Cardboard Braiding

cardboard braiding - finished braid

Cardboard braiding is a great way to make friendship bracelets or cords. For the younger crafter especially, It is far easier to master than the traditional knotted bracelets. But that doesn’t mean these are just for the little ones. They are great fun whatever age you are.

Happy Crafting!

cardboard braiding - choose your colours

you will need:

  • small piece of sturdy cardboard. I used corrugated cardboard from an old box.
  • a pencil
  • a ruler or straight edge
  • scissors
  • a cup or circle cutter to draw around
  • coloured embroidery threads in your favourite colours

Get set up

Draw and cut a circle out of the sturdy cardboard. I made a circle about 8cm in diameter, but the exact diameter isn’t really important, but I wouldn’t go much smaller than 5cm in diameter. It’s also not important how accurate you are when cutting your circle. So long as its near enough, it will work just fine.

Using a pencil and ruler, divide your circle into 8. Again, you don’t need to be 100% accurate here. Near enough is fine.

cardboard braiding - cut a circle
cardboard braiding - draw lines

Cut notches about 1cm long along the 8 lines you have just drawn. Carefully make a hole in the centre, where the lines cross. To help you out later on, draw arrows around your disc. If you put your braiding down part way through, these arrows will help you know which way you are working when you pick it back up again.

cardboard braiding - cut notches
cardboard braiding - draw arrows

Cut 7 lengths of embroidery thread, about 40cm long, in your favourite colours. You can double up on the colours if you like, but you will need 7 separate threads. Tie the ends together, and thread them all through the centre of your cardboard disc.

cardboard braiding - tie your threads together
cardboard braiding - arrange your threads into the notches

Arrange one thread in each notch. You will have one spare.

Let’s start braiding

Count back (in the opposite direction to your arrows) 3 threads from the spare notch. Lift this thread out, and place it in the spare notch. You now have a new spare notch. Count back 3 threads again, and move that thread into the gap. Repeat.

From time to time. gently tug the knot underneath your cardboard disc to pull your work down through the hole and out of the way. Don’t pull it too hard or too often, as this will stretch your braiding and make it uneven.

cardboard braiding - pull your work through

Keep braiding until your bracelet is long enough to go around your Bestie’s wrist.

Finishing off

When it is long enough, carefully remove each thread from its notch. Pull the cardboard disc out away from the threads. Tie a knot in the threads, close to the end of the braiding to secure your braiding. Then give it to your best buddy and choose some new colours to make another. I’m thinking of adding cardboard braiding kits to the list of little extra freebies I add to orders. What do you think?

cardboard braiding - finished braid 2