DIY Kumihimo Bracelets

One of the fun things about being an ambassador for Cousin Corporation is almost getting...forced to try out new beading techniques. I was sent a few goodies to try out the art of Kumihimo - and I wasn't super excited. Kumihimo is a "Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands." I've never been into bead weaving and I kind of thought Kumihimo might be something like that. Too hard to learn and meticulous to be worth trying.

But I had nothing going on this weekend, so I hunkered down in my craft room with the latest season of Project Runway and decided I'd give it a go.  And you know what? It wasn't hard to learn, and I might be just a litttttttle addicted now. I've made three bracelets so far and can't wait to make more!!


Today I'm going to give you a little overview on making these first two.  This will NOT be a complete tutorial because Cousin and Prima Bead already have fabulous youtube videos that really explain it best.  It's easier to watch the video than me take a zillion photos and try to explain when watching just makes it way easy :)

Here's the video to make a BEADED round braid.

Which is this first silver bracelet I did:

To get started with Kumihimo you will need a round disk, bead needle, cord, beads, end caps and E-600 glue. Here's how the set-up looks:

You basically cut four pieces of cord, fold them in half and tie with a weight and drop it down the center of the round disk. You then align the cords along the N, E, S, W symbols and string on beads using the bead needle (I strung on 35 as the video suggested and had some extra)

You rotate bringing a cord down from the top, inserting a bead into the hole, bringing a cord up from the bottom and inserting a bead, then rotating the board and starting again.  What? Yeah. Just watch the video it will make sense.

You'll be braiding away and then all of a sudden LOOK! You have a lovely beaded braid coming down the center of your board! (I used a wooden spool as my weight - hence why it is hanging from my bracelet!)

After your braid is long enough, knot the strands from the end you were just braiding with and remove the weight and disk.

Trim the cord ends and use E-600 glue to attach end caps and a clasp.


Fabulous! It LOOKS like it was hard to make, but after you get the hang of it it's super simple. 

With the beads this was a pretty chunky bracelet, so I decided to try one without beads. Here's the video on making a bracelet just using cord:


I used the same cord from my last bracelet as will as a skinny silver cord.

Set your board up with the same colors on the N & S, as well as the E & W (I had already braided a bit in this photo hence why my cords have moved clockwise)

Continue braiding with the method discussed in the video. Tie off the ends and add a clasp using cord ends and glue. I used a magnetic clasp on this bracelet to make it easy to get off and on.
 
Without beads and using skinny cord this bracelet turned out much skinnier.  It's kind of like a fancy friendship bracelet!

I like how the two bracelets pair together - I'm all about keeping things matchy matchy :)

They make for some fabulous arm candy!

8 comments

  1. So cool! I want to try this.

    TFS

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  2. This is so cool! I've never seen this before but definitely love the look of it! Thanks for sharing! I may have to give this a try. :)

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  3. These are so elegant and beautiful! I wish I had the patience to give them a try. Linda @www.paperseedlings.com.

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  4. Gorgeous! I'm pinning this to my DIY Christmas Gift Pinterest board. Of course I'll need to make a couple for myself first ;)

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  5. Gonna return my board. Says cancerous,and causes birth defects. No wonder they say not for children under 15. Maybe I'll try to make one out of cardboard. There's no excuse for making something this simple out of a dangerous material!

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  6. Pam, I feel like the product has an age recommendation due to choking hazard, small parts (beads) etc. Not because it is made out of dangerous material. I would reach out to Prima's customer service line with your concerns, they are very helpful and available every week day!

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  7. Thank u for this tutorial. Its was so easy and fun to make . I am now making the second bracelet for my daughter.

    Mica
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