CRAFTY CARA: Crazy About Rainbow Loom! by Cara Potapshyn Meyers
Okay. I’m a craft nut. I dabble in all sorts of craft type activities and subscribe to craft and do-it-yourself magazines. I love to spot something interesting and take it a step further. Embellish it. Hike it up a notch. Or learn something completely new. In the midst of trying to finish five or six holiday craft projects, I did discover something completely new: The Rainbow Loom.
The marketers for the Rainbow Loom really timed it’s debut well. Although the Rainbow Loom and it’s knock off competitors came on the scene several months before the holidays, by the beginning of school, the Rainbow Loom took off like a rocket! Every girl, ages five to teenage, were begging for the Rainbow Loom. As the holiday season approached, the Rainbow Loom became an even larger presence.
I saw some simple Rainbow Loom bracelets that young girls were making. I even watched a few actually make their bracelets. The “loom,” as I call it, is actually a terrific device for several reasons: Young kids can learn some of the “basics” of how to crochet, using the Loom. Children with certain physical or mental challenges can benefit from learning to “loom.” BOYS (yes, boys!), are joining the craze! My son has a loom as do two of his friends! They make bracelets with camo bands and darker colors or loom MineCraft Creeper characters to hang on their backpacks. I love the fact that my son likes to loom. Every child, regardless of gender should have a minimum background in hand crafts such as simple sewing. Looming gives boys an edge in that area.
The Rainbow Loom intrigued me for quite some time. I never pursued using one because, really…what is a grown woman going to do with a loom and a bunch of rubber band bracelets?
As the holiday season drew near, I spied packages of “Christmas Color” rubber bands for the Rainbow Loom. Since I would be going to the home of someone who celebrated Christmas, and there would be several children there, I thought it would be a fun idea to make bracelets for the kids! I picked up a loom and the Christmas color packages on the spot! I was going to teach myself a new craft and give small gifts to others! Two of my favorite things!
That night, before I could even try out my new loom, I saw my son snatch up my loom, hook and the multicolor bag of rubber bands that come with the kit. I caught him tip-toeing up the stairs and asked, “Where are you going with my Rainbow Loom?” He sheepishly said, “I know how to use these! I want to make something!” Well, silly me. I thought he was going to make me a bracelet. What did he end up making? A green collar for his lizard! And it came out really well! So much for my bracelet. I would have to make my own.
I tried making a few of the simple bracelets following the multitude of YouTube tutorials on the internet. I kept making mistakes. How could a kid make a perfect lizard collar when I, a woman who crochets and knits, couldn’t make even the simplest of bracelets. I was getting frustrated. Then I spied a bracelet design that caught my eye. It was an advanced design. But I felt that in Christmas colors, it would certainly look festive. I decided to give it a try.
I started and paused. Placed bands and paused. Looped bands and paused. Went back to previous sections in the video to make sure that I was looming correctly. Two hours went by when it was time to take this bracelet off the loom. I prayed it wouldn’t fall apart like all my previous endeavors. Very slowly, I removed it from the loom. It didn’t fall apart. It remained intact. I learned how to extend the bracelet and finish it off with clips. I did it! And I was “hooked” (pardon the pun!)! I wanted to make more of the same type bracelet so that all the children would have similar styles. The more I made, the quicker I became! Then I came across a tutorial on making little wreath charms. Wouldn’t it be cute to make a charm for each child, attach it to their gift, and they could decide whether they would like to use it as a charm for their bracelet or as an ornament, as I did. I was on a roll!
I couldn’t stop looming! I made bracelets of varying types for friends who had girls. I made bracelets for my son and a friend of his. I made different types of charms: flowers, hearts, even snowflakes! I was running out of bands! I went online and discovered a world of different color bands: Glitter bands, tie-dye bands, “jelly” bands, metallic bands, glow-in-the-dark bands, silver, gold and copper bands! The selection was endless. My looming was becoming endless. How many bracelets can a person make? I even made a cover for my hook with a flower charm! And I bought pony beads and made a bracelet using pony beads! The ideas are endless.
I decided to show children and adults how to make more advanced bracelets and charms in a simple, step-by-step manner. Below is a sampling of items I have made. If any of them interest you and you would like to learn how to make it, leave a comment and I will give you the link to the appropriate YouTube tutorial.
Don’t be afraid to try an intermediate design if you are used to looming only beginner designs! I completely bypassed the beginner bracelets and was having more fun and was more successful with more advanced designs! Be fearless and have fun! After all…they’re only rubber bands!
Tags: "Crafty Cara", Cara Potapshyn Meyers, children, Christmas, Hand crafts, Loom bracelets, Loom charms, Loom MineCraft Creeper, looming, Mom, Rainbow Loom, Rainbow Loom ornaments, rubber bands, sewing, YouTube Rainbow Loom tutorials