Five Stranded Braid Bracelet

I love braids. There is something magical about how they work. I love how the strands weave in and out of one another–so pretty. This is a five-stranded braid, and it’s easier to work than you might think. Once you have the pattern down, it’s a snap, and yet, doesn’t it look complicated? You could do this bracelet in all sorts of fun color combinations, or all in one color and it would be fabulous either way.
Charlie was wanting a new bracelet and I thought this would be fun for him. But, if you use some nice jewelry fixings, it would take it up a notch and work for you or me. These bracelets would make great easy gifts for friends, as well. Don’t be scared off by the braiding part. Give it a whirl!
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Here is the diy for the bracelet:

Materials:
Five colors of DMC 5 Pearl Cotton Embroidery Thread
Hook and eye
Needle and thread
Sewing macine
Alternative: jewelry fixings to clasp strands, jump ring, clasp

Cut four strands of each color approximately 24″ long.
Tie the five colors together in a knot with a few inches remaining above the knot and tape it down to a surface.  I chose to alternate in color value.
I’ve worked the diy for the braid two different ways, depending on how your brain works.  I think it helps to look at both ways. Don’t let the numbers scare you. It is quite easy once you get it down. If the numbers seem overwhelming, skip to the other set of directions!
For the mathematical, pattern-following sort of brain:
Here is how the colors start, the colors keep their assigned number throughout the braid: 1: tan, 2: cream, 3:brown 4: peach, 5:orange

In the first step, strand 1 moves to the right over strand 2 and strand 3 moves over strand 4. You end up with the order below, 2  1  4  3  5.  Note that 5 stayed where it was.

Next, move strand 4 over 1 and strand 5 over 3 to the left. Strand 2 stays where it is.

Then, go back to the left side. Strand 1 goes to the right over 5 and strand 2 goes to the right over 4.

Now, back again from the right, 5 goes over 2 and 3 goes over 1. And, so on.

Here is the numerical pattern:
1   2   3   4   5
2   1   4   3   5
2   4   1   5   3
4   2   5   1   3
4   5   2   3   1
5   4   3   2   1
5   3   4   1   2
3   5   1   4   2
.   .   .
Do you see how each number moves across the pattern diagonally and then hangs out at the edge for two turns and moves back the other direction?  Look at one number, the 1, for example, you can see how it is moving to the right with each step and then stays to the right for 1 step and then moves back again.  Each strand goes through this process. You could use tape to label each strand and follow this pattern if that helps you.

Or, if you are more visual – try this.  My mantra while I do this is two to the left, two to the right, two to the left, two to the right.  See the strand farthest-most to the right, and the strand in the middle?  I’ve put arrows on them.  These two go to the left, over the adjacent strand.  The strand farthest to the left, stays where it is. 

Then, you do the same on the opposite side.  The strand to the farthest most left and the middle strand each move over one strand to the right.  The farthest right strand stays where it is.

You repeat that over and over.  The two with the arrows move to the left.

Then, move the two with the arrows to the right.

And, so on.

Continue with the braid until you get to an inch or so past desired length.

You could finish this bracelet with jewelry fixings and make a “fancier” bracelet. There are wide fixings that collect all the strands–you attach this to a jump ring and a clasp of your choice, and your done. This one was for my son, so I just wanted to use something easy that I had on hand and nothing too girly.  I taped the end so that it wouldn’t come apart while I was sewing the ends.
 With a small zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine, go back and forth over the braid.
Do this to both ends at desired length.
 Clip the extra length with a scissors. Sew on a hook and eye on each end of the bracelet.
Voila, you’re done!
Now, you can go around looking super cool.
Throw one in each of your kiddos stockings for Christmas or do one as a little Chanukah present. Have fun!
  1. nice!!!!
    thank you, happy weekend, xxx
    Alessandra

  2. palak

    Love it! I’ll be filing this away for Rakhi next year!

  3. jmyersa

    Lovely! Would be perfect as part of a gift tag on a present!
    Jody @ apinchofcharacter.com

    • anne

      Good idea Jody! I think that would be beautiful. Or a as a “ribbon” once around a present. I might just do that!
      xo

  4. Pat C.

    Thanks for the great tutorial(s)! I haven’t mastered a 4-strand braid yet, but I’m game to give this one a try! xoxo

  5. Hi, I just found your blog via craftgawker and love it! I just bought some beautiful handmade ribbon and have been thinking about making into into bracelets and I have found inspiration on your site.
    Your newest follower,
    Marie

  6. Ashley

    This would make for a great friendship bracelet :)

  7. Thanks for showing us how to make it – what a great bracelet !!! … ^__^

  8. beki

    I love this! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    • anne

      Thanks Beki! I’m so glad you like it!

  9. Brittany

    Oh Anne, I’ve been thinking about something Michael can make for his classroom Valentine’s Day party, and this may be it! We’ll have to get an early start, though; twenty-four bracelets is a LOT of braiding. :)

    • Brittany

      We tried it today and the project is a hit! Thanks again for the great idea.

  10. Anonymous

    Amazing, but could there be a different way to end it?????????

    • anne

      Absolutely. If you look in your jewelry findings section of your craft store, you can find a wide clasp that can clamp down. They are called “ribbon clamps.” These can close down over the whole braid. Make sure you use one that has teeth that are closer together. I would maybe stitch it first and then use the clamp. Or, I would use glue with the clamp so that the strands don’t pull out. Good luck!

  11. I loved learning this braid – thank you! I wanted to share that I ended up thinking of it in a different way once I found my groove. I thought of the strands as 1-5 in each direction as in: starting on the right, 1 over 2 then 3 over 4. Then the numbering starts on the left regardless of the color – 1 over 2 then 3 over four. So my “pattern” was the same each time. It just started on a different side each time. My mantra became “RIGHT: 1 over 2, 3 over 4. LEFT: 1 over 2, 3 over 4.” Over and over and over… :-)

    I used this as the band to a bracelet for my dad. I made a dreamcatcher in a small silver hoop, then attached the threads for the braid. I stopped the braid just before the circumference that I needed, divided the threads in half and braided each half separately making 2 tails. The tails then tie to the dreamcatcher completing the bracelet. The 5 strand braid is a great complement to the size of the dreamcatcher! Thanks again for the tutorial!!

    • anne

      Lily, thanks so much for sharing. The dreamcatcher bracelet sounds awesome!

  12. Anonymous

    Very nice way of making your own bracelets. I’ve just made one like this for myself and it’s simple, but looks very cool. Thanks for this nice tutorial and sorry for mistakes, i’m from Lithuania, I’m only 13, so I’m not very good at English :)

    Thanks and good luck everyone! <3

    • anne

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad you are enjoying the tutorial. You seem excellent at English, if you ask me! Thanks for taking the time to share with me.
      Anne

  13. Unknown

    Wow. So detail, I luv it!. Thanks :)

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