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DIY Friendship Seashell Bracelet

The winter months can be brutal in New York City, especially with the massive winds in a walking city.  For some reason, there's a higher level of intensity when the concrete jungle freezes over. I see more people rushing, stealing cabs from each other, and voices seem to get louder.

If we have the opportunity to get away during those months, we run hard.  My family seems to always want a beach destination for several reasons.  1) The flights are typically closer to NY. 2) We are suffering from S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) and need some vitamin D. and 3) The sounds of crashing waves are therapeutic and get us back on the right track to a peaceful mind.

When we go away, we try to bring back something local from our travels.  We embrace the culture, the language, and the food during our time abroad. One of the perks of going to a beach destination is the countless hours spent looking for seashells on the sand.  It never gets old, just like eating bread with butter.  And our most recent trip was no exception.  Each day we would try to find a unique and precious shell. I asked them to search for ones with a hole in them because it would become part of their souvenir gifts for their friends. Finding them was difficult, but it gave our day a purpose and something to look forward to. We took our vitamin sea-shells back home to New York.

Here's what you'll need:

- Embroidery thread

- Tape

- Jump Rings in 2 sizes for (10mm, 6mm)

- Pliers

- Seashells from your vacation destination

- Charms

- Black sharpie marker

We ended up doing the craft on a day with a playdate.  It was challenging to say the least as some of them needed a lot of positive reinforcement.  Our DIY friendship bracelet motto became "Yes, You Can Do It" and "Don't Give Up."  After a lot of patience and persistence, the final product was gorgeous.

The bracelets that we made are one long braid. The 8-year-olds used 6 strings, doubling up to make the width of the bracelet thicker.  The 5-year-old just used three pieces of string.  Group all of the strings together, make a knot at one end, and then tape the knot onto a table.

I instructed them to make a braid, but this was the tricky part.   Most knew how to do it in theory, but still needed coaching to get it right. I explained that there is a left, a middle and a right string.  The outer strand will always go on top of the middle strand.  They will need to alternate from left to right and repeat the process until they reach the end.  For my five-year-old, I had to place my finger on top of the middle string and talk her through several iterations.  But soon she got the hang of it and eventually understand the concept of braiding. Hooray!  

Remember, at the end of the braid to make a knot.

Next, pick out your seashell and label it with your destination.  For ours, we wrote DR for the Dominican Republic. Now loop the bigger jump ring (10mm) through the hole of the seashell and attach it inside the braid of the friendship bracelet. To add more flare, we added another charm to the bracelet using the smaller jump ring (6mm). Voila! You now have a custom made, fresh off the plane, seashell friendship bracelet.

Hopping off...

"Dance to the song of the sea"

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