Honestly, I tried so hard to not get hooked on yet another new craft but I'd seen this rubber band craze around for quite some time and kept resisting the urge to try it out. It was all going so well until my daughter begged me to buy her some rainbow loom bands because all her friends were making these cool friendship bracelets at school and could she get her own supplies to try it out as well.
I knew exactly what would happen once she got into it. I got sucked into helping her to make the bracelets and now I'm addicted to it too. Thankfully, this is a relatively cheap and inexpensive craft for both kids and adults to enjoy. So if you haven't yet got the bug or if you're new to this, let me tell you all about it and where we're up to.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.
Since my daughter was already starting to learn how to make basic bracelet patterns by stretching colored bands over her fingers, I didn't opt to buy her the traditional style Rainbow Loom board. I've watched videos on this board (and other loom brands) and it didn't really seem all that intuitive to me.
Luckily, I found that the makers of Rainbow Loom had recently brought out a new style board which really mimics how you'd make up the designs if you were using your fingers, or even pencils, to create bracelet designs. So this brand new board actually worked in a way that my daughter was already getting used to.
This is called the Monster Tail Mini Loom
You can get this mini loom here on Amazon.com
And here on Amazon.co.uk
This new board and kit is actually less expensive than the original one and I was surprised at just how cheap it is especially considering you get everything you need to start in this set: board, hook, 600 different color bands, C clips to fasten the bracelets and instructions. Since this set is small, it is ideal for travel and to take on journeys for something to do in the car or airplane etc. Here's a photo showing the box contents:
Operating in a different (and better way) than the original style, the designs are worked on 2 - 8 pegs and the bracelet forms down the middle of the loom which is an empty space so it just drops through as it builds up - a bit like how those old fashioned wooden French Knitting bobbins work but so much easier.
Any design you or the kids can make on their fingers can be made on the Monster Tail but since there are 8 pegs you can also use it to make even more elaborate and impressive designs too than you could by hand. This board gets its name since it was designed as an easy way of making different 'tail' bracelets: namely variations on fishtail, quadfish and hexafish designs which does give tons of options for great looking designs.
These bracelets shown here are double fishtail designs (makes a beautiful pattern, especially when alternating sets of colors) that we made. I made the top ones: left with 2 colors alternated and right with 3 colors alternated. My daughter (7 years) made the bottom bracelet with random colors - she doesn't like the ordered look of repeating color sets as I do.
See My Beginner Tutorial on Making These Bracelets Here
The double fishtail is actually an easier pattern to make since it only needs 2 pegs to stretch the bands over. We've used up to 6 pegs to make harder designs. I recommend my beginner tutorial because the one minor fault with this kit is that there is no first/easy/beginner pattern to follow in the instructions - which rather oddly instead show two more advanced designs.
I do highly recommend this set. It definitely makes a great gift for a child (even if they already have the bigger Rainbow loom - as this new one is travel friendly and easier to use) and is rather a lot of fun for an adult to use too! I'll be showing more tutorials in future posts.
600 bands is enough to get started with but, at some point, you'll probably need more. There are all kinds on the market. My daughter and her friends all seem perfectly happy to use really cheap brands of these which are not perfectly cut to shape and sometimes snap and break. I prefer the thicker, neater looking, latex-free official versions which are called Twist Bandz. I hope you've enjoyed reading my craftymarie article today, thanks for your visit. If you get one, let me know what you think!
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Beginner Bracelet Pattern with Alternating Fishtail Design
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