when it comes to learning how to make a gimp bracelet. This tutorial will teach you to get started.
Gimp Boondoggle Simple Box Stitch Keychain Lanyard Tutorial | Knit Grit
Now that you know how to start the box stitch, you can learn how to complete your box stitch boondoggle.
Butterfly Stitch Bracelet Tutorials | Scoubi Club
Learn how to do a butterfly stitch with this fun tutorial. You’ll finish it off with a colorful bead accent.
Triangle 3-Strand Stitch | Laneyards
The triangle stitch uses three pieces of gimp to create a modern, geometric design.
Cobra Weave Bracelet Tutorial | Scoubi Club
The cobra stitch is easy for beginners to master and requires only two strands of gimp to create.
Lattice Stitch Bracelet | Katrinaosity
You’ll love learning how to make this feminine lattice-style bracelet, finished off with a clasp.
The Pineapple Stitch Lanyard | LanYarD
This stitch looks just like a pineapple and requires only two colors of plastic lanyard string to make.
Twisty Lanyard Tutorial | Scoubi Club
This classic twisty design can be made in lots of colorful combinations, including a bracelet that’s perfect for Fall.
How to Make a DNA Lanyard | Laneyards
Believe it or not, you can make a gimp bracelet that resembles a strand of DNA!
How to Start a Triple Barrel or Brick Boondoggle | Crafty Hands
You’ll need three different strands of gimp to create this bracelet with alternating color patterns.
How to Make the Linked Hearts | TheBoondoggleMan
You can wear this heart-shaped lanyard as a bracelet or give as a gift to someone you love.
How to Make the Zipper Stitch | Laneyards
A cool, classic design, this gimp bracelet will lie flat on your wrist and is great for layering.
How to Make the Zig Zag Stitch | How Violet
One of the wildest designs by far, this zig zag stitch is fun to make and even more fun to wear.
Corkscrew Stitch with Gimp | Craft Nation
This gimp bracelet design may look complicated, but it’s a basic stitch that will help you make more intricate designs.
How to Make Tunnel Bracelet with Lanyard | Howcast
You’ll need clear gimp string to create this tunnel-style bracelet.
So, now it’s time to gather your materials, unleash your creativity, and embark on your journey of crafting stylish and unique gimp bracelets with these gimp bracelet tutorials for beginners. Your wrists will soon become a canvas of vibrant colors and memories. Happy crafting!
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