How to do Viking Braiding

Tamara Jewell (with help from her 'Wolf') shares the secrets of the Vikings with us. Find out what Viking children used to learn at homeschool and how to make a Viking braid.

You will need:

  • Card
  • Scissors
  • A pen or pencil
  • A circular object (approximately size of a mug)
  • Seven equal lengths of wool, twine or string (of different colours for a more decorative effect). The length depends on how long you want your braid to be, but you may find they will tangle more easily if longer than approximately 50 cm.   

How to make your braiding wheel:

  1. Draw around your circular object on the card. 
  2. Cut out the disc. 
  3. Mark a dot in the centre and at 8 equal points around the edge of the disc. 
  4. Cut a small slit in the centre and grooves where you have marked around the edge of the disc. These should be approximately 5mm in length.

How to braid:

  1. Choose different coloured wool and cut 7 pieces of the same length. 
  2. Poke wool through the hole in the braiding wheel and pull it through. Tie wool together at one end in a knot. 
  3. With the knot sitting snug against the wheel, turn the wheel over so the knot is underneath, then secure the 7 pieces of wool in the grooves that have been cut. 
  4. This leaves one spare groove. To braid, do the following either consistently left or right. This example works from the left.
  5. Place your spare groove in the 12 o’clock position. 
  6. Take the third piece of wool to your left from its groove and place it firmly in the 12 o’clock groove. 
  7. Turn the disc clockwise until the new spare groove is at 12 o’clock. (If you are going from the right you will need to turn anticlockwise) 
  8. Again, take the third piece of wool to your left from its groove and place it firmly in the new 12 o’clock groove. 
  9. Again, turn clockwise until the new spare groove is at 12 o’clock. 
  10. Continue these two movements to create your braiding which will form on top of the knot underneath the central hole. 
  11. To finish, remove the braid from the wheel and tie another knot in the end to secure it.