In honor of today's momentous occasion (i.e. the final installment in the Harry Potter film series) I have a very special friendship bracelet to show you. Wait, can you call something that you made for yourself a friendship bracelet? ...Anyway, I made this bracelet for myself circa Half-Blood Prince and still have it. You gotta represent!
I've enjoyed making knotted friendship style bracelets for about a zillion years. I remember one Christmas about an eon ago, my mom made my cousin and I little pouches with embroidery floss and safety pins in them for making bracelets. They are pretty easy to do (at least the simple patterns), the materials are cheap, they are easy to take with you (like knitting, crochet, and hand sewing), and are fun to give away.
The Friendship Bracelets (Klutz) book is a good one to get you started and was one of my first bracelet books. It has great pictures that will show you step by step how to make every bracelet in the book, starting from easy to medium difficulty. It's great to work through the bracelets in order because it makes you really confident in your skills before moving on to harder patterns.
After you have the basics down visit websites like Heather's Friendship Bracelets. I have been visiting this site for years and it continues to be the best source for friendship patterns on the web. This is where I first learned about doing alphabet bracelets like the Snape one (be warned, I wouldn't recommend these as a first project, work up your skill first!). The site offers excellent patterns at every skill level.
If you are looking for some inspiration for making some more complex bracelets check out this site. Though the patterns aren't free, it's a great resource for thinking up your own patterns.
I also found this site which looks interesting, but I haven't used it yet. It has a great gallery of projects and also diagrams for creating new designs.
Well what are you waiting for, get knotting!