Scrap Week: Fabric Braid

Today we're gonna put a romantic/country spin on braiding! Unfortunately, you will have to know how to braid (I am not a great teacher but there are plenty of helpful youtube videos out there!), nothing fancy, just your run of the mill french braid. 

The only twist is that we will twist it around our head like a crown.
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I actually wear my hair like this once a week or so anyways. When your hair gets longer it starts to hurt to wear pony tails too much so I like trying out different braids, especially french braids, because they tug on your scalp a lot more evenly (that doesn't sound any more comfortable, does it LOL).

Here is today's braid without any fabric embellishments, but I think we can kick it up a notch.
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Let's start with the fabric. I used three 1 inch strips of fabric that I cut about a foot longer than my own hair.
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To get it braid-ready I got out my thread and needle and stitched 2 of the lengths about 3.5 inches from the top of one. This might not make sense, but when you start braiding you don't want too much fabric bulk at your roots. We are going to hide the start of our braid and too much fabric is hard to hide.
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In this photo the braid closest to my face is where we start. You can just barely see a bobby pin in the middle of my scalp and that is what is holding our fabric in place. You can also hot glue the fabric to a bobby pin or clip if you find it easier. I started my braid with one fabric section and 2 hair sections to get my 3 braid pieces.

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You will braid until you reach the part of your fabric where you stitched the other two pieces. Fan them out and incorporate them into your other 2 hair sections. By this time even your 'fabric only' section will have hair in it as you pull in new sections for the french braid. I like to try and 'wrap' the sections in the fabric so it doesn't get lost under your hair and you can easily see it in the braid. Also, you may notice that my braid appears really neat on one side and that is because I personally prefer to only 'french' braid half the braid, meaning I only pull hair in on one side of the braid. I know that sounds hard, but I actually find it easier! Again, it takes practice and patience if you aren't a natural at braiding keep trying!
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On this opposite side just keep braiding around the face, even as you start to run out of hair! This is the beauty of braiding with fabric:
1. Your hair looks extra 'full' and thick because you are adding so much volume with the fabric.
2. If you wrap the hair in the fabric as you go, when you start to run out of hair you can keep braiding the fabric and the hair won't fray out of the braid. This means you can try styles that otherwise only work on really long hair, like this!
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Keep braiding until you feel like you are near your ear again, wrap the braid in an elastic and pin in place. I like the whimsy that the loose fabric gives, but if you want a tidier braid just cut those (making sure you aren't cutting any hair!) and tuck under the first row of braids. 
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Of course, you will need a handful of pins. And a good ice pack for your aching arms! No matter how many times I braid my hair my arms are always killing me by the end.