I have always looked forward to Raksha Bandhan, every single year. Maybe because the gifts are attractive.
Every year, we have been making simple rakhis, in huge amount, to be distributed out to the collective. This year, I learned to make rakhi the Indian way. It's really simple to do but takes more time than the simple string that we have been making year after year.
I used DMC embroidery threads that is from my abandoned cross stitch project. Sorry, but I don't have the step-by-step method in pictures.
Embroidery thread - normal colour
Embroidery thread - silver or gold
Beads / little flowers for decoration
A partner to help you (optional but better)
1. To make the centerpiece, first, take out 1 gold or silver embroidery thread and separate it from the main bundle. The whole bundle consist of 6 threads. Just take 1 out or the 6.
2. Take a fork and wrap the coloured embroidery thread (the full bundle with 6 threads) and 1 gold or silver thread that you have taken out in Step 1 around the top of the fork (the part where you pick up food with) many times, horizontally. You need to make sure it is thick enough to make it fluffy. Otherwise it would look scattered.
3. Cut the threads. In between the fork's teeth, tie up the threads in the middle. Make sure it is tight. Remove from fork and cut the edges. Make sure there is no close threads.
4. Spread open the threads to make it into a circle. And trim the edges to make it round.
5. To make the string, take 2 different colour thread and cut 2 piece each at the same length. Make sure it is long enough to tie around the wrist.
6. Tie a knot at one end. Separate the threads. Up to you how you want the design to be. You can take one colour while your partner take another colour of 2 piece of thread each. Both of you pull it tight and hold the end. And twist clockwise.
7. Once it is tightly twisted, one person hold the knotted end, and another person hold the open end. Make sure none of you let go or else you would have to repeat the whole thing again as it will get untwisted.
8. Once both of you are ready, then the one holding the knotted end let go. Now you will get a nicely twisted string. Tie the knot at the other end to close it. Your string is ready.
9. Use glue gun and stick some beads or flowers on the centerpiece. Then use the glue gun to stick it on the string. My mom was helping me with the glue gun and she didn't use that to stick the centerpiece to the string. Instead, she just tied the string around the centerpiece. That created a gap as you can see in the first picture. Instead of a nice round centerpiece, you see 2 gaps. Not very nice.
10. Your rakhi is ready.
I know my instructions may not be so clear. Next time I would post some pictures.