They are all the craze this holiday season, with kids immersing themselves in hours upon hours of crafty creation. They have even been banned from some area schools for causing fights on playgrounds. What has caused such a frenzy of creativity and violence? Rubber band bracelet looms.
Gwendolyn Accoo, Office Associate III at the Mid-Manhattan Library
, recently poked her head in my office and said “Look what I made.” She held up an intricately colored rubber band bracelet. I imagined her spending countless tedious hours on it. “How long did it take to make that,” I asked. “Do you have one of those plastic looms?”
“It didn’t take long at all,” she said. “I used pencils and a book.”
My blogger antennae
immediately perked up. Using a book to create a bracelet? My imagination began to run wild with the thought of books influencing the way the bracelets turned out. I pictured books by Ernest Hemingway
producing sparse and minimal bracelets. Books by Haruki Murakami
producing magical and surreal bracelets. Scary bracelets from Stephen King
. Wildly satirical bracelets from George Saunders
books. Cold and grey bracelets from Swedish mystery writers
. A cook book to fill your stomach. A bracelet from E.L. James
to make your wrist sweat.
I then thought of all the sad little children who are banned from bringing bracelet looms to school. Their creativity silenced. They could all start using books and pencils to make bracelets! What are the schools going to do, ban books and pencils?!
So to foster creativity (and reading!) and to maybe help you with any last minute holiday gift ideas, I would like to present Ms. Accoo’s easy step-by-step instructions on how to make a rubber band bracelet using a book and pencils!
Supplies you’ll need:
2 regular pencils
1 golf pencil (you know... those small yellow pencils... in libraries these are just called library pencils
A few large rubber bands
Colored rubber bands
Step #1: tape pencils together.
Step #2: place the pencils in the middle of the book
Step #3: place rubber bands around the book to hold the pencils in place
Now to make your bracelet!
Step #4: make an figure 8 with the first rubber band and place it over the two pencils
Step #5: add one or two colors
Step #6: pull the bottom color over the top of the pencils on each side
Step #7: add the same color that was last pulled over the top of the pencils
Step #8: separate the colors periodically as you go along and remember to pull up the bottom color only
Step #9: now add the S clip and repeat steps 5 and 6
Step #10: after adding each color pull the S clip down and repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have reach your desired length
once you have reached your desired length...
Step # 11: you'll want to stop with 2 rubber bands remaining on the pencils.
Step # 12: completely remove the top rubber band from both pencils and attach the S clip to the final rubber band.
Now you are finished!
You can always find inspiration in books at the library. If you are at a loss for what to read next just ask a librarian. But remember: rubber bands and pencils could potentially damage our materials, so please use your own books for this project.
We would LOVE to see what you create! Take a picture of your creation, post it on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest with the hashtag #nyplBracelet, and show us the book that inspired and influenced your creation!
(All photographs, instructions, and bracelets are by Gwendoyln Accoo. The book and bracelet pairings above were done after-the-fact by Billy Parrott.)
The Hipster Librarian's Guide to Teen Craft Projects, by Tina Coleman
Crafternoon: A Guide to Getting Artsy and Crafty with your Friends All Year Long, by Maura Madden
Hardware: Jewerlry From a Toolbox, by Hannah Rogge