Add Pony Beads to Rainbow Loom

Pony Beads with Rainbow LoomHere is another way to incorporate metallic gold and silver colors into your Rainbow Loom creations – pony beads!  You can find this type of bead in the kids beading section at Michaels.  This type of bead is actually very easy to work into just about any type of Rainbow Loom creation.  Simply thread a rubber band through a bead BEFORE you put it onto the loom pegs.   In the picture you can see two charms which can be strung onto a necklace cord.  The bracelet on the left is a triple single with some beads added into the middle strand.  The bracelet on the right is also a triple single but with a starbust in the middle.

The links below will provide all the information you need to make these designs:

Incorporating beads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iHhDN5pnB_4

Triple single: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Xa8WQdPEXq0

Starbust:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=RI7AkI5dJzo

Beaded flower charm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=TopePUys6BM

Here I am with Rainbow Loom creations with beadsthe beaded Rainbow Loom flower charm and beaded Rainbow Loom bracelet.

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Top 5 Reasons Why Rainbow Loom is Great for Kids

MICHAELS STORES, INC. RAINBOW LOOM1. Helps with Hand Writing.  Handwriting efficiency requires a mastery of multiple skills, including hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity.  When looping the bands on a Rainbow Loom, the hook is held the same way as a pencil (with the thumb and first two fingers).  Using this pencil grasp helps develop and improve the fine motor skills which are critical for success in school.   When children have better small muscle control they are able to focus more on the content of their handwriting rather than the mechanics.  Children who are able to write quickly and confidently will find it easier to take accurate notes, complete school assignments, and finish timed tests.

2. Develops Appreciation for Giving.  The Rainbow Loom makes it easy to share a little happiness with others.  Children can make a bracelet in five or ten minutes and give it to their friends or family members.  Research has shown that people feel happier after doing kind deeds for others.  Giving activates parts of your brain associated with pleasure and trust, and it promotes social connections.  When Rainbow Loom catches on in a group you can see the ripple effect of generosity.  To read more about the benefits of altruism, check out this link: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/altruism/definition

3. Promotes Spatial/Pattern Skills.  Rainbow Loom involves lots of colors, patterns, and shapes.  The skills used in making a Rainbow Loom creation are the same skills used when reading a map, following instructions, arranging a room, creating an architectural masterpiece, or analyzing the stock market.  These skills of spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, matching, logic, and construction are key inputs into future math and science success.

4. Builds Confidence.  For a young child, it may take a few tries to get comfortable using the Rainbow Loom.  My seven-year-old got frustrated the first couple times he used it.  But now he knows he can do it.  Rainbow Loom is great for helping kids improve their perserverance and confidence.  It boosts self-esteem and creativity.

5. Hours of Focused Fun.  The Rainbow Loom is seriously addictive.  It is an awesome activity to help increase a child’s attention span and ability to focus.  Plus kids LOVE it!

Rainbow Loom is sold at most Michaels stores. There is also a new Rainbow Loom book that you can buy online.  https://books.michaels.com/rainbow

To learn more about why the Rainbow Loom is beneficial for kids, check out this article from a pediatric occupational therapist: http://macandtoys.blogspot.com/2013/08/rainbow-brights.html

Michaels Rainbow Loom book

All About the Hook

hook2

hold the Rainbow Loom hook like a pencil

Who knew that a simple hook could do so much? The most important thing you need to know about the Rainbow Loom hook is how best to hold it. It will be much easier to use the Rainbow Loom if you hold the hook just like a pencil.  This is one reason the RL is a great item for young kids, because it helps them develop and improve their pencil grasp.

hook4

pull the hook up through the center/inside of the pin

The next thing you need to know is how to best utilize the curved pegs (or pins) on the loom.  In most patterns, it is easiest to bring the hook up through the ‘inside’ of the curve, like shown here.  The unique shape of the pins is what makes the Rainbow Loom much easier to use than some of the ‘knock-off’ products.

hook4

Rainbow Loom hook and ordinary crochet hook

Rainbow Loom hook parking spot

Rainbow Loom hook parking spot

The third thing to know about the Rainbow Loom hook is how awesome it is! This is not just an ordinary crochet hook, it is a four-in-one marvel. Here are the key features of the hook:

    1. The hook part is what you use to actually grab the rubber bands (yes, that one is obvious).
      2. The tapered wider part lets you temporarily ‘park’ a partially completed Rainbow Loom creation until you can either put on your C clip or attach to the next part of your creation.  Notice how it is shaped with an edge toward the hook side so that the bands will stay on more easily.
hook with mini loom cover

hook with mini loom cover

3. The larger end is perfectly shaped to help you take apart the loom itself.  Check out my other post at rainbow-loom-square-position/  to see what I’m talking about.

