How to Make Eco-Friendly, Plastic-Free Friendship Bracelets for the Eras Tour

If you're going to a Taylor Swift concert, here's how to make friendship bracelets without all that plastic.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

Mar. 11 2024, Published 12:10 p.m. ET

A closeup of a Taylor Swift fan with a Taylor Swift T-shirt and arms full of friendship bracelets attends the opening night theatrical release of 'Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour' at AMC Marina Marketplace 6 on Oct. 13, 2023 in Marina del Rey, Calif.

A Taylor Swift fan attends the opening night theatrical release of 'Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour' at AMC Marina Marketplace 6 on Oct. 13, 2023 in Marina del Rey, Calif.

Beaded friendship bracelets have enjoyed a renaissance, in large part thanks to Taylor Swift's Eras Tour.

However, with the astronomical amount of plastic that winds up in landfills and bodies of water around the world, many Swifties and crafters alike are naturally wondering how to make eco-friendly friendship bracelets.

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Keep reading below for eco-friendly beaded (maybe even "Bejeweled") friendship bracelet material ideas that will never go out of "Style," no matter your age.

Use plastic-free beads, made from materials like wood, metal, or glass.

A young girl makes a friendship bracelet with various colored beads.
Source: iStock

While most people opt for colorful plastic beads, there are plenty of beads out there made from plastic-free materials.

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For instance, there are beads made from glass, which can give the finished bracelet a "smooth" and "classy" appearance, according to See Kate Sew.

Metal beads, which are typically silver or gold, can add a little plastic-free shimmer to your friendship bracelets.

And for a more natural option and look, channel some "Evermore" vibes and use wooden beads.

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Make your own beads with corn starch.

If you want to take the DIY element of friendship bracelets to the next level, you can make your own plant-based biodegradable beads from scratch.

This recipe from Craftsuprint uses corn starch as the base for sustainable, clay-like beads that are much more earth-friendly than plastic beads. All you need is corn starch, flour, salt, hot water, and paint powder — and a lot of patience, as you'll have to make each bead by hand.

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Upcycle secondhand jewelry or old beads.

Shoppers inside a thrift store browse for clothes and jewelry.
Source: iStock

The benefits of thrifting are many, including providing you with secondhand supplies for making friendship bracelets. Browse your local thrift store and resale websites for secondhand beaded jewelry or bead kits; or, maybe you are lucky enough to have a dedicated secondhand craft supply store in your area.

After you score your thrifted jewelry, there are many ideas to upcycle old jewelry finds on websites like Pinterest!

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Use materials you already have around the house — or borrow materials from a friend.

A family of young children make bracelets together with an adult at a white table.
Source: iStock

At its core, making friendship bracelets is an inherently social endeavor that should be fun. If you're unable to, or would rather not, spend money on supplies, you can still embody an eco-friendly ethos.

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You contribute to the reduction of overall waste in the world by using items you already have. Maybe a friend has string or other fabric for the base of the bracelet that you two can share, and you've got beads you can reuse from past crafting projects.

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Use cotton thread and embroidery floss rather than plastic string for the base of the bracelet.

Colorful embroidery thread bundles on a white surface
Source: iStock

According to, embroidery floss or a similar cotton-based thread makes for a colorful and easy band for your friendship bracelet. Cotton is much more eco-friendly than synthetic materials, and typical bracelet elastic is synthetic.

Cotton embroidery floss, aka friendship bracelet string, is very easy to work with, and can be combined with multiple colored strands to create vibrant bracelets, as seen in a popular video from YouTuber Jada Johnson.

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