How to braid 4 cords

Written by michelle watson
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How to braid 4 cords
Weaving a simple four-cord braid won't leave you in knots. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

While most people learn how to make a three-strand braid, weaving a four-strand braid is not as commonly known. There are several types of four-strand braids, including flat and round. Both are sturdier than a three-strand braid and less likely to unravel. A flat four-strand braid is similar to a three-strand braid, except that there is a small diamond pattern running down the centre, produced by the fourth strand. A round four-strand braid is often called a spiral or diamond braid. Use a four-strand braid to weave a rope for utility purposes, make a craft cord for jewellery, ribbon for homecoming mums, or even in your own hair for a beautiful, intricate style.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 4 cords, 1 1/2 times as long as the finished braid
  • Masking tape

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Instructions

    Flat Braid

  1. 1

    Line up the ends of each of the four cords. Tie an overhand knot near the end to secure the cords together. Tape the knot to a flat surface where you can work the braid. Omit this step if your cords are already connected at one end --- if you're braiding hair, for example.

  2. 2

    Separate the four cords so they aren't tangled or overlapping. Mentally label the cords 1 through 4 from left to right.

  3. 3

    Bring cord 1 (the leftmost cord) over cord 2 (the adjacent cord), under cord 3 and over cord 4. Pull to tighten. Cord 1 is now cord 4 because it now occupies the right-most position in the four-cord series.

  4. 4

    Bring the new cord 1 over cord 2, under cord 3 and over cord 4. Pull to tighten.

  5. 5

    Repeat Step 4 until your braid is the desired length. After a few repetitions, the pattern will emerge. Maintain tension on the cords at all times for a tight, even braid.

    Round Braid

  1. 1

    Line up the ends of each of the four cords, and tie and overhand knot near the end to secure the cords together. Tape the knot to a flat surface where you can work the braid. Omit this step if your cords are already connected at one end --- if you're braiding hair, for example.

  2. 2

    Separate the four cords so they aren't tangled or overlapping. Mentally label the cords 1 through 4 from left to right.

  3. 3

    Cross cord 2 over cord 3. You are essentially crossing the two middle cords, the first over the second. Cord 2 becomes the new cord 3 and vice versa.

  4. 4

    Bring cord 1 under cords 2 and 3. Bring cord 1 around cord 3, placing it between cords 2 and 3. Cord 1 becomes the new cord 2. Pull to tighten.

  5. 5

    Bring cord 4 under cords 3 and 2. Bring cord 4 around cord 2, placing it between cords 2 and 3. Cord 4 becomes the new cord 3. Pull to tighten.

  6. 6

    Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until the braid is the desired length. After a few repetitions, the pattern will emerge. Maintain tension on the cords at all times for a tight, even braid.

Tips and warnings

  • Hold the cords close to the braid, not at the ends. This helps to maintain tension on the cords, producing an even braid without gaps or lumps.

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