If your child is not yet pestering you to buy tiny and colourful rubber bands, it’s only a matter of time. The Rainbow Loom trend is sweeping the world.
The brainchild of an inventor from Michigan, USA, the Rainbow Loom is essentially a plastic pegboard, a bag of coloured bands and a hook. It’s sold over 1.2 million units so far and spawned many imitations.
The kit is able to be used by children as young as three to make endless varieties of bracelets, charms and other jewellery. If you can’t get your hands on a loom, it’s possible to make the simpler designs just using your fingers.
Parents love the toy for its relatively inexpensive price and the way it fosters creativity.
Kids love it because it’s fun, functional and they can swap bracelets with their friends.
Original Rainbow Loom kits can be ordered from Rainbowloom.net.au or bought from Spotlight, Toyworld and other selected retailers. Unofficial looms and bands can be found in craft and discount stores. Kits should contain a loom, packets of elastic bands, and a hook.
Organise your bands first so it’s easy to find the right colour when you need it. I like this compartment organiser from Bunnings. You can just remove the colour compartments you are working with for each project.
Our family found that the easiest way to learn was by watching YouTube videos. There are thousands to explore, but here are our picks of the best video tutorials for popular bracelet designs.
The fishtail bracelet
A simple and attractive design, this bracelet is easily made on fingers. We like the tutorial by AshleySteph.
The Single band bracelet
Also knon as the Goosey Loosey, this is the stepping stone to most tricker bands like the Ladder or Starburst. Watch this tutorial by Mastermind Toys.
Circle of Hearts bracelet
Using a technique similar to that of the Fishtail bracelet, the Circle of Hearts is a sweet friendship bracelet featuring "hearts" all the way around. Watch a tutorial by Loom Love.
Rainbow ladder bracelet
The kids might have to enlist mum or dad's help with this one, but it doesn't take too long to produce a very impressive bracelet. Loomenade shows us how it is done.
Rainbow Loom Raindrops bracelet
Another intermediate project, the raindrops bracelet looks very stylish - and deceptively simple. See how it's done with Rainbow Loom.
The Starburst bracelet
Every kid wants a starburst bracelet. Single band bracelets border a chain of starbursts - be careful not to drop a loop! Youtube star Ashley Steph takes us through it.
Snake Belly bracelet
It's been called the hardest loom band bracelet of all. Designed by Jace at Justin's Toys, it takes an hour, 300 bands and a bucket full of patience to complete. Watch the 24-minute video tutorial from Justin's Toys.