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Scoubidou is a type of plastic cord that is utilized in the knotwork craft of the same name. Also known as scoobies or gimps, among other names, scoubidous have been utilized in crafts since the 1950s, when a collective mania for knotting crafts swept many countries. This craft is commonly practiced by children, although adults can engage in it as well, and the basic equipment is available through craft stores and specialty suppliers. The cord can be flat or hollow and is bulky enough that people who have decreased fine motor skills can often enjoy scoubidou. This craft also can be used as a physical therapy technique to help people develop better fine motor skills.
Originally, scoubidou was done using flat strips of brightly colored plastic, but the modern craft more commonly involves hollow, round plastic cords. The plastic is highly elastic and very sturdy, allowing people to knot and mold it in a variety of ways. The resulting crafts usually are very sturdy unless they are poorly knotted, in which case the scoubidou strands can unravel.
Many types of items can be made with scoubidou, including keychains, lanyards, decorative pieces and friendship bracelets. Crafters usually use several different strands and colors of plastic, interlocking and knotting them to create a rich pattern of colors and shapes. A variety of knots can be used to create various effects. Some companies also make different scoubidou finishes, providing glitter and glow-in-the-dark scoubidous for crafters who feel like getting more adventurous with their projects.
In addition to the plastic lacing, scoubidou crafting can also include beading and other decorative elements. Craft stores sometimes sell starter kits that include a basic assortment of supplies and a booklet that provides a basic overview of the techniques that can be used. These kits also can be ordered through online retailers who provide craft supplies. Crafters can even order supplies in bulk from these retailers or request custom orders for particular colors or finishes.
Learning how to make scoubidou is easy. There are a number of books and websites that provide basic instructions so that people can learn the different knots involved and experiment with different patterns and craft ideas. Community centers and craft groups sometimes offer classes for people who would like to learn from an instructor. These classes usually are tailored to children who are interested in crafts, but adults can take scoubidou classes as well. After people learn the basics, they can invent their own knots and designs to create unique projects.