Braiding palm leaves is a tradition in many cultures. Many churches use palm braiding during the Easter holiday. Other cultures braid palm leaves and other kinds of leaves to create clothing, hats and even jewellery. Other leaves that are commonly braided are banana, coconut and other large tropical leaves and straw. Today, palm braiding is used as an art form in addition to holiday celebrations. The traditional braid is the easiest form of palm leaf braiding, but there are also many other complicated and beautiful ways to braid palm leaves.
Remove the green edges from the palm leaves. Pull them away from the leaves using your fingers like you are stringing peas. You will need three palm leaves per braid. Tie the three leaves together with the string. Throw the unused strips into the trash can.
Separate the three leaves until they are only touching where the string ties them together. Take the leaf on the very left and cross it over the middle leaf, making it the new centre of the three leaves. Hold in place with your fingers.
Cross the palm leaf on the right over the leaf in the middle until it is the new middle of the three palm leaves. Hold in place with your fingers.
Tighten the leaves so that the crossed leaves are as tight against each other as possible. This is important for the strength of the braid. Hold in place.
Continue to cross the left strand over the middle strand and then the right strand over the middle strand, tightening as you go. Continue this braid until you reach the end of the leaves. It should take less than five minutes to braid three leaves together.
Tie the bottom three ends of the palm leaves together with string. Make sure it is very tight or else the string will slip off and the leaves will come undone.
If the leaves are already dry, it is possible to soak them in some water to loosen them up so that they will braid. Other types of braids can be used to braid palm leaves together in different methods. Most of these are much more complicated, but they offer a variety of styles that can be quite attractive.
Take care when braiding the leaves. Palm leaves can easily crack and break.