How to Braid a Whip

How to Braid a Whip. If you enjoy working with leather and have mastered small projects such as key fobs and wallets, you can step up your skills by learning to braid a whip. Don't let the imagery scare you--small, simple whips can be used for all sorts of purposes. Playful cats, for example, can enjoy whip strands for hours. Read on to learn how to braid a whip.

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Use cheap imitation leather to make your first whip. Find out if you really enjoy making one before you invest in quality materials. Major retailers carry inexpensive 1/8-inch faux leather by the yard that works well for a first project. Buy 20 yards in the shade of your choice.

Cut 10 strands, each two yards long. Set the tenth piece aside. If you find the store cut your material wrong and the last piece is a bit shorter or longer, don't be concerned. You will cut this strand into smaller pieces.

Gather the nine remaining strands together. Fold them exactly in half. Measure 12 inches from the fold, down one side. Tie a half knot on that side using all of the strands.

Secure the half knot to a table or desk using duct tape. Disregard the short end. Stretch the long end out, and separate into three groups of three strands. Braid the strands together tightly until you have a 12-inch braid. Tie a half knot (again using all the strands) to secure the braid.

Remove the duct tape and fold the braid in half. This forms the whip handle. All of the loose strands should be approximately the same length below it. Cut one yard off the previously set aside tenth strand.

Measure off a tail the length of the remaining loose strands. Tie the tenth strand in a knot around the two braided ends, 1½ inch up from their bottom edge, leaving the tail hanging down with the rest. Wrap the long end of the strand repeatedly around the ends of braids, working your way downward toward the tails. At the braid ends, secure the strand with another knot.

Decorate your whip by trimming tails, knotting ends or braiding some of the strands. Use the leftover piece from the tenth strand for this purpose if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cats love to play with whip strands but you must never strike one with it. Even a light swat can be painful to your pet.
  • Never allow your pet to chew the whip or play with it unsupervised. Your cat could chew off a strand and swallow it, causing injury to the digestive tract.
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