by Robyn E., Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

"Designers prove that friendship bracelets aren't just for kids anymore. This summer friendship bracelets make a comeback in stylish adaptations made with leather, string and metals. Braided details and beading make this trend extra adult-friendly." - Accessories email newsletter, February 2012
The once treasured accessory we all longed for in our childhood--friendship bracelets--is making a grown-up comeback. Friendship bracelets, a fashion accessory once associated with teens, can now be spotted on the wrists of men and women of all ages. Seen on celebrities including Johnny Depp, Nicole Richie and Steven Tyler--not to mention the launch of Kate Bosworth's newest JewelMint friendship bracelet line--these classic, yet stylish accessories are a hot trend.

A traditional Central American Indian craft, these symbols of friendship became vastly popular in the U.S. during the 1970s. History of the friendship bracelet tells that each bracelet is believed to grant a wish to the person who wears the piece, only to have it come true when the bracelet naturally breaks apart. Over the years, the popularity and custom gradually faded out. The lively bracelets have recently resurfaced with a grown-up style and a flourishing outlook, no longer reserved for teens.

Typically made with several strands of string or cord such as hemp, thread or silk, styles can include the art of macramé and Kumihimo braiding. However, colored strings no longer make the cut. In fact, adding a variety of crystals, charms, antiqued metal beads and other simple beading components give friendship bracelets a huge fashion makeover. Not to mention, the one thing agreed on is the more the merrier! From beaded to braided, stacking on the style and accessorizing with a variety of designs and colors makes a statement and instantly gives your wardrobe a fresh feel.

Designing friendship bracelets is fun and creative, and with a variety of patterns available, there is a design for all skill levels. While instructions may appear intimidating, once the basic technique has been mastered, other patterns and components can be integrated. Depending on the woven pattern of the bracelet, customizing with beads can be a simple addition, making friendship bracelets as perfect for a night out as they are for everyday wear.

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