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Braiding How-To

Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2009

Braiding three ribbons together will create a pattern of shapes that is strongly reminiscent of the grains of wheat at the head of a stalk. 

Here's how to do a basic three-strand braid: Choose three ribbons; they should be about 1/3 longer than you want your finished braid to be. Align them at the end and secure them to one another; knotting them together about 2 inches from the end will keep them from slipping. Anchor the end firmly; we taped it in place, or you could pin them to something. You will need to be able to pull gently on the ribbons without them coming free. 

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Pull the ribbons lightly taut and spread them out slightly. Bring the rightmost ribbon across the center ribbon and into the middle (it now becomes the center ribbon); then bring the leftmost ribbon over the (new) center ribbon and into the middle (now it becomes the center ribbon). 

Repeat this process, bringing the ribbon in the far-right position in to the middle, and then the ribbon in the left position, until the strand is finished. The individual ribbons will continue to shift position back and forth across the work surface. As you braid, adjust the ribbons so they lie closely and evenly next to one another (don't pull too tight, or the braid will begin to buckle and bend). 

When you have finished the braid, tie a knot at the other end, about 2 inches from the end. Snip the ends of the ribbons at an angle.