4. The wider end of the tapered part has an edge that helps it fit perfectly and solidly into the blue cover.  This cover even has multiple purposes.  It helps keep your hook from getting broken or from poking someone, and it can be used on its own to create Rainbow Loom bracelets.

3-Pin Fishtail Necklace Pendant

Here is my latest creation. This pattern is called a 3 Pin Fishtail. I made the bracelet first using black and 2 colors of purple. Then I wanted a necklace to match, but I didn’t want to make that long of a Rainbow Loom fishtail. So, I got the idea to just make a short fishtail and loop it into a pendant. I put the mini-fishtail onto a basic black cord and knotted that to a ‘lobster clasp’.
3 pin fishtail rainbow loom pendant necklace

 

You can learn how to make the 3 Pin Fishtail pattern here:

You can buy the cord and lobster clasp at Michaels in the jewelry making section. Michaels has cords with the clasps already attached or you can buy the specific type of cord and clasps you want. Here’s a quick definition of a lobster clasp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobster_clasp

Have a great DIY day!

Colors of the Rainbow Loom

OK, maybe I have some obsessive tendencies. I have made the standard bracelet in over 20 different colors – almost every color of Rainbow Loom band that Michaels sells now.  If you are wondering what all the colors are, check this out:

colors of Rainbow Loom bands
colors of Rainbow Loom bands

From left to right the colors are:

  1. Grey
  2. Glow-in-the-Dark white
  3. Burgandy / Maroon
  4. Fuchsia
  5. Red
  6. Pink
  7. Orange
  8. Caramel
  9. Yellow
  10. Transparent Yellow (see-through)
  11. Olive Green
  12. Neon Green
  13. Dark Green
  14. Teal
  15. Transparent Teal (see-through)
  16. Ocean Blue
  17. Transparent Blue (see-through)
  18. Navy Blue
  19. Transparent Purple (see-through)
  20. Purple
  21. White
  22. Black

I think I am missing  lime green, turquoise, neon orange, and maybe a transparent green. I hereby challenge you to make 20+ bracelets, each in a different color.  Do you accept the Rainbow Loom color challenge?

You may be wondering, “Did she spell #4 correctly?”.   I did my research on this one.  http://petscribbles.blogspot.com/2012/02/is-it-fuchsia-or-fuschia.html

      Rainbow Loom square position
standard

Standard loom position

When you get a Rainbow Loom, it comes in the ‘standard’ configuration.  In this position the middle column of pegs is shifted so it sticks down one notch at the end with the red arrow.  The basic pattern is made using this configuration.
There is another way to set up your loom which will allow you to make other patterns.

 

Use the other end of the hook to take loom apart

Use other end of hook to help take loom apart

To change the loom position, first turn it over and use the other end of the hook (yes – it is multi-purpose!) to help loosen the blue sections from the clear peg sections.  You don’t need to take the blue parts completely out, just loosen them a bit so that you can lift out the middle column of pegs.  Shift the middle column of pegs so that it is in line with the outer columns.

 

Rainbow Loom square position

Rainbow Loom square position

Look at the 3rd picture to see what the Rainbow Loom should look like in the square configuration.  Notice that the columns are evenly alligned so the overall shape is square.  The pegs all face the same direction – that is, the peg grooves all are turned the same way.

 

Rainbow Loom parts

Rainbow Loom parts

You can completely take apart the loom, and you will end up with 6 parts.  There are the 3 columns of pegs, 2 small blue pieces, and 1 big blue piece.  For certain types of patterns, if you want to make them very long they can be made more easily by connecting two looms end to end.  You can use the big blue piece to bridge two sets of peg columns together.

Happy Looming!

gold jewelry rainbow loom DIY necklace bracelet

Adding GOLD to Rainbow Loom

I wanted to match a shirt that was black and gold and none of the Rainbow Loom colors seemed right. So, I just added my own gold necklace and bracelet.  This is a basic/standard Rainbow Loom chain.  Afterwards I just weaved/threaded the gold chain through each loop by hand.  This works best with a necklace that is big enough to put on without stretching.  I really like the way it turned out.

add gold jewelry to rainbow loom