How to Crochet Braids in A Variety of Projects

15 Crochet Patterns That Include Braiding

Crochet Braids on Hat
JBryson, Getty Images

Many people think of braiding as something that is done to hair. In fact, if you look up "crochet braids", the first thing that you will find is a hairstyle technique. Dig a little bit deeper, though, and you will discover that braids are a fun detail in crafting. They are used in many yarn crafts, including macrame and crochet. Crochet braids can be used in cute, curious and creative ways to enhance your projects, as you will discover through these 15 projects.

  • 01 of 15

    This is the most common way in which you have probably already seen braids on crochet. You take a basic crochet beanie design, usually add earflaps, and then add braids coming off of those earflaps to create a design that's got a bit more fun. As we can see in the example from Tugboat Yarning, you can often opt whether or not to include braids on the earflaps.

    Braided crochet hats are a top choice for celebrating sports teams with yarn braids in the team colors. Make basic hats for the whole...MORE family with braids for those who want them.

  • 02 of 15

    In addition to seeing crochet braids on earflap hats, you have probably also seen them on a lot of character hats. Olivia Kent of Hopeful Honey has a number of terrific designs for character-inspired hats that include thick, beautiful yarn braids. In addition to this Daisy Duck pattern, here she also has braided crochet hats inspired by Elmo, Minions, Cookie Monster, Monsters Inc. and more. The braids add even more whimsy to the already fun characters. 

  • 03 of 15

    The crochet braids trend goes beyond famous cartoon characters to also include all different types of animal designs. There are crochet animal hats in the shape of monkeys, owls and so many more creatures of the natural world, and somehow it often seems to enhance the design to add braids to the monkey hat.

    These types of hats are, of course, often worn by youngsters who also just tend to look really cute in braided hats. And a bonus is that you can tie the braids together to better secure the...MORE hat to little one's head. In fact, this is true of braids on hats for people of all ages, and it is sometimes included as a design feature even in simple adult crochet hats. In this example, we see crochet braids on a sock monkey crochet hat.

  • 04 of 15

    Taking it one step further than all of the hats we've mentioned so far is the crochet costume hat, which often incorporates braids as part of the design. A favorite is, of course, the Frozen-inspired character wig, which is itself a huge yarn braid designed to match the character's hair.

    We also see braids on other costumes; crochet witch hats sometimes have braids for example. If you take a look at a variety of crochet Halloween costumes, you'll likely notice braids featured on more...MORE of them that you would have anticipated.

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  • 05 of 15

    You can make braided yarn hair. This may sometimes fall under the category of crochet costumes, in the case where crochet braids are created as a wig of sorts. There are a variety of wig braid crochet patterns. You may also find crochet braided hairstyles on doll patterns.

  • 06 of 15

    Although there are many ways to incorporate braids into hats, just like there are many ways to wear braids in our hair, hats are not the only crochet item that have the potential for braid detailing. In fact, crochet scarves (they're usually infinity scarves) are quite popular, particularly chunky ones where three separate pieces are crocheted and then braided together to create an interlocking design. There are many varieties on this beautiful pattern and it's worth taking a look...MORE through them around the Internet to find one that really suits you. It's a crochet accessory that can pop a big punch. It also makes a great gift idea since it looks like it was a lot more difficult to make than it really was!

  • 07 of 15

    The same concept that is used to make a braided crochet infinity scarf can also be used in the design of a braided crochet headband. The shape is the same, it's just shrunk down to size. In this particular example, the braid is made from a twisting of two crochet pieces, rather than a true braiding of three, but the same effect is achieved. 

  • 08 of 15

    The braided crochet cowl free pattern shown here demonstrates how braids can be used as a decorative striping effect. You can make yarn braids and weave them through your crochet to create colorful stripes. This could be done on a blanket or other items as well; it's certainly not limited to the cowl design although it is a beautiful free pattern to start trying out the technique!

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  • 09 of 15

    Braided lengths of crochet are more durable and rigid than loose lengths of crochet, which makes braiding an ideal technique for crochet purse handles. The crochet purse we see here was made by CrochetKari adapting a free crochet purse pattern with the braided crochet tutorial from Italian blog Bebacrochet.

    Incidentally, when people make plarn, they often do so with the intention of braiding it. Although this isn't necessarily related to purse handles, it relates to the durability of the...MORE material. Braided materials simply hold more strength than those that are not braided!

  • 10 of 15

    Braiding is a technique that is used in wire beaded crochet jewelry. This free crochet pattern is one example of how it is used. You can see another by checking out Amy Solovay's Beaded Wire Crochet Bracelet free pattern.

  • 11 of 15

    Braids can be used in crochet whenever a drawstring is required to pull something tighter. First, you braid a length of yarn. Then, you weave the braided yarn through the openings in the crochet and pull. This works especially well for drawstring bags and pouches but can also be used in other instances, such as when you want a cowl that can be pulled tightly closed against the wind. In the vintage crochet sweater pattern here, we see that a variation on a braid (a twisted cord) can be used at...MORE the neckline and belt line of a loose openwork crochet shirt to give it more shaping.

  • 12 of 15

    Braids of yarn can be used as a form of fringe on any type of project. In this example, there are braids as fringe on a floral scarf. You could add braids to any scarf pattern for a new impact on old favorite designs!

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  • 13 of 15

    You don't have to make an exact braid to get the effect of the braid. We see that in one of the methods of joining crochet motifs called, appropriately, the tight braid join. (The flat braid join is another name for the technique.) Add texture, color and detail to any motif-based project with this fun joining technique.

  • 14 of 15

    Want to crochet something that looks like a braid but is really crocheted? In our article about How to Crochet Roving, you'll find a link to a video by ChemKnits that shows how a long crocheted chain of  roving looks just like a braid! You can also crochet braids to use as trims and embellishments, as we see in the example pictured here, which is a set of free crochet braid patterns.

  • 15 of 15
    Braided Cable Crochet Scarf free pattern
    Michelle Hassell, Ravelry

    In this final example, as in the penultimate one, we are not braiding but instead are using crochet techniques to create what looks like a braid pattern in our work. The examples previously given were all forms of simple braids, but braided cabling offers an example of complexity in the technique.

    Crochet cabling is structured in such a way on many garments and other items to look like braids popping out texturally from the piece. Incidentally, although cabling is the most common technique for...MORE achieving braids like this, you can also get a braid effect in other crochet techniques, as we see in the Hairpin Lace Infinity Scarf free crochet pattern by B.hooked Crochet.