With the COVID-19 pandemic currently ongoing, many people around the world have been finding ways to occupy themselves during quarantine and self-isolation. But what do you do when you’ve baked enough homemade sourdough loaves to fill a bakery, or if you’re sick of knitting? Easy: try your hand at making Kandi!
Kandi, for those of you who may not know, are beaded bracelets that are traded between members of the EDM community. You’ve likely seen people at festivals exchanging them, as they copy each other in a handshake with a peace sign, a heart, then press their palms and clasp their hands to trade bracelets, all the while chanting “Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.” Kandi has become a symbol of the PLUR mentality and raves themselves, bearing bright colours and fun phrases that make it a joy to share. And since we’re all going to be stuck inside until further notice, now seems as good a time as any to get crafting!
This series will teach you the ins and outs of creating Kandi, from simple bracelets all the way up to masks and cuffs. So whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, let’s get geared up and be ready for that first rave back!
I’ve been raving for nearly five years now, and in that time I have amassed a decent Kandi collection. I’m by no means a master, but I’ve spent years watching tutorials, printing patterns, and threading countless beads on to hundreds if not thousands of strings, so I’m confident in my abilities to create fun pieces. And today, I’m going to walk you through the basics of what you’ll need to start creating amazing Kandi!
#1: String: A good foundation to any bracelet starts with the string you use. The first kind you’ll want to get is a stretchy elastic cord, like the white one I have above. Elastic cord is super stretchy and comfortable to wear, making it perfect for creating single-strand bracelets. The second kind you’ll need is a stretchy, plastic jewellery cord like the Stretch Magic brand I have here. Durable while still being strong, you’ll use this to build a solid foundation for all of your cuffs and masks. Plastic jewellery comes in varying degrees of thickness, but I’ve found that a one-millimetre thick string is ideal.
#2: Pony Beads: This is the most recognizable part of Kandi! Pony beads come in all kinds of colours and styles, from sparkly clear pink to black to gold and all the other colours of the rainbow. Pony beads can come in packs, tubs, or organizers, and can come in either a single colour or a varying assortment of them. You’ll use pony beads in everything, but they especially shine in the creation of masks and cuffs, as weaving them together with plastic jewellery cord will create something wearable and durable.
#3: Letter Beads: Letter beads are a must-have to jazz up single-strand bracelets! Adorning your Kandi with fun words really takes it up a notch. I’ve made bracelets for events where every one bore the title of a song by the artist I was seeing, and I’ve created bracelets for my friends with their names on it! Here’s a good tip for letter beads: Spend a few minutes separating the letter A, E, I, O, U, Y and R out from the rest of the beads and save them in a separate bag. Those letters always run out first and get gradually harder to find among all the other letters of the alphabet, so it pays off to have them easily accessible!
#4: Decorative Beads/Charms: These are any additional beads and string-able things that you might add to your single-strand Kandi to give it an extra boost, or as the perfect finishing touch to a cuff! Maybe you’ll add some flower beads to a “Fairy” bracelet, or attach a skull charm to a Halloween-themed cuff! I’ve even seen tiny stuffed animals attached to cuffs, or little packs of gum attached to bracelets. The possibilities are really endless!
#5: Perler Beads (Optional): This is if you really want to step up your Kandi game. Perler beads are very unique in the way that they are used. Instead of stringing them, you arrange Perler beads in a pattern on a pegboard, then iron over them to fuse them together, creating a unique design. Craft-savvy ravers will design symbols and charms and attach them to cuffs, bracelets, and necklaces, giving them a unique feel that’s really fun to see.
So there you have it, ravers! That’s everything you’ll need to start making heaps of Kandi. Next week, I’ll be teaching you the ins and outs of single-strand Kandi bracelets. PLUR and stay safe!
*Featured Image Via GloFX*