Womazine Writes About Friendship Bracelets, Makes Us Nostalgic

Womanzine, a publication self-described as “too sexy + weird,” released their seventh issue last week and guess what? It’s all about camp(ing)! How relevant to all of our interests. It’s filled with essays, reflections, and gifs, as any great online zine should be. Best of all, it includes a submission by Ann Friedman of #editorrealtalk fame. It turns out that Friedman is not only skilled at illustrating the life of an editor via hilarious gifs, but she knows a thing or two about How to Make a Friendship Bracelet.

via womanzine

With A-Camp on the horizon and the Autostraddle Pen Pal project thriving, now seems like as good a time as any to learn how to make a friendship bracelet, and this “how-to” is definitely the best one out there. Think of it not so much a guide for how to braid thread, but rather a manual for how to capture a feeling of being best friends in the summertime. Friedman concludes her manual with important instructions:

6. Revel in this shared artifact of your friendship, a marker of this moment in time, this summer. Catch a glimpse of it on your friend’s wrist. Smile. Think about that time when and that guy who and that trip where. Instagram it, if you’re so inspired. Definitely gaze at it. Hold hands, maybe! Make another.

My claim to fame at summer camp was my ability to make friendship bracelets with an XOXO design. What’s your favorite kind of friendship bracelet? What colors do you think go best together? Did you make any friendship bracelets this summer?

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. OMG! Friendship bracelets! I used to love making these with my sister when I was a kid, which would always weird her out a little. I used to rock a purple and green.

  2. I just read basically that entire zine while laying in bed. Going to be late for work. So worth it.

  3. We never got into those kinds of friendship bracelets at my camp, the ones woven with string. Lanyard was all the rage, though. Box stitch, cobra, Chinese staircase!!

    • My camp was exactly the same! I also recall people using lanyard as a form of chewing gum on long hikes/camping trips (which is kind of gross because it just tastes like plastic obviously) because we weren’t allowed any real gum on us due to the ubiquitous raccoons and the very real threat of bears in the area.

    • Yes! I started doing lanyard again at my job this summer. All of my coworkers now have super cool keychains.

    • we called lanyard “boondoggle” and box stitch “square”
      my girlfriend will literally never stop making fun of me for this

  4. omg I was a champion at friendship bracelets my senior year of high school. Considering bringing it back now

  5. I’m going to be a big cranky bitch now, but is there any update on when that penpal thing is going ahead? Because like summer is almost over :S

    • Ditto. I know the AS staff are super busy right now, but….there’s been no update in over a month. I’ve sent a politely-worded email to Laura, but no reply….and no replies to the people who have been commenting on the last update post to see if this is actually happening anytime soon :<

      I'm sort of getting the vibe now that it's not going to happen, but might just be my pessimistic side showing :/

      • You guys, I’m so sorry but Julia and I have been sending out penpal email to people for literally the past 3 weeks and we’re still not even close to done. There are 838 (not to mention the 23987529 people who keep emailing to ask if they still get in on the action) of you which meant we had to go through and make 419 matches to accomodate for languages, ages and other preferences and then send out an email with all that information to each of you. I PROMISE that they’re coming, it’s just taking ages. And I’m sorry for not responding to emails, but I’ve just been getting so many every day that it was taking longer to answer them than to just keep matching. You guys are all matched up, we’re just sending out emails.

        And pen pals aren’t relegated to just the summer! Pen pals are forever.

        p.s. for everyone who is asking: there will probably be another round of pen pals, I just need to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t involve a 2+ month turnaround time.

  6. I don’t know if it was supposed to be a joke, but the “autostraddle pen pal project thriving” comment….yeah. It’s been well over a month since the last update, and no word on whether it’s ACTUALLY going to happen.

    I special-ordered the queerest most hilarious stationary ever, too :<

    • no i don’t think so / hope not! this was just a sweet reminder of when making a friendship bracelet was allowed to be my big accomplishment of the day as opposed to now when i’m supposed to get to work on time and pay bills and such.

  7. no i don’t think so / hope not! this was just a sweet reminder of when making a friendship bracelet was
    allowed to be my big accomplishment of the day as opposed to now when i’m supposed to get to work on time and
    pay bills and such.friendship bracelet

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