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The Rainbow Loom is a LIAR


Let’s get the ChickieNob a rainbow loom.  Every freakin’ kid has one, and they all are wearing enormous quantities of rubber band bracelets made on said loom.  If she doesn’t learn how to make said bracelets, she won’t be able to reciprocate and give her friends bracelets in return.  That will upend the delicate balance in the elementary school universe.  World peace depends on the rainbow loom.

That was the thought that brought Josh and I to a craft store over the weekend to purchase said loom.  We looked at the price tag.  Are they serious?  $17 for a piece of clear plastic with spikes and what amounts to a crochet hook?  Another $4 for each set of rubber bands?  In my day, we had gum wrapper bracelets.  You know what we made them out of?  Trash.  You know how much trash costs?  Nothing.

But just as we were debating the worth of the rainbow loom, a little boy showed up at my elbow and informed me that rainbow looms are so cool and so easy to use.  Why was he telling me this?  I have no clue because never before has a random child walked up to me in a craft store and tried to convince me to make a purchase.  Which means that this child was probably employed by rainbow loom*.

But instead of realizing how odd it was that this beaming, clean-cut blond boy was telling a mother that he doesn’t know to purchase a rainbow loom, I instead chose to focus on the fact that even this random elementary-school aged child could master the loom.  If that boy could do it, my intelligent, creative, fun-loving daughter could certainly churn out dozens of knotted rubber bands.

We brought home said loom and waited a few days to give it to her.  I then slyly dropped into a conversation that I owned a rainbow loom.

“No, you don’t,” the ChickieNob scoffed.

“Yes, I do.”

“Then show it to me.”

The Wolvog followed along to see the outcome of said boasting, and the ChickieNob fell apart with happiness when I reached into my desk and pulled out her very own loom.

“Please, will you teach me how to do it tomorrow after school?”

Sure, sweetie, though the random child at the store could make them all by himself, so I’m sure you’ll be able to grasp the technique within minutes.  And then you’ll blissfully weave rubber bands together while I make dinner.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  In fact, I think I’ll make something really complicated with dinner such as homemade pita that requires me to time out each step perfectly.  That’s how much confidence I have in your ability to master this project.

Fast forward to the two girls, kicking back at the kitchen table, sorting the rubber bands into colours.  Just two intelligent ladies: one with a masters degree and the other in a high reading group**.  Two women who should under normal circumstances be able to follow simple directions.  Did I mention that on the other side of the kitchen, I was making pita bread?  As in, I was taking raw ingredients and churning out bread where moments earlier, there was no bread.  So I wasn’t that phased over the 16-steps that created one “easy” bracelet.

We did step one.  All was well.  We moved onto step two.  Again, everything was trucking along.  We got to the part where you have to start looping the bands with the crochet hook and all fell apart.  They would pop off the little plastic spikes.  We would try to slip them back into place.  We’d forget if they were supposed to be above or below the band next to it.  We would rip off all the bands and start over again.

We did this a few times.  We finally decided that the ChickieNob would do the first part, and I would do the second part, since she couldn’t wiggle the bands out without popping off the ones next to it.  I finally got the whole thing off the loom, and the ChickieNob slipped the enormous rubber band bracelet onto her tiny wrist.  So proud of herself that it would break your heart.  Our bread somewhat underbaked since I had to take it out early so I could get back to the freakin’ loom.

Will we get better at it?  I’m sure we will.  I’m sure I’ll be shelling out $4 for bags of colourful rubber bands for the rest of my life.  Or, at least, until this fad dies.

Did I mention, kids, that we used trash to make our friendship bracelets?  Inexpensive trash.  And we got to chew the gum to boot.

* Now upon reflection, the boy’s arm was in a sling.  This was probably an undisclosed rainbow loom injury.  Rainbow loom elbow.

** I will concede that despite the advance degree, I did once forget to pack pants.  So your experience with the loom may vary from mine.


1 Heather { 10.03.13 at 7:51 am }

I’ve been hearing about these rainbow looms, but had no idea what it was. So thanks for schooling me. ;-). Back in my day (waaayyy back in the mid 80s) we ad friendship bracelets made from tying knots in embroidery floss. Which couldn’t have been a cheap way to go either but I wouldn’t know because it was impossible for a lefty to make one without turning it into a twisted mess. Alas I went on to get a masters degree as well, so no harm done. 🙂

2 darcie { 10.03.13 at 8:25 am }

ah, that damn loom. We bought one for our daughter who turns 8 tomorrow – she doesn’t know it yet, except that she does. We went to a tutorial at OUR local craft store last weekend, to watch them easily create wonderful masterpieces on this magical, can’t use the coupon that comes in the paper every single week, on this overpriced item. The craft store associate? She couldn’t do it! She kept blaming it on the fact that they use and reuse and use and reuse the same rubber bands, and they are all stretched out…or something.
Looks like I’m going to have a great weekend of bracelet making ahead of me…I hope there are no tears…from me!

3 KeAnne { 10.03.13 at 8:55 am }

What happened to the looms to make pot holders? I made dozens of misshapen pot holders that were perfect to use as coasters.

4 ANDMom { 10.03.13 at 10:19 am }

I remember those KeAnne and they’re on my list to get my (then) 6 year olds for Christmas this year. And you know .. you can totally make bracelets from those loops too, using your fingers as the loom. That don’t look much different than these so-called rainbow loom bracelets really. And headbands, and other such things.

5 Kasey { 10.03.13 at 11:17 am }

I didn’t realize the craze of these bracelets until I went to accupuncture last week and Dr Dominic looked at my wrist and said- “I see they got you too..”

