This is the simple way to make a braid bracelet. It is NOT the technique that I use, which I will post (hopefully, sometime soon), but it is a better way to do it until you get the hang of how long your beaded strands need to be for the length of bracelet that you want to finish with.
Also, I would like to point out that the best kind of clasp for this is by far the lobster claw. I just didn't have any left, and didn't have time to run to the store to buy any.
I'm not a fan of barrel clasps for bracelets, because they're a pain to get on by myself and I have nervous hands, so they tend to come undone on me. Smaller toggle clasps look nicer, but I have the same problem with them. Classic clasps are simply a pain to get on, what with the braid's bulk. I've also done a button as a clasp, which is definitely my second favorite, but it lends a much younger look, and also makes it harder to go from casual to dressy.
But, by all means, try whatever you like!
And, please excuse my long-windedness... It's a no-sleep night again. *sigh*
First and foremost, make sure that you have all of your materials in front of you. You don't want to have to go looking for anything, because the three strands have a tendency of getting tangled up every chance they get.
Plus, you might forget the pony beeds, like I do half the time, and did here...
Thread all 3 needles with the length you want the finished bracelet to be, +3 inches! You will need plenty of extra to work with, trust me.
Then knot them together. I knotted each strand, then passed one through the other 2 and around, back through itsself and pulled tight, if that makes any sense to you.
Put some glue or nail polish on the knot and let it dry before passing it through the clasp. If you use a lobster claw, use a clamshell over the knot.
Now, THREAD ON A PONY BEAD!
Don't forget, like me, because without it, the bulk of the braid makes it hard to clasp the bracelet. Also, when you're actually fingering the ends of the braids all the time they tend to loosen, and eventually begin to seperate.
String your beads.
It's best to make the strands as long as you can get away with.
Lay the bracelet on a flat surface and weight/tape down the clasp end, so that the bracelet does not roll as you braid, which will make the braid uneven, which may cause it to come apart later.
The best way to keep the braid even is to pull the strands straight out from each other (as shown)
Also, I like to have a finished bracelet of the desired length to lay next to it.
You will need to keep pushing the beads up as you go... I guess you could tape the ends, but there is a good chance that you'll be slipping beads off towards the end.
Once your braid is the correct length, slip on a pony bead and your clasp.
This tends to be where the whole thing tries to come apart, so be ready to exert patience.
TIP: I like to tie the tails together by twos (middle+right, middle+left, left+right) under the pony bead, if there is a large enough hole.