Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lesson 44: French Braid (part A--basic concept)

Since learning how to french braid is difficult for some people to figure out, I'm going to break my instructions down into a few parts.  This first part is just getting the basic concept down.  In order to french braid you first have to know how to do a regular braid.

I've made this board out of a cracker box.  Punch three holes at the top and an equal number of holes down each side (I did six).  Use three colors of yarn.  Cut one piece at a time, measuring a rough estimated length a few inches below the box.  Fold the piece in half so the fold will be at the hole and the two ends will reach down below the box.  Every piece down the sides can be shorter than the one above it.  Push the folded end through the hole, open the loop and bring the ends through the loop. Pull tight.  Follow the numbered pattern I have written in the picture so you will know which color to put in which hole.  Making a practice board will give you the chance to work out the fingering without boring your model head of hair.  It helps to stick it in a clipboard so you can pull the strands without the whole thing getting away from you.
Begin like a regular braid with three strands from the top.  Start by crossing left over middle.
Now right over the new middle.
A regular braid would have you cross the left over middle, but to make it a french braid you must first add some more hair (yarn) to the left strand.  Then cross it over the middle strand.
Do the same on the right side: add more before crossing over the middle.
Keep doing this over and over with each strand until you get to the bottom where there is not hair (yarn) left.
Once you've reached the bottom, continue braiding the strands together without adding hair.
Then add your hairband.
Here's a video.  (Please pardon my speech trouble--it's hard to concentrate on so many things at once!)


  1. This was SO helpful to me! I love that you used the different colors. I finally know how to french braid!:)

  2. This was extremely helpful, I used to be able to french braid but I completely forgot the basic concept after watching how to videos that made it far more complicated than it is. This was perfect and I'm now sporting a braid!

  3. I love the way your brain works. Did you invent that genius device? If you did, you are a natural teacher. So awesome.

    1. Yes, I invented it. Thanks for the nice comment.

  4. I am so excited to try this! I have always wanted to learn to French braid and never have! I have a 5 year old who wants me to do it, and I tried once on her hair, and it wasn't AWFUL, but not great. She doesn't like her hair to be messed with much, so to keep practicing on her won't happen. Guess what I will be doing over Spring Break? Ha! THANK YOU so much! This is awesome!