How to Braid Garlic (or Onions)
Photo & Video tutorial

An easy to follow tutorial on how to braid garlic (or onions) with step by step instructions and a video. For the emerging homesteader in you. Not a homesteader?  A garlic braid will still make you look cool in front of your cheffy friends.


Skip right to the tutorial.

So you’ve harvested your onions or garlic and are feeling a little fancy. Sure you normally just cut the leaves and stems off and throw everything into a basket but THIS year you want to rock a garlic braid. Because you’re cool and determined and they look great in a kitchen.

For this tutorial I’m going to use onions but the exact same technique is used for braiding garlic.

When braiding garlic use softneck types. You can also braid hardneck garlic, it’s just a bit harder. Literally.  The necks really are hard so you’ll have to soften up their stems by soaking only the stems in water or wrapping them in a wet towel for half an hour or so (to make them pliable for braiding).

Oh wait. You don’t grow your own onions or garlic?  O.K. well put that on your calendar for next year. Here’s How to Grow Garlic and here’s How to Grow Onions. Garlic is planted in the fall and onions in the spring so plan accordingly. I’ll meet you back here next year for when you’re ready to braid.

For everyone else? Here’s …


How to Braid Garlic (or onions)

How to Braid Garlic (or Onions)

How to Braid Garlic (or Onions)

Yield: 1 Braid
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

An easy to follow tutorial on how to make a garlic braid or onion braid.


  • 13 heads of garlic or bulbs of onions
  • Twine


    Lay out 13 heads of garlic in front of you and divide them from biggest to smallest. Group together 3 large, 4 medium and 6 small.

    Place the 3 largest heads together and tie a piece of twine with a 2 foot tail around them. The string holds the initial 3 heads together plus gives the braid support if you start to run out of stalks to braid.

    Step 1

    Now braid the 3 stalks just like you would hair counting every time you cross over. You want to braid three times. So count one, two, three and stop.

    Step 4

    Criss cross 2 medium sized onions over the stalks so they're on either side of the middle onion. Remember to keep your stalks lined up.

    Step 5

    Braid the stalks again, one, two, three.

    Step 6

    Continue like this using up your medium sized garlic first and ending with the smallest ones.

    When you're out of garlic, continue to braid the stalks and then fold them down behind. Secure the turned down braid with the tail of twine.


Just keep braiding the twine with the garlic as you go. It doesn't matter which stem you hold it with.

The main reason to braid garlic is because it looks good. There's no evidence it will last longer if you braid it as opposed to keeping it in a ventilated cotton bag.

Garlic will store for up to 6 months if you keep it in a place with a bit of humidity, like near the stove where you'll be boiling water etc.

To use the garlic either pluck off a piece of cut the entire head (starting with the head closest to the top of the braid)



Garlic Braiding Tips 

  1. Yes! Braiding garlic is exactly like French Braiding as a matter of fact. 🙂
  2. Softneck garlic is the easiest to braid, but hardneck garlic will work if you make the stems pliable by soaking them in water and massaging them.
  3. A garlic braid will last up to 6 months if you keep it in a well ventilated area with 70% humidity and a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. If you want to though, you can absolutely keep it in conditions other than that (like in your kitchen), it will just start to dry out and sprout earlier.
  5. Cut the top head off first and then work your way down the braid.

Still confused?   Braiding produce probably isn’t for you.  Perhaps you can get some enjoyment out of just playing with the ball of twine.  Luckily for you, balls of twine also look pretty cool in a kitchen so it’s not a complete loss. 

An easy step by step guide with video on how to braid garlic.  Or onions!  If you can french braid, you can braid garlic. And if you can\'t french braid - I\'ll show you!


  1. Jane says:

    Been drying my garlic in the garage…can’t wait to try to braid it…but can’t keep my garden goodies on my porch because the coons visit every night…Par Tee time for them….tried putting out coyote urine to keep,em away…didn’t work…guess I need a trap. We caught about 6 last summer…rolled up our new sod every night! They are very brave….and we all wanna see your moonwalk video:)

  2. frances mcginlay says:

    Have jst harvested my garlic under yr tutolage..thanks!
    Wd post a pic but don’t think i can? ..Suffice to say mine is little bit different 🙂 yr site is GREAT tho..ta x

  3. Sam H says:

    So when you cut an onion off… which one do you start with or does it not matter?

  4. Laura Bee says:

    Just checking to see when my garlic will be ready…about two weeks. Thanks Karen, you’re as useful as the Farmer’s Almanac & way more entertaining.

