Here is how to make a quick and yet impressive-looking 5-strand braided bracelet. Because the bracelet is made with elastic cords, this bracelet is very easy to put on and take off.
You will need:
- 5 thin fabric covered elastic cords, in colors of your choice, approximately 40 cm (16″) or longer*
- 2 straight bobby pins, 5 cm (2″) or longer
- 1 clip board
- 2 rubber bands
- 1 pair of scissors
- 1 lighter
*40 cm (16″) was long enough to make a bracelet that is approximately 14 cm (5 1/2″) long. If you want to make a larger bracelet, please use cords that are longer.
- Line up five fabric elastic cords in any order you like. Put two bobby pins onto them, one from one side and the other from the other side, at approximately 7 cm (3″) from one of their ends.
2. Hold the loose ends under the clip of a clip board.
Now you are ready to braid!
3. Separate the cords into a group of three on the left (purple, red and orange) and two on the right (green and pink).
4. Move the outer most cord on the right (pink) to the left, crossing OVER the cord next to it (green).
Now you should have four on the left (purple, red, orange and pink) and one on the right (green).
5. Move the outer most cord on the left (purple) to the right, crossing OVER the first cord to the right (red), UNDER the second (orange) and OVER the third (pink).
You should have three on the left (red, orange and pink) and two on the right (purple and green).
6. Now, you simply have to repeat Steps 4 and 5!
So, as you did in Step 4, move the outer most cord on the right (this time, green) to the left, crossing OVER the cord next to it (this time, purple).
7. Now, as you did in Step 5, move the outer most cord on the left (this time, red) to the right, crossing OVER the first cord to the right (this time, orange), UNDER the second (this time, pink) and OVER the third (this time, green).
8. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until you reach the desired length for your bracelet, which should be slightly larger than your wrist.
(Note: Just as a reference, I made my bracelet 14 cm (5 1/2″) long.)
9. Once you reach the desired length, move one of the bobby pins from the start to the end of the braid.
Remove the braid from the clip board.
10. Fold the braid in half, aligning the two bobby pins together.
11. Hold the two bobby pins together with rubber bands on both sides.
12. Now you will make knots to tie the loose ends together.
First, hold the braid upright as shown in the image, so that the two bobby pins point toward you and the loose ends of the cords are at the top.
Part the cords held by the left bobby pin to the left (the left group) and those held by the right bobby pin to the right (the right group).
13. Separate the two cords that are the farthest from you from the left group (red and orange) and the one that is the farthest from you from the right group (pink).
(Note: Even if you have selected the same colors and alignment as I did, you may have colors that are different from mine in the following steps. This is because the alignment of the cords depends on the number of braids you make; i.e. the length of your bracelet.)
14. Make a square knot with the left (red and orange together) and the right (pink) cords.
Don’t make the knot too tight just yet.
15. Separate the cord that is the closest to you from the left group (pink) and the two that are the closest to you from the right group (purple and green).
Then, just as you did in Step 14, make a square knot with them.
16. Now you should have two pairs of loose cords in between the two knots. Make a third square knot with those loose cords.
17. Remove the rubber bands and the bobby pins.
Tighten the three knots while making sure to keep them lined up.
18. After making sure that the knots are tight, cut the loose ends off, leaving approximately 5 mm (1/4″) of each cord.
Use a lighter to slightly melt the ends of the loose cords. This will prevent them from fraying easily.
Ta-da! Your elastic 5-strand braided bracelet is finished!
Now that you know how to braid with five strands, you can braid many other things! For example, you can upcycle an old T-shirt to make a headband, braid your hair into an impressive weave, or even braid dough to make a loaf of beautifully woven bread! (Here is a tutorial on how to braid challah, which explains a type of weave with 5 strands that is slightly different from the one I used for this post.)