10 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Rainbow Loom

I can’t completely dislike anything that gets my kids creating, but there are SO many eco-friendly Rainbow Loom alternatives.

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Rainbow Loom - I can't completely dislike anything that gets my kids creating, but there are SO many eco-friendly Rainbow Loom alternatives.

Full disclosure: My kids have two Rainbow Looms, and they LOVE them. There are miniature rubber bands everywhere! Sometimes in the evening, my younger kid and I will hang out on my bed, watching YouTube tutorials and struggling our way through rubber band bouncy balls and keychains and hexfish bracelets.

So we’re not Rainbow Loom haters in our house, and yet… I do kind of hate them. Mind you, I can’t completely dislike anything that gets my kids creating, but there are SO many eco-friendly Rainbow Loom alternatives. There are SO many ways to make friendship bracelets that do not involve tiny rubber bands on my carpet, tiny rubber bands in my vacuum, tiny rubber bands in the trash, and therefore many, many, many tiny rubber bands all throughout our wastestream.

And that’s why, although I don’t want anyone to snatch Rainbow Looms out of the arms of their shrieking children, I do think that a kid who is obsessed with Rainbow Loom is a kid who would totally love being introduced to any of these fun and eco-friendly Rainbow Loom alternatives.

1. beaded ribbon braceletKids will enjoy braiding stash beads onto this ribbon bracelet, and they can alternate between wearing it as a necklace or as a wrap bracelet.

2. button braceletsA kid could have a fine time stitching stash buttons onto elastic to make these colorful bracelets.

3. easy friendship braceletIf you’re looking to make a traditional embroidery floss friendship bracelet, this is a great one to start with. It looks more complicated than it is!

4. finger knitting. You can make a bracelet using finger knitting, definitely, but once you know how, you’ll be surprised at all the other things that you can also make!

5. folded paper braceletsThis is a great one, because kids can recycle their finished artwork to make these bracelets.

6. friendship bracelet on a cardboard loomUpcycle a piece of cardboard into a loom to make weaving embroidery floss friendship bracelets even easier.

7. recycled weaving looms. If it’s the act of weaving that your kid likes, and not necessarily the friendship bracelets, then try out any of these recycled weaving looms for more fun experiences.

8. sailor’s knotYou can make this bracelet out of anything remotely string-like that you have around your house–think clothesline, fabric strips, plastic bag yarn, T-shirt yarn

9. soda bottle wireAn adult would definitely need to make this plastic wire, but a kid could craft with it.

10. T-shirt braceletsCut an old T-shirt into strips, and braid it into a friendship bracelet.

Does your kid have a favorite friendship bracelet craft that doesn’t involve teensy rubber bands? Tell me about it in the Comments below!

Photo credit: friendship bracelets image via Shutterstock

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.


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  1. Great take on alternatives, totally agree as a fellow parent. Have you seen adorance.com? A fellow parent shared them with me. Pretty clever and definitely requires little effort and no mess 😉

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