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Below you’ll find a quick and easy #ArtAtHome assignment: how to make your own Braided Bracelet. This art-based challenge is part of a series that celebrates past ArtPrize-winning entries. Find more challenges from the series here.

Braided Bracelet

Take a moment to think about something you feel is important in your own culture. It could be traditions, rituals or creative accomplishments. Ask your family about your cultural heritage and talk about traditions you have as a family. Write down something you love about your culture on a ribbon that you will braid into your bracelet. Wearing this hidden message will be a way to celebrate your culture, or pass it on as a gift.

What you’ll need:

  • Tape to anchor your materials to a surface as you braid
  • Ribbons, yarn, fabric, or other fibers to include in your braid

Here are some ideas of materials you can find in your home you can use to make your bracelet: Gift wrap ribbon, cut up old t-shirts or other clothing into strips, shoe strings, hair ribbons

How to make it: 

  1. Choose fibers that interest you for your braid; you can lump multiple fibers into strands. If you have never done it before, start with three strands. If you know how to braid with three strands, try it with five.
  2. Tie all of the fibers together at one end. Alternating sides, twist the outside strand into the inside; continue braiding to the end of the strands and tie a knot.
  3. Share your cultural heritage story with a friend and ask them about their own heritage. Notice the beautiful artistic expressions in the hairstyles around you. Make a bracelet for a friend or someone in your family! 

Our Inspiration

The Hair Craft Project by Sonya Clark, 2D Juried Award winner andco-winner of the Juried Grand Prize at ArtPrize 2014. Stylists: Kamala Bhagat, Dionne James Eggleston, Marsha Johnson, Chaunda King, Anita Hill Moses, Nasirah Muhammad, Jameika and Jasmine Pollard, Ingrid Riley, Ife Robinson, Natasha Superville, and Jamilah Williams

The Hair Craft Project is a series of photographs and textile works that document the primordial fiber art of hairdressing. For this project, artist Sonya Clark asked twelve hair stylists to style her hair, and use the same techniques to transform silk thread on a canvas. Clark brings the art of hair braiding into the gallery to celebrate and elevate her cultural heritage.

Braids have been used for construction and decoration by many cultures for thousands of years. Historically, different hairstyles have communicated something about the identity, like the ethnic group, age, or social class of the wearer.

By Allison Palm on