Flat Woven Braid: How to 5 Strand Braid

Friendship bracelets… remember those? I was driving by an elementary school the other day when all the kids were let out. It seemed like all the girls were up to their elbows in silly bands and friendship bracelets.

While I am not a fan of the silly band’s craze, I have always had a soft spot for friendship bracelets with the letter beads. Clearly, I have outgrown that kind of accessories, Boo! Sooooo I decided to learn a new craft and update the fashion statement just a bit.

The five-strand braid may look complicated but after the first run through you will get the hang of it and be a braiding whiz! I will try and spell it out as clearly as I can, but if you flip through the pictures quickly, you will be able to see the process. Enjoy!

What you will need & set up: Fabric you can tear into strips or ribbon. I like how frayed fabric looks so I ripped up a few strands. You will need 5 pieces and tie them in a knot, leaving a 3″-4″ tail

Tape the strips down above the knot and spread out the strips. I numbered them for you!

Tip: The 5 strand braid is like combining two braids into one. You braid one rotation on the left with the three leftmost strips, then switch to the right and braid one rotation with the three most right strips.

Step 1: Take strip 1 and bring it over strip 2

Step 2: Take strip 3 and braid it over strip 1. You just completed one rotation on the left. Yeah!
Now you move over to the right side
Step 3: Take strip 5 and braid it over strip 4
Step 4: Now take strip 1 and braid it over strip 5.
There you go! That is how you 5 strand braid. Just continue the process by braiding one rotation on the left and then one on the right. Scrunch and tighten up the braid as needed.

Here I am making some progress and got to the length I needed for a bracelet.

I then took off the tape and untied the knot. Then I tied the two ends together. You can also hand stitch the ends together to get a clean look. I prefer the frayed tails. Snip off the ends to your desired length and wear proudly!

On the left is my red & white 5-strand braided bracelet and on the right, I braided some strips of faux leather. I’m thinking I might add some beads and feathers on the end. I’m digging the natural feel of the faux leather.

Here I took some thicker strips of the faux leather and braided a headband. Kind of cool how it blends into my hair color and looks like I braided my hair. Please excuse the messy hair 😉

So cool! You can really get creative with this skill. Braid some silk ribbon and add some pretty silk flowers for an ethereal look, or take some leftover t-shirts and make a more sporty version of the headband.

I’ve even used this skill to make garlands and decorative features for wrapping presents. Hope you have enjoyed this not so tricky tutorial. Hope you have a great weekend… I’ll be back with more helpful crafter tips and tutorials after the weekend!

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