Picture of Braiding eight cords into a flat braid
Everyone can braid things, right? Can you braid more than 3 things? Here is how to braid 8 strands of cord, string, yarn, leather strips or you name it.
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Step 1: Start with 4 and double down

Picture of Start with 4 and double down
Take four strands of cord, string, yarn, or these things which are the "self ties" out of old yoga pants.

Step 2: Belt buckle

Picture of Belt buckle
While the purpose of this instructable is how to braid, you will need something to start on. A great looking belt buckle like this cat belt buckle from the mid 1970s will work very nicely.

Step 3: Stabilize your work

Picture of Stabilize your work
Stabilize the belt buckle so you can tug on it a little bit. I tied a cord on the belt buckle, then tied the cord around a chair leg. Depending on the size of the chair, tug all you want.

Step 4: Attach one cord

Picture of Attach one cord
Starting with the belt buckle upside down, take the first cord, fold in half and make a loop.
Feed the loop under the belt buckle end.
Fold the loop down over the cord ends.
Bring the cord ends up through the loop.
Pull tight.
In the knotting world, this is lark's head.

Step 5: Attach the other three cords

Picture of Attach the other three cords
Do the same with each of your cords doubling the cords and ending up with 8 cords to braid.
In the image from left to right, there are 2 blacks, 2 blues, 2 grays and 2 blacks.

Step 6: 5th over 4th

Picture of 5th over 4th
Always count from left to right, 1 through 8.
Starting with the 5th cord (gray) from the left, put it over the 4th cord (blue.)
The colors are now black, black, blue, gray, blue, gray, black, black.

Step 7: 3rd over 2nd, 2nd over 4th. Confused? Look at photo

Picture of 3rd over 2nd, 2nd over 4th. Confused? Look at photo
Take the 3rd cord (blue) and put it over the 2nd cord (black.)
Then continue that same black cord over the 5th gray one.
The colors are now black, blue, gray, black, blue, gray, black, black.

Step 8: 7th over 6th, under 5th, over 4th

Picture of 7th over 6th, under 5th, over 4th
Take the 7th cord (black) and put it over the 6th cord (gray), then under the 5th cord (blue) then over the 4th cord (black.)
The colors are now black, blue, gray, black, black, blue, gray, black.
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blackarrow7452 months ago
So I liked this post some time ago and decided that I may use it one day. The day has come. I present to you the Über belt! It is six feet tall! totally unusable as a belt for me, maybe a sumo could make use of it though :) thanks for the post. I for one have enjoyed it very much!
hammer9876 (author)  blackarrow7452 months ago

Wow! It looks like six inches wide, too! Good to hear that you enjoyed my Instructable!

gemtree made it!10 months ago

This is three of the braided spalled obsidian chips. I spalled the obsidian, ground off the edges and wrapped the pieces in the wire braids. Thanks so much for sharing the braid tutorial. :D

1k 8 strand braid bezel.jpg
hammer9876 (author)  gemtree10 months ago
Those are really interesting. I am glad my instructable helped you. Thanks for the photo.
gemtree11 months ago

This works GREAT with wire. I made a bezel for holding stones out of it and laced the heck out of it across the top and bottom of the stones.

hammer9876 (author)  gemtree11 months ago

Pictures, please!

gemtree hammer987610 months ago

I posted it!

