Ring for Friendship, Arty Smarty: Friendship Bells

The concept for International Friendship Day was originated in 1930 by Joyce Clyde Hall, the founder of Hallmark, the greeting card company. It took many years, but 30 July was finally designated as the International Day of Friendship by the United Nations, and countries are encouraged to observe this day in accordance with the culture and customs of the community. In Singapore, the celebration of International Friendship Day is dedicated to the understanding of Singapore’s relations with neighbouring countries and beyond (learning about the traditional games, food, common greetings, and the Do’s and Don’ts of cultural practices in other countries).

I remember how excited I was every Friendship Day when I was in Primary school. This meant that I could make Friendship Bands to give my friends as an acknowledgement of friendship. Friendship bands come in many colours and designs, and I was happy to make and/or receive them. Which gives me the idea for our Arty Smarty post this month: Let’s make hand bells and ring for friendship!

Friendship Bells


2 metres of suede cord (or ribbons/strings, if you wish. Different textures are a treat for tiny hands. Since we celebrate Singapore’s birthday this month, I decided to use the colours red and white)

Thin clear tape

Empty roll of double-sided tape (Another great way to recycle! I used the thin roll of tape I was done with)

Bells (any number of bells you can tolerate)



1 Use the clear tape to go around the cardboard roll. The thinner the tape, the less excess you have to cover when going around the curves. The tape also helps to laminate and give some protection to the cardboard roll, in case of any wet incidents (Yum Yum!)

2 Tape down the cords, to make braiding easier.

3 Using the video as a guide, the red (left) goes over the cardboard roll, and then under, and through the hole on the left. Pull to tighten. As this cord is a bit squarish, it will look more aesthetically pleasing to adjust the cord as you work, such that the patterns will look more uniform, and not twisted. Do the same for the white (right) cord; over, under and then through the same side. Red-white makes one set.

4 I roughly gauged the spacing for my 6 bells (after leaving enough space for holding it), and decided to put a bell on every 5th red pattern. It is the same technique for the braiding, just that you add the bell before braiding. As you tighten the pattern, adjust the bell such that it sits right on top of the cardboard roll. Finish the set with the white cord.

5 Continue the patterns until you have gone around the cardboard roll.

It is much easier to start off with a long cord (at least you can just trim off any excess). My 90 cm cord was not long enough to complete the patterns around the cardboard roll. So what I did was to tuck the next length of cords under the inner patterns, and then continue the braiding. Another benefit of starting with a long cord is so there would not be a break in pattern.

6 Remember the beginning cord you taped in Step 2? When you have come around almost to the other end, take out the tape, and tuck the beginning cords behind (along the inner side of the cardboard roll). Ensure the beginning cords are tucked under as you continue braiding.

7 When you have covered the entire cardboard roll, tie a knot on the inner side of the cardboard roll. Leave about 3 cm of cord, and trim off the excess.

8 Use a pin to help you tuck the remaining cords into the underside patterns of the cardboard roll.


There you go! Be Arty Smarty, and go creative with the colours, type of bells, type of cardboard rolls, and type of friendship band designs! You can get more ideas or test out other styles with hobbycraft’s How To Make Friendship Bracelets.

I would like to see how you have made your Friendship Bells, or other musical instruments! Remember to tag us on Instagram #BloomSchoolDIY, or you can email your pictures to denise-yong@outlook.sg

Do you know that our young students get to interact with bells in Bloom School of Music & Arts‘ very own Tutti Tots programme? We are also very thrilled to share that we have partnered with The Wonderful Musician to boost your child’s musical learning journey in the second half of the year! Click on the links to read more about the programme, or fill up this interest form with the quote REFXDENISE in the description, and we will get back to you.

Let Bloom School of Music & Arts support your children’s musical journey!