Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lesson 39: Braided Shamrock with Celtic Weave

(Read all directions before attempting this one.)  To begin, part the hair diagonally from temple to shoulder.  Hold the bottom section in a clip or hairband.

You'll want to make another diagonal part to match on the other side, but just start with the top section and continue through later.  Put hairbands in to make piggies of these triangles.  They don't need to be really tight because you are going to do a pull-through (Topsy Tail).
Now continue the rest of the part down to the shoulder.  Put hairbands in these triangles, too.
Now use a Topsy Tail tool to turn these piggies inside out toward the middle X.  If you don't have the tool, you could do this step without it, but you will not be able to do a later step with your fingers.  You will need at least a long doll needle and thin ribbon or dental floss.
Here's the part for the weaving.  Give the tails a good spray of water (or hairspray) close to the hairbands and comb them smooth to help minimize little hairs (flyaways) from getting scooted backwards when you pull the weave tight.  Cross the left tail over the top tail.  Bring the bottom tail up over the left tail (to the right of the top tail).  Cross the right tail over the bottom tail (above the left tail).  Then use your Topsy Tail tool (or craft needle or fingers) to draw that right tail under the top tail.  Pull each tail gently to tighten up the weave.

If you want to get really fancy, you could divide each tail into two sections and make a weave with four on each side rather than just two.  If any of you choose to do this, please send a picture I could post and share with others.
Next you will make a braid out of each tail.  Make it more loose than tight, but not too loose.  Braid it pretty far down to not leave a long tail on the end of the braid.  Use two hairbands at different lengths if you need to.  They will be hidden.  Going around clockwise (or counterclockwise--just go in order), pull the end of the braid into its neighbors "burrow," or the place where the piggies curve in beneath the hairband.  Draw it through diagonally to come out the bottom along the part line.  If the hair is too short, that is fine, just hide it under the weave and pin it in with bobbies.
If yours turns out like mine, the weave is going to start looking kinda messy by this point.  Spray it again and use a stick (from a rat-tail comb or whatever) to smooth down the bumps and flyaways and try to tuck them back under the weave where they belong.
Now you've got to hide those little braid tails.  Do the same thing again that you did with the big braids, but this time, pull them in as far as they will go instead of leaving a loop.  Now stick bobby pins in, at least two at every corner making and X shape with the pins.
I discovered when I was doing this step that somehow I had left out a thin strand of hair when braiding the bottom tail.  I didn't want to go backwards because that probably would have made a mess of things, so I just curled it up with my curling iron and left it.  I think it actually gave it a nice touch.  More elegant.  And it was sort of like the stem.  So if you wanted to do it on purpose, just remember to pick out a little bit of hair during the braiding step.  Since I had the curling iron on anyway, I curled the tendrils she had hanging around her face and neck.  Here's another view before I smoothed out the weave (the best I could):
And the finished product:


  1. That is awesome! I'll have to make sure we get an early start Thursday, I have 3 little girly heads of hair to style! lol

  2. Wow, that's dedication! Good luck.

  3. Hello I just started following your blog and I think what you do is wonderful!! I am a hairstylist who specializes in up-dos and formal hair and (if you can believe it) never fully learned how to braid!!! Your site has wonderful ideas for up-do's and flower girls. It is hard to know what to do for the little girls in the wedding party. I think I am going to try some of your styles out. Thank you!!!

  4. Steffany, thank you for your compliment! I'm sure I'll get some more updos in here later on. You've got a good start on your blog. Beautiful pictures (my favorite is the one with the mirror).