Thursday, May 17, 2012

Friendship Bracelet Kit: Dollar Tree Craft Kit Review

Kit From Dollar Tree
Weaving Failure!!!
Normally, I am not a huge fan of buying cheap, imported plastic things from China, but I found myself browsing Dollar Tree in Murfreesboro and I stumbled upon this friendship bracelet weaving kit. Shrugging my shoulders, I thought, "What the heck?", and put it in my basket. I don't sew, knit, or embroider, so I wondered, how could I do with this kit? The product is clearly designed for kids, must be easy, right?

How did I fare, and was it worth a dollar???

First of all, it most certainly was worth a dollar...for my cat. He loved le mess royale that I created and biting the strings. I was so proud; he even waited for me to remove it from the package before pawing at the pretty colored thread!

My second observation was that you get what you pay for. In this case, what I saved in monetary cost was compensated by the lack of clear directions included. There was a tiny black and white manual, complete with diagrams 1-11, filled with gloriously complicated and poorly labeled strings and arrows.

The item itself was a good value. I set out with the intention to purchase a higher quality thread or waxed linen cord if my project was a success. With that in mind, I put on my glasses, studied the directions and attempted to follow diagrams 1-11. Unfortunately, I ended up with a failed item creation. After 3 rounds of using the weaving wheel, I had a large, colorful knot. I blame this on the unclear directions, not my lack of natural talent, lol.

An hour after I began my adventure, I gave up and discarded my bracelet. I did keep the weaving wheel itself. Maybe in the future, I will try and find a video showing me how to do it properly, or an unsuspecting relative to regift it to.

Ultimately, I would skip this purchase. It is made for children, but a 35 year old could not figure it out. For the price, it might be a good buy if you all ready know how to use a weaving wheel or know someone who could teach you. As in most crafts, materials are inexpensive compared to the time we invest in learning, practicing, and refining our skills. Next time, I will pass on the bargain price and pay an expert to teach me properly.

The moral of the story is that with handmade, your time, technique, and knowledge is the most valuable component of your products! No one can make exactly what you do in the way that you do it. The next time someone tells you that she could make the same hat/necklace/magnet/candle for much less money, hand her a weaving wheel and tell her to make you a friendship bracelet to trade. I promise, she will come running back the next week to return the wheel and gladly hand over her money for your creation!
Happy Kitty


  1. That's too funny Clare! Nice cat toy for a dollar. Your last paragraph is encouraging and very true.

    I see so many people buy materials to make something they saw someone else made and they think "I can do that!" But soon enough they will discover it really does take talent and experience to turn out a quality, hand crafted piece.

  2. The thread it comes with this kit is really crappy and doesn't work well. Try embroidery floss or crochet cotton. There is also a really good YouTube video that shows how to use this: (if this teenager can do it, anyone can). I used that video to learn how to use the kit, and I'm having good results.

    It helps a lot if the knot you make is facing "down" when you start, otherwise you won't get a good start at all.