Gifted by: Style Me Up!
Reviewed by: Dana Byerwalter, Editor, AllFreeJewelryMaking.com
Get acquainted with the i-loom, a stunning friendship bracelet-making kit combining a traditional childhood hobby with modern technology. Designed for the iPad, this innovative product from Style Me Up! takes you "beyond bracelet making".
Acquiring an i-loom starter kit is the first step towards joining an entire community of bracelet makers and creating any friendship bracelet imaginable! Equipped with five starter bracelet patterns, the i-loom app enables kids and adults alike to learn the basics before advancing to more complex patterns.
The i-loom Starter Pack includes six spools of thread, five bracelet locks, eighteen spool tags, the actual i-loom device, and access to the premium app. The directions for setting up the i-loom and downloading the app are easy for any iPad owner. The first step is creating an account complete with username, photo, and wrist size (you can change the wrist size anytime). The app enables you to create multiple accounts; for example, three siblings can have separate accounts with one device. Once you've created your account, you can begin making friendship bracelets!
After setting up an account, you are immediately let to a series of tutorials for using the i-loom and making a basic candy stripe friendship bracelet. I love that this kit comes with two loose strands of string for following the tutorial; that way, you don't waste spools of thread on simply learning how to use the loom. The colors in the animation coordinate with the colors used to make your bracelet, so no confusion there! The kit also comes with numbered spool tags which are perfect for keeping track of what strings you should be knotting. This is particularly handy with patterns that use twelve, fourteen, or even sixteen strings!
This device is absolutely perfect for a novice friendship bracelet maker like me. The tutorials are so clear to follow! From setting up the physical i-loom device to following the animated instructions, making friendship bracelets with this product is a breeze. As with any skill, it certainly takes practice! As you can see below, I certainly need to work on my technique, but following the instructions is simple and with a little more practice I'm confident I could get those knots tightened perfectly.
A feature of the i-loom app that appeals to me is the little question mark in the upper lefthand corner. Here you can update your profile, edit your settings (such as animation speed), and most importantly, rewatch videos. The i-loom not only includes the animated steps as you create bracelets, but video tutorials as well. Watch a real pair of hands complete a particular type of knot, and rewatch as many times as necessary to get the technique down pat.
Once you've learned the basic bracelet skills including starting a pattern, moving through the steps, and finishing off (in one of three ways!), you can move on to more complex patterns. The i-loom includes a few more challenging patterns than your basic candy stripe or chevron, and as you complete patterns you unlock more and more. While you knot, you earn credits called loomies towards your next pattern. You can also download patterns from a community of friendship bracelet makers! Sort by newest patterns, most popular, and more. The color combinations as well as the difficulty level mean there is no end to the variety of friendship bracelets you can design and make.
The more bracelets you make, the more you can unlock in the i-loom app. Earn rewards to access new patterns and complete challenges to collect badges! The community as well as the video tutorials really set the i-loom kit apart from a standard bracelet making kit. Affordable, engaging, and so much fun, the i-loom Starter Pack is an absolute must for tweens and DIY lovers alike!
Did you make friendship bracelets as a kid? What was your favorite design to make?