Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rainbow Loom Craze

The Rainbow Loom has finally hit our area! I may be a little older than the other enthusiasts for this neat toy, but it reminded me of a something I played with when I was younger, so I had to try it out. I was not disappointed...for the most part. What I found disappointing was that there weren't readily available, easy to follow, non-video directions to be had, especially for the more complex bracelets. Also, I am not a big fan of the c or s clips used to close the bracelets (I have a solution for that though, which I'll share later!)

Now, I like to craft, and when I do, I go crazy making sure that I have as many colors and styles available, but I absolutely hate to pay full price or miss out on paying a cheaper price just because I didn't check another store. Just ask my husband about my craft cupboards, closet full of yarn or my totes of pony beads...or how giddy I get when I find good coupons! Though I'm not against online shopping, I definitely have a "want it now" mentality, so shopping online doesn't work very well for me.

So, checking around my area, Michael's is the only one currently carrying the official Rainbow Loom and they seem to be having a hard time keeping it on the shelves. JoAnn is carrying the Larose rubber band bracelet maker and I saw that Wal-Mart is starting to sell their version online called the Wonder Loom, so that will probably be in stores soon. Once you have the loom, you need the rubber bands which can be pricey if you have an active loomer. JoAnn is doing their best to compete by carrying a larger variety of the rubber bands for a cheaper price ($1.99 for 500 of the regular colors and $2.99 for 500 of the specialty ones, ie., glow-in-the-dark, glitter, tye-dye, striped, etc.) I've been able to find the rubber bands at other stores too, like Books-a-Million ($3.99 for 500) and the Dollar Tree ($1 for 100). By far, the cheapest place I've found them is Sally's Beauty Supply (and Walgreens) which sells them as hair rubber bands, not loom toys, which makes them a steal at $1.79 for 500. Now they have a little different texture, but they are not the cheap plastic ones that have become popular for hair. I found them at Sally's in neon (pink, green, yellow, blue), black and brown. I was pretty excited about the brown too, since it wasn't the norm. 

In the spirit of keeping costs low, I was pretty annoyed that Michael's wasn't accepting any coupons on the Rainbow Loom or the rubber bands, but I could maybe see why since they seemed to help take the toy mainstream when it was only doing so-so at the Learning Express stores. So, I blew that annoyance away, particularly since there is also a JoAnn's in town and I could get the rubber bands cheaper and I could use coupons!...but just 3 days ago, JoAnn established their no coupon use policy on their looms or the rubber bands. Booo to you, JoAnn! At least I had stocked up a bit before this went into effect, saving a little bit of money.

At the beginning of the post, I said a had a better way to close the bracelets and I think I do. I haven't seen any other examples of this on the web, yet. Now, I have seen that people have been adding charms, beads or other things to fancy up the bracelets, but they still have that c/s clip which I think cheapens the whole bracelet. (Can one cheapen a bracelet made of rubber bands?) 

I have found a way to use a button as a closure on just about every bracelet (I haven't tried the hexafish, but I'm sure I could make it work) completely eliminating the c/s clip and making the bracelet seem less like a kid's toy and more like something an adult could wear. And let's face it, you know your kids are making these for you to wear, so why not upgrade it to something you would wear all on your own!

This is the direction for a fish tail bracelet using a button closure:

(1) Using  a crochet hook
(3) Finished
(2) Using string
1. You need to find a button you like and decide on your design. This button has a circle shank on the back which makes it easy to thread the rubber band through, which is what you need to do first. If you have a hard time getting the rubber band through, try using a small gauge steel crochet hook to pull the rubber band through (1) or you can loop a piece of string through the rubber band (2) and then thread the string though the shank pulling the rubber band through that way. This button has a large hole so I didn't need to use a hook or string, but with other buttons, it's a lifesaver. Once you are finished, it should look like the picture in (3).

(4) How to place on the loom
First few steps
2. Now you need to add the button to the loom (4). On a normal fish tail bracelet, you would take the first rubber band and make a figure 8 with it. Adding the rubber band with button eliminates the need to do that. Now you add your next two rubber bands on top and complete a normal fish tail bracelet.

(5) Wrap the rubber band around the button
3. Now you simply remove the last rubber band from the loom and wrap it around the button like it's shown in (5).

Doesn't this look great? No cheap looking c/s clip! It stays closed and the possibilities are endless with the types of buttons that are available to use. 

That's all I have for now, but I will get another post made using buttons with holes and the different ways to attach them to bracelets. I also have a couple of bracelet ideas I haven't seen used before, so keep coming back to check for more!


  1. neat idea! buttons instead of loom clips! i shared this on FB and Google+

    1. Thank you! I just think it makes them look so much cuter and using buttons makes the possibilities endless on how to dress it up. :)

  2. I have just become addicted to making these bands. My daughter received a loom for Christmas (not the adjustable) and we just decided to try it out last weekend. I'm hooked! I love this idea, and as a craftaholic I have a stash of novelty buttons I bought from QVC years ago which will be perfect. Thank you for all of your inspiration and tutorials!

    You are really quite a creative talent!

  3. i am getting the offical rainbow loom and 7 packs of bands

  4. Love your blog so far! I haven't used buttons yet, but I plan on it! I got into the rainbow loom, but started with on I got from Walmart and soon I purchased 2 rainbow looms and just got another one for Mother's Day! I am like you and stick up! As I see it you never know when you are going to need a certain color so you better have them all :) I never thought about Sally's or Walgreens! I may have to make a trip over there soon and see what I can find. Thanks!!!

    1. You're welcome! I especially would stock up now. At times it seems that the craze is dwindling in the states, it's getting huge in Europe and Australia, but I've started to notice that some stores aren't stocking up on the bands or moving them to weird areas. I'm hoping that Rainbow Loom will come out with something new to reinvent it....maybe small nylon loops to make cloth like amazing! I am just hoping that the craze will continue because it really is a neat toy that spans the generations. :)