Friday, July 2, 2010

Great Summer Activity-Boondoggle

boondoggle a
I grew up making things like boondoggle and friendship bracelets in the summer.  I can’t believe I haven’t done this before with my children.  I grew up calling this boondoggle.  However, it is also known as plastic lacing or scoubidou.boondoggle m
This has been an amazing summer for us so far!  I love having so much time with my kids.  Last night I had a house full of giggling kiddos because we had a sleepover.  As a parent, nothing is better than giggling happy children!  LOVE IT! 

Well, I busted out the boondoggle last night and was so surprised that my youngest daughter found it so easy!
boondoggle l
Here she is working on her boondoggle creation.  I showed her how to one knot and off she went!  I was just going to have them do the simple square.  However, she saw I was turning in mine and wanted to try it.  She adapted to this with no problem as well!
boondoggle c
Here are the four variations that were worked on last night.  I love the color combinations that they each chose!
Here is the basics of how to make boondoggle:
I think that looking at my pictures will be more helpful than my directions! ;)
Cut two long strips of the plastic, which is called gimp.  We chose lengths of 30” and our boondoggle turned out about 3”.
At the halfway point of each strip you overlap them in a +. 
Bring your gimp that was going up and bring it down.  You want to make a loop of it.  Then, take the gimp that was going down and bring it up, again making another loop.  Hold the end that’s at top with your pointer finger and the end that’s now on the bottom with your thumb.  This frees up your other hand to do the next steps.  Refer to the picture above.
boondoggle i
Now you will move your sides to the opposite side.  You are going to weave your sides through your loops going over the first loop and under the second one.  This is the same on both sides.  Again refer to the picture above.
boondoggle k
Now you can let go of your gimp and pull the knot tight.  I pull two strands in one hand and two in the other.  Then, I alternate the two strands that each hand is holding and pull again.  You want this knot tight. 
Repeat these steps over and over again to finish the whole project up.  For a uniform look make sure to keep your gimp straight and don’t let it have a twist in it.  Also make sure to pull all the knots uniformly tight.  You will see if one section was not pulled as tight as the others.  I have heard you can pull too tight on this plastic and it will break.  However, I haven’t had a problem with this.
     boondoggle h
Are you ready for a variation?  Lets do the spiral now!
You are going to do the same basic thing of making two loops and then weaving in the side loops.  However, instead of making the top (right) loop come straight down and the bottom (left) loop go straight up you are going to make the loops diagonally. 
See the top gimp is to the right of the one going down?  Well when you form the loop bring the gimp to the left of the bottom gimp.
boondoggle g
Next, you will take your bottom gimp that was on the left of the top one and when you bring it up to make your second loop you are going to cross diagonally over and to the right of your top gimp. 
Notice they aren’t crossing each other.
boondoggle f
You will weave your side weaves the same way you made your top and bottom loops. 
Your gimp on the right side is below the left gimp.  So you will weave your right gimp over and under the loops, but you will want your gimp to end up above the left gimp.  See the above picture.
boondoggle e
Now you will take your left gimp and weave it over and under the loops, but you will want your gimp to end up below your right gimp.  See the above picture.
Finish off by pulling this knot tight as you did with the straight square knot.  If you continue this you will have created a spiral design.  You can switch back and forth between knots in your design for whatever look you want to achieve.
      boondoggle d
Here are our two finished boondoggles so far!  However, as I’m typing this up the other two are being finished up and we are starting up some harder designs.  There are tons of different knots out there to try.  I looked through a bunch of kits at the stores and really did not care for their directions.  The best directions for more complicated knots that I have found is at Boondoggleman.   His site has wonderful directions with pictures and a large variety of knots to try!

boondoggle b
How cute are they?  My kids love putting things like this on their backpacks so I’m sure this is where they will end up.  We will be going on a big (for us) vacation this summer with the kids (4 days in the car) and I had planned on breaking out the boondoggle for our road trip.  However, I’m so glad that I broke this out earlier as these giggly kids just loved it!  Now I wont be trying to explain how to do this at rest stops on the road!  I’m sure we will come home with lots more of these to show everyone!
I told a few friends that we were making boondoggle and they had never heard of it.  Have you?  I thought everyone grew up doing this at summer camp!  I’d love to hear everyone else’s ideas of if they did this or what are the other activities that they did as a child, during the summers, to keep them occupied!

This was a must do summer activity for us!  All five children from ages 5-12 gave it a thumbs up! ;)


Linking to the following parties:  Life as Lori, KoJo Designs, Fingerprints on the Fridge, ABC and 123,


The Preppy Strawberry said...

What great memories! I used to make these at Camp every summer!! Thanks for sharing - have a Happy 4th of July!

Melissa said...

I've only ever made these with ribbon. How old is your youngest?

Crafty Mom said...

Summer camp memories flooding back, for sure! Thanks for sharing. I don't think I could have remembered how to make those bracelets without your refresher! We called it "gimp". I like Boondoggle better!

Anonymous said...

In the foggy back roads of my memory, I seem to remember these! But I never tried to make one.

However! While I was trying to learn to make a wheat spiral the other day, I accidentally made something that looks surprisingly like these. So, knowing how much you love wheat ornaments, if I ever figure out how I did it - I will let you know!

Sparkling Adventures said...

My oldest is five... do you think she would be too young to pick it up?

Marie said...

We make these all the time with the kids at school, along with fuse beads and friendship bracelets. We call them lanyards here. =) Glad to hear you guys are having a great summer!

Sarah Rainbolt said...

There's a simple bracelette using gimp and I fin no how to's online, I don't know the name of the knot but it was the first I learned at camp. Anyhow you take 2 loops one goes in the other and then you pull the tail end of the loop you passed throiugh then make a new loop with the string pass it through the other loop and pull the tal of that loop again and it goes loolp through loop until the end... do you have a good how to on hoiw to start this sort and the name?

Team Tindle said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I made these with the kids to hold their library cards. Big hit. I added a link to my blog, you can find it here Thanks again! LT

Amanda said...

Love this, what a great tutorial!

I run Fun Family Crafts, a site similar in nature to Craftgawker and Spotlight, but different in that it's a library of craft tutorials geared only at kids. I would love it if you'd stop by and submit this to be featured! (I link to you, I don't post your tutorial on the site) Feel free to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like!

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

I don't know what it's called but I just made one for my 8 year old. Very easy to do. Remembered how from my childhood

Unknown said...

I don't know what it's called but I just made one for my 8 year old. Very easy to do. Remembered how from my childhood