jimiane1 year ago
What is the recommended ratio for length of starting cord to finished end product? I.e., 5 feet of cord would make how long of a belt on average?
I'm going to try this and after about 3 sections repeated, measure along a strand with a
flexible ruler then figure the needed length out.
hammer9876 (author)  jimiane1 year ago
See response dated Jun 22, 2010. 6:43 AM. I hate to be so blunt, but really, there are too many variables. Your best bet would probably be to cut four lengths of two yards or meters each, double them giving you eight cords, then braid them, and see how long the finished result is. Experimentation is your key. Good luck.
liontroll2 years ago
AWESOME! Thank you. Very wise to use a variety of colors for the instructable... Makes it much easier to follow. Keep it up!
mysss4 years ago
I agree; I would like to see more designs for bracelets. I'm really into knot tying and this sort of braiding, and I've never seen/known of this method for finishing a braid/plait. Have you tried this with round cord/string? If so, does it work as well as with the flat stuff used in the instructable? Thanks.
hammer9876 (author)  mysss4 years ago
I am kind of at a loss for finishing it. I have yet to figure out a good way of doing it. Any suggestions? And yes, it does work well with round cord/string.
The only way I've ever done it is by melting the string (I only ever use synthetic string, for the most part, because for some reason I can never find anything else) so that the ends of everything fuse together. Now, this method kind of sucks, and I presume grows much more impractical if you try it on something larger, such as this project. Or flatter, actually, for that matter. I guess I should elaborate on "sucks." I mean that it's difficult to get it to look good, and it's pretty crude. I'm not sure how well the method someone else suggested (using a hot blade/wire to cut off the ends) works, because I've actually been waiting for an order of new (cheap) knives to arrive before I try it (I don't want to risk my beloved pocketknife this way, and I actually just found out about the method of heating a knife...). It seems to me that this wouldn't work as well for this purpose, even though it finishes the ends of individual cords nicely, since the melting is much more localized than using an actual match/lighter/gas stove flame (lighters work best, I think. I've seen my dad use the stove, and have burned myself with matches doing this [don't judge me]), but this is only a guess. A footnote to both that and my own suggestion is only to use the method on synthetics, not natural fibers which burn instead of melt. Good luck finding a way that satisfies you! (And keep us posted.)
as.2 mysss2 years ago
I've made a belt similar to this one. Though, I did it by starting with the pieces being doubled (but unevenly, with one being WAY longer) I then braided the belt to the length that I wanted, and "turned around" and wove each piece back to the top. This was a long process, but it did finish the belt nicely.
sissy hall2 years ago
Hi, we're very new to the paracord braiding & such. We are currently just doing the bracelets but want to do the rifle slings & dog collars & ect. But we are not very well versed in computers. (Our youngest 16 yr old says get in this century woman!) He laughs at us! But if ya'll can give us any suggestions on were to start it would be great. Thanks. All of your things look awesome!
BurnTheVeil3 years ago
Fantastic^_^ I joined this site today after reading this, my crafts involved used guitar string wire, macrame and leather, so I was trolling sites looking for new weaves. This I've seen before but always with 8, my cat decided to steal one of my shoestrings I was practicing with so I did it with 7. Turned out cute! Thanks for posting!
hammer9876 (author)  BurnTheVeil3 years ago
I am flattered. I bet you find lots of good ideas on Instructables. Post your projects and share your knowledge!
zainabn3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
hammer9876 (author)  zainabn3 years ago
See response dated Jun 22, 2010. 6:43 AM
abylu4 years ago
Im making a denim 8 strand flat braid bracelet for a gift.. my friend's birthday is this sunday, I think I'll be posting some pictures after I finished it. BTW thanks for the instructable.. it was very easy to follow...
hammer9876 (author)  abylu4 years ago
Thank you! Please post your photos of your bracelet before you give it away.
ajabc94abc4 years ago
How long should the cords be? I'm making a belt. All I have to know if it has to be twice as long as your waist measurement, three times, etc... I'll try it out with extra, but I would appreciate if you would get back to me. Otherwise, I am so excited to try this! It looks great :)
hammer9876 (author)  ajabc94abc4 years ago
Like I said, "the purpose of this instructable is how to braid." It is not an instructable on how to make a belt. :-) That said, the lengths needed would depend on too many factors, like how long do you want the belt, what kind of material (thick, thin, round), and how tight or loose your braiding ends up. You would have to experiment with your material and go from there. I am sorry, I can't be more specific than that.
ladyKrone4 years ago
My husband and I are involved in a "living history" group, and this braid makes a fantastic belt. You can also braid using embroidery thread or thin ribbon to make very interesting looking trim for clothing, too. Great instructable!
hammer9876 (author)  ladyKrone4 years ago
Thank you for your kind words and even better, more ideas! When you think about it, add some photos here of your trim. Or a link to your instructables for living history clothing! With trims of course.
platinum154 years ago
 LOVE IT!!!!! still confuzzled about the braiding part tho :\
hammer9876 (author)  platinum154 years ago
All I can suggest is to try it. Maybe the words and photos will be less confuzzling once you have cords in your hands. Good luck.
Can this be done with more than eight, just continuing the pattern as necessary? i wanna make some visibly woven shoes, and this looks pretty suitable for it if i can get it wide enough.
hammer9876 (author)  student.mckinney5 years ago
I admit that I haven't tried it, but I would think any even number of strands (4, 6, 8, 10, +) would work. My mind can't grasp the pattern with an odd number. Seems like it might work, but maybe not, and I would hate to tell everyone that it works without trying it first. Stick to the even numbers of strands.

I hope you are planning an instructable for the shoes!
I am new to this message board and site. I am wondering if you might be able to tell me what the necklace is called by that we men wear that appears to be made from leather, is braided OR woven the proper term I am unsure of, they are very thick and very sexy... Can you tell me what they are called?
You can do an odd number.  You do the exact same thing, except you continue weaving until you are just passed the middle strand.
alandrak5 years ago
I did this today with some embroidery floss I found. I screwed up about 7 times, but it still looks nice, I think. Thanks for the instructable!
hammer9876 (author)  alandrak5 years ago
You are welcome, but photos! We need photos!
starrymirth5 years ago
Thank you very much, this is awesome. 

I have attached pictures of my first two attempts.
The first white one is still in progress, out of 8 strands of string as I was learning how. It doesn't yet have a purpose (and I have no insight for how to end it.)

The second one, which I would not recommend  for those without large amounts of patience (It nearly drove me crazy with frustration and took me several hours) is 16 strands of multi-core wire.
It was initially going to be a cool cable, but later we figured it wouldn't fit into the connectors well, so I made it into a bracelet, by soldering the wires onto another connector and neatening it up with heat shrink. 

May I suggest a slight name change to the 7th step? (Step 7: 3rd over 2nd, 2nd over 4th.) I got stuck several times, because I only read the text and didn't pay too much attention to the pictures, I didn't notice that the 2nd strand laid over the 4th.

Otherwise, excellent 'ible!

hammer9876 (author)  starrymirth5 years ago
Hello starrymirth, Thank you for the comments and photos. You are right about step seven. I may have to change it to, "3rd over 2nd, 2nd over 4th. Confused? Look at photo!" It was difficult to write the steps out and get the photos matched up. Apparently I didn't do it perfectly.
Rob K6 years ago
Nice 5/5 I'm going to give this a try. I need a new belt because the old one I have the leather weave is getting stretched out. I will put up a picture if I get it done.
hammer9876 (author)  Rob K6 years ago
Great! Let these people know how much leather you started with and the finished size!
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