Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Weaving In and Out, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,200 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,226 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/Weaving In and Out Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge with Yours Truly and trustworthy sidekick, Piper, we got ourselves a pile of yarn. You don’t need a pile necessarily, but I had a sneaky plan to have some help unraveling my large ball of snarled fibers, and at the same time, I’d teach Pipes to make friendship bracelets.

photo by eef ink via

(Crafty is my middle name. Both definitions of the word.)

Andy was loitering hovering casually nearby, so we ended up including him in our badge-earning process. He feigned indifference—probably because he assumed bracelets were too girly for such a testosterone-fueled mancub—but he came around when he had the bright idea to make his in sports team colors.

First, we needed to learn to braid. Piper’s mom usually braided her locks for her, so she was as new to the concept as Andy was. We took three pieces of yarn that were a bit longer than what it would take to wrap around their respective wrists. Next, we used a piece of tape to anchor them to the table. (Don’t want tape marking up your table? They can also tape them to their own pant leg. Helpful hint from me to you.)

We braided and braided. It took a few trials and errors, but the whippersnappers got the hang of it pretty quickly. Before I knew it, there were braided “tails” all over my house, taped to just about everything. It looked like a strange crime scene of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only without any donkeys.

photo by Zervas via

Also, we were out of tape.

There were approximately enough bracelets to adorn the entire town, so we bundled up a few and braided them together. This brought our number down to a more manageable and less ridiculous amount. (Though if your town needs some accessories, let me know.)

My pile of snarled yarn had been unraveled alright, but it had dwindled to the size of a thimble. I braided my last friendship bracelet out of it and I think it really makes my nail polish pop, if I do say so myself.

photo by KnitSpirit via

Piper was so bejeweled with her fabulous bracelets that she looked a bit like an over-dressed Christmas tree, and Andy appeared to be a sports fan straight outta Woodstock (if there ever was such a thing). However, they were happy as clams, so I picked up the nearly 1,384,563.877 tiny snippets of yarn they had left behind in their efforts to achieve the perfect length, and called it a day.

Intermediate Level for this badge? Making more out of different materials, gifting them to friends, and also buying Auntie Jane a new roll of tape.

  1. Nielsen,Winifred T. says:

    These weaving projects with youngsters reminds me of making lanyards every summer at Girl Scout camp when we were in the senior scout group. It was where we hung our pocket knives for all the many camping projects that we were doing. I wish I still had one of the many that I made. Choosing the colors each year was the best part!

  2. Karlyne says:

    I could have used this over the weekend when we were all at the State Wrestling Championships – you know, the “hurry up and wait” venue. Two minute matches and six hours in between…

  3. Krista says:

    A few years back when I worked as a summer camp teacher for a day care, I had older school aged children and they loved making bracelets. We would have a quite time each day where they could do what they wanted as long as they kept lower voices and everyday that whole summer at least one of them was making a bracelet. They would make them out of many different things. I still have a bright pink and black one that was made for me.

  4. Lisa says:

    These are so cute. Here where I live, there is a group of “older” women who still practice the art of spinning and weaving (on an old spinning wheel and an large loom). While at a county fair last year, my little 11 (now 12) year old daughter was fascinated by this. Last month, she wanted to attend one their weaving meetings that they hold at the library each month. I could not attend with her that night, so my husband dropped her off. Not one woman was probably less than 70 years of age. He sent me a text message letting me know we might have to “rescue” her shortly. Previous to attending this meeting, she had weaved a cute little handbag with yarn on a small loom we had given her for Christmas. When she walked into that room, all of those wonderful women just complimented her and took her in. She stayed the whole time and wants us to get her a spinning wheel and loom and attends each month. Thank you for this post.

    • Karlyne says:

      I’m so happy for your daughter and the women she is friending – people are so age-segregated these days that youngsters don’t have much opportunity to learn from and enjoy their elders. I can see this continuing to be an absolute blessing for all of them!

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