With assorted stretchable, rubber strand bands in various colours, an assortment of beads and charms and a Strand Styler tool and suction cup, there is enough contents to make up to fifteen bracelets in various designs.
The set comes with instructions, but they are quite vague and even 12 year old Kezia and big sister Ella were getting a bit irate and frustrated trying to work out how to make a bracelet. The overly simplified 'fold, knot, peel apart' instructions didn't really help them. So we took to the trusty internet and found some video tutorials on YouTube, which proved a great help.
Once we understood the basic technique, the strands were cut to size, knotted, attached to the top of the Strand Styler, separated into sections and plaited or knotted. The Strand Styler keeps the strands secured together, making working with the materials less fiddly. However, the stretchy strands can ping off, unravel or get twisted up quite easily if you aren't careful, which proves quite frustrating when you're half way through making a bracelet. Practice definitely helps with the techniques and eventually, the girls managed to work out how to make the simple braided bracelets.The ends are then tied off to secure the bracelet to the wrist.
For creative kids, with patience and dexterity, the set will enable them to make a range of cool looking bracelets.There are various different techniques for attaching the beads and charms and lots of ways to knot the strands, making a huge variety of possible bracelet designs. The colours of the strands can be mixed and matched to suit individual tastes and the thickness of the threads can be decided when peeling the strands apart, changing the visual effect of the braiding. The beads and charms are funky, for a variety of looks and styles from punk rock to girly.
The set is aimed at girls aged 6 and up. I'm sure there might be some girls of that age that may be able to make some wearable pieces with some assistance, but it's not the easiest process as my girls found out. I'd recommend it for children older than this, if you want them to work on their bracelet making skills independently.
Some advanced techniques look very complicated indeed, but I'm sure they can be attempted once the simpler techniques are mastered. However, I'd definitely recommend using YouTube tutorials rather than the instruction leaflet. Seeing the process in action made the whole thing make much more sense.
You can use your imagination to create your own individual designs using the braiding and beading techniques learned, reusing the Strand Styler tool. The end results look pretty good and with practice, I'm sure they will get even better.
The Strand Bands Designer Set is £19.99 RRP. Find the instructional videos on YouTube.