5.8.13

how to: colour palette friendship bracelets


A few weeks ago I was doing my usual version of online shopping (adding to cart, clicking away) when I came across friendship bracelets for sale. I hadn’t thought about them in a while, so I decided that I would make a few bracelets while indulging in my current favourite Netflix binge-watch, Pretty Little Liars (ugh, you guys, it is the best/worst... wait, no, it’s actually just the worst). I didn’t have too much embroidery thread around, though, and had a hard time coming up with pleasing colour combinations. I decided to try using one of my favourite online tools to help me come up with colour schemes: the palette generator. I use this tool all the time. You input the URL of a photo, and it creates two palettes, one dull and one vibrant, as I will show below. It doesn’t always pick up on every colour, and if you’re like me and gravitate towards milky-coloured, muted photos, you might end up with some colours repeated in both columns, but it’s still an easy-to-use and helpful tool. You can use the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to pick up specific colours and pull the hex or RGB code from there, but I like the palettes for a quick and easy starting point. You can play with the palettes further with a tool such as this colour scheme generator, if you want to. There are so many of these sorts of resources online. Thanks, internet!

I scrolled through my Flickr account and chose two pictures of mine that I had always loved the colours of: this one of a Swan Lake record, and this one of swans on ice (the swan theme wasn’t deliberate!). Once I had hex colour codes, e.g. #6699AA, #AABBBB, I looked around to see if someone had created a tool to convert hex/RGB codes to correspond with DMC embroidery floss colours, and yes, of course that exists! Once you have inputted the hex code, it pulls up a range of similar thread colours, and you are free to choose which ones you like best or that you think match best. As you can see with my floral example (#3), you can choose multiple thread colours from one hex code. This is what it looks like in Safari (note: in Chrome a dialog box pops up that you can use to input RGB values, but in other browsers such as Safari and Firefox you can input the hex code, which is what I prefer — it saves a step, since you would have to convert the hex to a RGB code, which you can do here — long story short, just use it in Safari or Firefox!):


Now, of course this isn’t going to be extraordinarily precise, because there are millions of possible hex code combinations compared to 454 DMC embroidery thread colours, and you’re reducing an entire photograph with endless colour combinations to a few thread colours. Also, of course any time you’re dealing with colours on a screen things might shift, and colours on a screen will always look different when they’re in physical, thread form. We’re not talking precise Pantone matching here. But it’s still fun and close enough, and a great way to play with and explore colour.

Here are three examples of what I came up with.













I like the idea of taking a photograph of a place or a thing that is really special to you, or to the recipient of the bracelet, and making a bracelet in those colours. I think it would make a very thoughtful souvenir! The colour of the sky on your wedding day, the colours in the print of your favouite dress, the colours of the beach where you had the best day in the sun, the colours in your favourite flower, or just a picture you really like on Pinterest. Have fun with it!


I got my embroidery thread from here, and I used this tutorial to learn how to make the bracelets.

23 comments:

  1. I love this idea! The bracelets look really lovely with the gold, too :)

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  2. This is such a wonderful idea, especially the fact that there's a visual story behind each bracelet, it'd make such a beautiful gift!

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  3. this is such a lovely idea!

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  4. you are so crazy smart/interesting, i love these

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  5. This is just the sweetest concept. And now I want to know the colour palette of EVERYTHING.

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  6. Too funny. My friends and I found a tangled mess of embroidery thread up at my cottage last weekend and made each other friendship bracelets - it felt like we were 12 years old again! I of course felt silly as soon as I got back to the city and removed it... I'm thinking we should bring them back though. LOVE your palettes!

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  7. So beautiful! I love friendship bracelet I make them all the time (and where them mostly during summer time!) and this idea of matching them to photo colors, is absolutely fantastic! I'll try that idea with some of my favorite photo...thanks for the inspiration!
    Kisses
    Melodie
    http://sevenlivesandmore.blogspot.fr/

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  8. This is such a lovely idea! Your bracelets turned out so pretty too, it makes me want to get back into making them.

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  9. I think palette generator just became my new favourite site.

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  10. Ahhh, friendship bracelets. These things were such a huge part of my childhood. I was so into making them for everyone.

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  11. this is so cool. thanks for the idea!

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  12. They are so, so gorgeous.

    denimandglory.wordpress.com

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  13. Pretty Little Liars is my secret guilty pleasure. I had to stop after about 20 episodes. Love the colour schemes!

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  14. I, too, suffer from an embarrassing Pretty Little Liars addiction, but the silver lining is that it gives me an extra excuse to get in touch with my 12 year old niece every week. These bracelets are great!

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  15. Classiest friendship bracelets ever! I love the colour palette you used for the swan & ice one.

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  16. This is amazing. Totally doing this this week and might even check out Pretty Little Liars. I blame you xx

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  17. I love it! Beautiful colors, as usual. I especially love bracelet two. You make me want to give it a try too, I think making them could be very relaxing!

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  18. What a brilliant idea! I'm excited to see what my palettes would be.

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  19. Whoa those make such thoughtful gifts! Alas, I don't have the patience to make these. I don't mind beading, but knotting... AAAHHH!

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  20. Aww, this is a really sweet idea. I love the thought of wearing your favourite photos.

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  21. Hello, new favorite website! Thank you for sharing!

    I really like the 'Ice' one.

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