A: The finished product. This technique can be used for belts, purse handles, bracelets, and an endless number of other applications.
B: For your first try I suggest starting with a piece of scrap leather about 1" wide by 14" to 18" long. Cut two slits down the middle evenly spaced so that you divide the leather into three strips.
DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY TO EITHER END!
Now punch a small hole at each end of both slits. This will keep the slits from ripping at the ends.
I have marked each strip with a pen so it is easier to follow them. You might want to do this on your first try to make it easier to follow.
C: Take number 1 and bring it from left to right over the top of number 2
D: Take number 3 and bring it from right to left over the top of number 1
E: Take number 2 and bring it from left to right over the top of number 3
F: Now take the bottom end and pass it through the space marked by the arrow
G: Continue pulling it all the way through and down.
H: You will now have a nice three piece braid at the top and a big mess at the bottom just like I have here. Don't worry about the bottom end right now.
I: Take number 1 from left to right over number 2.
J: Take number 3 from right to left over number 1.
K: Take number 2 from left to right over number 3.
L: Now take the bottom end and pass it through the space marked by the arrow.
Continue pulling it all the way through and down.
M: You should now be right back where you started from with numbers 1, 2, & 3 back in the correct order. Go back to the beginning and start over. Continue doing this until you have braided the entire length.
When you have finished, the braids at the bottom will be loose, so you should start them reasonably tight at the beginning. After you are finished you will have to work the braids a little from top to bottom to evenly distribute them and take the slack out of the bottom end.