Uhh what got me? Huh. Then I realized I was wearing the bracelets that my coworkers daughter had made me. LOL.

6 Geochick { 10.03.13 at 11:58 am }

What happened to friendship pins? You know, a few heads and a safety pin? Oh, there I go dating myself. That being said, this is hilarious. Will the fad last long enough to master the loom, I wonder?

7 Geochick { 10.03.13 at 11:59 am }

Beads, not “heads”. Yeesh

8 Wendy { 10.03.13 at 12:22 pm }

We have one-and I wear the outcome…because what else do you do with so many of them? I have been approached in the grocery store, at a 5K, and the playground by random little-people strangers wearing them, asking if I want to trade. What happened to stranger danger? All is well if you have the bracelet, apparently.

9 suzanne perryman { 10.03.13 at 1:12 pm }

Hey! met you at blogger- love ur blog. Yes, I totally cajoled my 13 yo- you tube and pause buttons got us through. 3 weeks later and I just got my internet delivery of GLOW IN THE DARK halloween colors and pink glitter rubberbands. It’s a cool craze- fun too! lol

10 JustHeather { 10.03.13 at 2:09 pm }

I’m with Heather and Geochick: embroidery floss friendship bracelets and friendship pins! Hmm, I should make some of each again. 🙂

11 Catwoman73 { 10.03.13 at 2:27 pm }

Lol… thank you for the laugh- I needed that today! We used to use a thread spool with finishing nails in the top, and a sharp pencil to accomplish the same thing.

@Geochick- I totally remember friendship pins! I LOVED friendship pins!

12 Wolfers { 10.03.13 at 7:03 pm }

A cousin’s daughter had a rainbow loop at the family reunion; her mom and she got it that day- so they were excited. The niece ran off to play with kids, while the mother and I tried to figure out the instructions with the rainbow loop. You’d think we’d figure it all out, two adults.

We failed miserably.

The niece came back, and skillfully made several bracelets as we watched on.

I still stick to friendship bracelets (braided), friendship pins and friendship snapbracelets, thankyouverymuch! 😀

13 robin { 10.03.13 at 7:53 pm }

My 8 year old nephew has one of these and spends hours and hours making things for everyone. He LOVES it. I think it’s interesting so many kids are into it, with so much technology and gaming available it’s still so engaging to do something like this. (I used to make my friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss… so, still kind of expensive, but there was no other equipment to buy besides a safety pin.)

14 persnickety { 10.03.13 at 8:00 pm }

oh wow. I can see what will be the thing mid next year here in Oz. Will have to order ahead of time for various small people.

I remember the days of friendship bracelets out of embroidery thread- and as a right hander, snarly mess ensued. There was apparently a technique, but i never got it.
Mollie makes had an issue with several designs http://www.molliemakes.com/people/mollie-makes-meets-oh-so-pretty/
but i have yet to make them- even the easy peasy fabric through chain links.

15 Justine { 10.03.13 at 9:22 pm }

My son has been pining away for one of these for months. He wears bracelets his friends and babysitters have made, and tugs at my sleeve when we pass one. But he already owns a potholder loom, and sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough start crying. I was thinking about getting him one of these for Christmas, but … maybe not. (We never used gum wrappers, but we did make friendship PINS out of safety pins and beads. And wore them on our shoes.)

16 Queenie { 10.03.13 at 10:10 pm }

The pants story is priceless.

I once forgot to pack underwear on a business trip to a rural location without any stores.

17 Amy { 10.04.13 at 10:12 pm }

youtube has some great videos that have really helped dorothy make bracelets with hers. she actually whipped out about 16 of them last sunday morning to give out at her birthday party

I miss those friendship pins. they’d look great on my running shoes.

18 loribeth { 10.05.13 at 12:50 pm }


I never heard of these (but then, I am not the mother of an 8 year old girl). 😉 We did have something similar when I was a kid, though — sort of like a big spool with nails on it & you used a little tool to loop yarn over the nails. It would form a big long wool tube. We dragged them out again when we were teenagers… my sister made this huge long tube with hers that looked like a snake. She stuffed it with pantyhose, sewed on buttons for eyes and looped it over the headboard on her bed. She called hers Johnny Rotten & my girlfriend made one that she called Sid Vicious, lol. I haven’t thought about this in years — thanks for the memory!

19 loribeth { 10.05.13 at 12:51 pm }

P.S. We used to use pop can tabs to make chain belts.

20 Tiffany { 10.06.13 at 2:37 am }

I guess I’m a little over the target audience (high school) where I had to Google rainbow loom because I’d never heard of it before, but it’s definitely a fun thing to try. I find the YouTube tutorials easier to follow, but not from the Rainbowloom company, they don’t have quite as clear instructions as others I’ve seen.

21 FKA Denver Laura { 10.08.13 at 10:19 pm }

Yeah, I am of the friendship pin and bracelet generation. As far as the bread, you should try the crusty bread. OMG I have abused this bread, even at high altitude (i.e. mile high city) and it still came out perfectly… http://www.simplysogood.com/2010/03/crusty-bread.html
Not getting paid for it, but wish I was…

22 Martha { 12.03.13 at 11:58 am }

I am hooked on these bands and have fun and relax making them I got lucky and found a loom for 5 bucks and sale on bands themself. before loom i used thumbtacks and a fork also a crochet hook

23 Whitney { 05.25.14 at 6:20 pm }

I’m way older than the target audience (22) but I actually really enjoy making bracelets on my loom. It’s really relaxing to me. I learn how to make different kinds on youtube. Once you do a few it’s really easy. I’m actually making a rainbow loom purse right now.

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