When I was 10 years old, I participated in a organization for girls called Achievement Days. It was run by our church, and different women in our congregation took turns teaching us a variety of skills. We learned to dip candles, print stationery, cook, sew, and much more.
One of the sisters was extremely interesting. She and her family lived without running water, but she viewed that as a step up from the teepee she and her husband had lived in when they were first married (Did I mention this was in Fairbanks, Alaska, where the average winter temperature is -25 F? Talk about hardcore!).
Along with her wide variety of survival skills, this woman was the craftiest lady I’ve ever known. She could take just about anything and turn it into a useful work of art. Her contribution to Achievement Days was to teach us how to braid ribbon. This is a skill I’ve made use of time and again.
Match the ends of the two lengths of ribbon so they are even. Decide if you want to leave a tail, then tie them together with an overhand knot.
With the first ribbon (purple), make a small loop. Make a small loop with the second ribbon (cream) and insert it into the first loop. The first loop will be sort of open (see below).
Now comes the tricky part (sorry about the poor quality pictures. I was trying to take them with one hand.) Bring the first ribbon around in front of the second and make a loop in the first with the long end on the outside.
Stick the first ribbon into the second ribbon’s loop. Pull the second ribbon down until the first ribbon’s loop sits snugly in the first ribbon. Avoid pulling too tightly.
Make a new loop with the second ribbon. Insert it into the first ribbon’s loop, and pull the first ribbon until the second ribbon’s loop sits snugly inside. Now the second ribbon’s loop should be sticking out.
Continue looping and pulling until the braid is the desired length. To finish, pull the loop that is sticking out all the way toward you until the end is free.
Bring the second ribbon over the braid.
Tie an overhand knot to finish things off. As you pull, make sure not to squash your last braid.
If you’re making a bookmark, you’re done!
To make the barrette, hot glue the finished braid to a barrette backing.
Remember to cut the ribbon ends at an angle so they don’t fray!