Method 1 – The common 3 strand braid
A 3-ply braid is a perfect braid for a beginner – most people know how to braid hair and this is it.
For any braid, you will need to add more length to the strands than the length of the final braid. In this case, you will have to add atleast 1/3 extra.
This method gives you a thin and neat braid – if you want thicker, use multiple strands and use them as one, for each strand. T-shirt yarn makes a very thick braid. Learn how to make t-shirt yarn here.
When you braid it is always better to knot the beginning of the strands together and then keep them anchored somewhere. Here I have plastered them on a soft board with tape and used pins to further keep them down. Keep even tension on all steps of braiding.
Step 1. Bring the left strand over the center strand (the strand in the middle)
Step 2. Bring the right strand over the center strand.
Step 3. Bring the left strand over the center strand and then Repeat this.
Whichever strand gets to be on the sides they are brought over the strand which is on the center, alternately.
Method 2 – Knotted 3-strand braid
This is a very easy braid – and a very beautiful one.
Step 1. Bring the left strand (red one in the picture) over the other two strands. Now take the right strand (yellow one in the picture) and keep it over the left strand you have brought over.
Step 2 . Take the yellow-green strand , insert it under the middle blue strand and bring it up through the red strand loop.
Tighten it and you will get this knot.
When you make these knots continously you will get this flat braid. It is beautiful as it is.
But if you want a circular cord, you can stretch it a little and the braiding will adjust nicely into a circular cord.
You can make 3 strand braids with yarn, cords, or fabric strips. Add different types of fibers or metallic elastic cord with fabric tubes for a different effect and texture in your braid.
Learn to make a braided cord with the help of cardboard circular loom here.