Friday, 27 January 2017

Beaded Kumihimo bracelet experiments: first the purple blues one.

This is a bracelet I made about 2 weeks ago  using the beaded KUMIHIMO technique.
The link explaining and showing you how is here below and I will explain how I made this bracelet with materials very readily available in the UK as the video is an American one.
Or search for elegant beaded bracelet CSL Kumihimo in YouTube and you should see it.
My materials are as follows:
 1.A  mini Kumihimo foam disc  by Bead Fairy - available from the Oxford Bead Shop or Amy Surman:

2. Puppets Eldorado #10 blue crochet cotton available from purple linda crafts online shop,
3. Gutermann tube of 28 g 9/0 rocailles colour 6690 the royal blue/purple ones with oil slick glaze effect
4. A beading needle with a very large eye- online or Amy Surman- they are sold in packs of 3 or 4
5. Craft Factory small box of 4mm e beads in purple- available in many haberdashery shops and Hobby -craft
6. a bulldog clip and small sandwich bag of  coins as a weight
7. Bracelet fittings- end caps , jumprings and fastener or magnetic end caps
8. Kumihimo snap close Bob EEZ  bobbins available on amazon or from spoilt rotten beads online.
You will need 8 of these or can use large clothes pegs but the bobbins are much easier to use and are sold in packs of 8.
9. E 6000 tube of jewellery glue

Now these materials will all make more than one bracelet and as in the glue, crochet cotton and the disc, weight and bobbins are tools and materials that have many many uses.

 Now to show I had made a few previous forays into beaded Kumihimo and plain braided Kumihimo:
I show some I made in previous years since our house near Paignton holiday.
The latest purple one is the unfinished braid at the front.
Here you can see the beaded braid- far right - and the leftover materials still strung on the bobbins.

This close up shows the stringing of the beads: it's either start with a 4 mm bead then 2 of the 9/0 gutermann rocailles then 4mm bead again and 2 Gutermann 9/0 again etc.
It's impartant to note that 4 strands are beaded starting with the 4mm bead followed by 2of  9/0 then
4mm again and 2 of 9/0 etc.
The other 4 strands start with the 2 of 9/0 and then the 4mm , followed by 2 of 9/0 and then 4 mm again and this is repeated.
I have small wrists so I made a beaded length of 14.5 cm and DO measure this when it is off the disc or without the weight on or you will find you think it is longer than it is!
I measured with the weight on while on the disc and had 15 to 15.75 cm!
But it retracted when it came off the disc so beware!

this shows the bead sequence for the stringing of the strands.

I have a small plastic bag full of old coins with a knot at the top which is tied to a bulldog clip.
I then use the bulldog clip to attach the coin bag(=weight) to the start point of the Kumihimo braid.

Shall we start?
Cut 8x70 cm lengths of the Puppets Eldorado cotton and tie them all together with an overhand knot near one end.
Pop that end through the hole in the disc and attach the bulldogclip.

Now string the beads onto each of the 8 strands in the 1 of 4mm bead, then 2 of 9/0 , then 1 of 4mm etc order ensuring you make 4 where the 4 mm bead is first and 4 where the 2 x 9/0 beads are first.
This is easiest using either a special large eye beading needle or you can stiffen the end of the cotton with nailvarnish, wait till it dries and use that to pick up the beads.
About 50 beads per strand should suffice for a small size bracelet, if you need a larger size use 60-80 beads per strand.

When you have strung the beads you wind each strand onto a bobbin, leaving about 20 beads exposed and about 15 cm of the cotton thread.
Up to this point it is similar to the video link I mentioned above.

AFTER this point if you wish to have the look I show with this purple bracelet then you have to arrange the strands differently from the video!

I actually discovered this because I did it WRONG but actually I like the effect it created !
So I have learned a NEW pattern.
Oh what a happy mistake.
THIS is how you set up your disc as per the diagram above in the photo.
So to the left of 32 you have a strand starting with a 4 mm, then to the right of 32 you have one starting with 2 9/0 beads and you keep alternating all the way around, setting strands up either side of 8 ( or E) , 16 ( or S), and 24 ( or W).

Then the bracelet is started with a stump of about 2 cm of just cord and NO BEADS , move a strand from bottom left to top left, then one from top right to bottom right, then do a quarter turn, by moving the bottom part of the disc to the right and upwards in an anticlockwise turn motion.

( see video)

After the 2 cm without beads you start adding the beads as per the video, use the 2 9/0 gutermann beads as if they are one bead, so always move 2 of those together.
BIG TIP: if you want to stop, answer the phone, the front door, stroke the dog or make a cup of tea/ coffee then do this:
that way you know where you are and can easily continue the move. If you don't do this and complete a move and then leave the work you may start at the wrong point and believe me you can see this in the beaded bracelet and will annoy you for ever more.

I learned this the hard way and it can be seen in my earlier bracelets which I am going to re-make!
So this above is what it should look like when you need to take a break.
except the 3 strands should be the ones vertical and at the bottom half.
The photo is rotated a quarter turn by mistake that's all.

This is a bit of the video on You Tube that I recommend you watch?

 Except the braid following my pattern will not be the triangular one she describes, that one will follow in the next post or so!
The beaded braid coming out of the disc nicely. Seen from below.

The beaded braid up close. effectively I think you bead the 4 mm - for 8 passes and then the 2 x9/0 for 8 passes and then the 4mm again.

This final photo shows the initial set up: the strand that starts with a 4 mm and the other type strand that starts with 2x 9/0.

I hope you have a go and let me know how you get on?

When you have your desired length you add another stump of non beaded cord by doing the braiding without beads for 2 cm then take it off the disc and do an overhand knot for all 8 strands.

Then you cut the strands above the knot.

I advise you to apply nail varnish to the stumps and then with the yarn threaded in a fine needle sew a few bands of thread over the stump until it fits the end caps neatly.

Sew the thread in with locking stitches and trim to fit the end cap fittings.
Do this for both ends.
Then put a small amount of E 6000 into the end caps and push the finished stumps into the caps.
Let set overnight.

Next morning/ day add the jumprings and hammer claw closure or whatever closure findings you have purchased from a jewellery making supplier.
Both Amy Surman and Spoiltrotten Beads as well as many others online offer many solutions for finishing the braids as a bracelet or indeed as a necklace ( you would need a lot more beads and cord for a necklace!)

See you again soon for a vertically striped beaded kumihimo bracelet or indeed a spiral striped one.


  1. Gorgeous bracelet, the experimenting really paid off!

  2. Thank you! Yes I love it too and wear it almost daily.