Monday, April 4, 2011

Braided Wristbands

When Robin at The T-Shirt Dairies asked for Stashbusting Ideas, I knew exactly what I wanted to share.

My husband is a high school science teacher, and recently he was trying to come up with some new ways to motivate his students.  He'd been reading some articles about game theory and how it can be applied to motivate students (and others) to work as something as hard as kids will work at video games.  One of the things he wanted to try was having cool sounding "levels" that the kids needed to get to, and settled on giving the kids a "Black Belt" in chemistry if they could meet certain learning goals.  We brainstormed possiblity had to be something cheap, but at least mildy appealing to teenagers.  We came up with these. 
I threw in some gold since the school colors are black and gold.

It's seen the idea on Lil Blue Boo about a year ago, and I kept thinking about making them.  I've cranked out 40 or 50 of these babies now for Hubby's students.  I was worried that the kids would think they were dorky, but they've loved them.  Hubby's seen them wearing them outside of class a bunch, and when we ran into one of the parents at a school function, they said something like, "Oh, you're the teacher where he earned that wristband..."

I'd already used most of my gold when I made Hubby's chair and Firecracker and Sweet Pea's school spirit all I had left to work with was the sleeves.  I had to use every bit of fabric including bits with seams or that weren't cut straight.  I ended up basically cutting the sleeves in one big spiral...and it worked out, seams and all.  It's best if you can use nice straight pieces of knit without seams, but it will work either way.

Here's what you need to start out.  Strips of knit...about an inch wide, scissors, needle and thread, and a safety pin.

Pull on each strand to stretch it a bit.  This will make the edges curl under.  Then pin three strands of knits together.

Then start braiding. 

If you're making a lot of them, just make one long continuous braid.

Look the braid on itself to make a wristband the size you want.  These stretch, so with the first batch they were a little bit too big, so keep that in mind.  I sewed the ends of the wristband together before cutting the braid.  You'll want to use your needle and thread to hand sew through all layers well...then sew it at least one more time to be sure.

Trim off the loose ends.

Cut a small strip of knit...matching or constracting...about 4-5 inches long.  Tie a double knot over where you sewed your seam.

And you're done.  Of course Firecracker and Sweet Pea had to have a few girly ones of their own.

If you don't already have some knit strips laying around, you could make yourself some by whipping up an easy T-shirt dress from the pattern I shared last year.

Or you could make some 25-Minute Shorts or Capris.

For more ideas of things to do with T-shirts, check my Hand-Me-Down Rehab page for lots of great free applique and freezer paper stencil patterns.

Be sure to check out all the other Stashbusting Ideas on The T-Shirt Diaries.

1 comment:

  1. You are the t-shirt recycling queen. These are a new idea for me. I wonder if the braiding would work for stitching into braided mats?


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