  5. Gayla T says:

    That was way too much trouble when we gardened because we had enough to last a family through the winter. We used the panty hose method. I have bought the strings from the farmer’s market but I guess my kitchen has too much moisture and it starts going soft. It sure looks good until then, though.

  6. AnnW says:

    Your blog gets “curiouser and curiouser” every day. What is that from? Alice and Wonderland? What Can”t You Do? I know, sew.

    • Karen says:

      AnnW – I can sew. I just sewed 2 nights ago. I don’t particularly like to sew. Although the other night I didn’t hate it for some reason. ~ k!

  7. marilyn says:


  8. I don’t have onions or garlic, but I did French braid my grass earlier this year….

    Nikki Kelly @ the ambitious procrastinator

  9. Barbie says:

    THANKS! I have ALWAYS wanted to know how to do that and we have oodles of onions and garlic in the garden!

  10. Brenda j says:


  11. Shauna says:

    I love it when I read a post title of yours and think, “eh, not something I’ll probably want to do, but Karen’s always funny, so I’ll read it.” And then, I read it and immediately want to re-produce what you’ve taught us. I suddenly MUST braid some onions or garlic for my kitchen. You have a knack for giving us that which we had no idea we needed to know.

  12. Bee says:

    When you cut an onion or garlic head off to use do you cut one from the top or the bottom of the braid?

  13. Jamieson says:

    So I’ve got it all braided together but now my hair smells like onions and my hat won’t fit over all these bulbs. I’m not looking forward to trying to sleep with this hairstyle, either.

  14. ruth says:

    this is exactly what I needed to know today cuz i have garlic curing in the garage. Thanks!

  15. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    They look so nice hanging in your kitchen..I would hate to use them..How long do they last before they go bad??

    • Karen says:

      Nancy – The garlic won’t stay there. It was just for a pretty picture. It will last for months if kept under the right conditions, which is a slightly cool room. Around 60 degrees or so. The warmer and drier the room the quicker it will sprout and shrivel up. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Dawna – I used to have a horse. We showed Hunter and Eventing. Occasionally Dressage. I can braid like nobody’s business! French braid, reverse french braid, herringbone … you name it I’ve braided a mane or tail with it. Do you have a mane or tail? ~ karen

  16. Jamiek says:

    As always, brilliant!

  17. That is so cool! So wishing we planted onions or garlic now 🙁 We only did scallions. Next year!

  18. I would get a huge charge out of this except that the blasted rabbits have decided that one of our gardens is their own personal eating refuge! Alas, my onions have been chewed to the ground. I am thinking about an electric fence and spy cameras to see how they are getting in! Any ideas, ladies?

  19. JebberA says:

    I kept the Nike suit for myself for winning gold at “firstsies” this morning. It could so easily have been yours.

  20. Jen H says:

    It looks kind of like French braiding, but with produce. Did you let them ‘cure’ or dry before starting, or do you do this anytime after they are out of the ground?

    • Karen says:

      Jen H – Good point. Let them cure first. Otherwise they’ll have trouble drying while they’re all braided tight. For the garlic, the stalks will get hard after curing so you have to soak them in water or wrap them in a damp towel for a while to make them pliable again. ~ karen!

  21. Tisha says:

    Very cool! Now I wish I had a garden with garlic and onions so I could have cool braided stuff on my walls

  22. cred says:

    exellent! I really want a braid of both garlic and onion (that I made myself) hanging in my kitchen. NIce video- it made me lauhg when you popped you head in to smile at the camera.

  23. Gawd you’re funny….play with a ball of string. Love the sarcastic humour. 🙂

  24. Molly says:

    I always wondered how this is done. Thanks so much for showing!

    That reminds me of a braid of garlic that I once bought in France. It was smoked! It was not only delicious and the cloves were very juicy, it also lasted much longer than normal garlic.

    I don’t know how to do it, I have no smoker and no garlic 😉 But if you have a lot of garlic, maybe you can give it a try.

  25. Niki @MaisonMutt says:

    So beautiful, it almost made me cry. Wait. no, that was a flashback to the last time I chopped onions. Anyway, great demo. Can’t wait to braid my 2013 bumper crop!

  26. Becky says:

    That’s just beautiful. Now I wish I had put some onions in my garden.
    The video is super helpful too.

  27. JebberA says:

    In the spirit of the Olympic games, I award you the first ever gold medal for bulb braiding. Congratulations, Karen, on making history! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Art of Doing Stuff