Hi everybody today I am doing a beginners tutorial for a basic kumihimo braid. It is a bit of a selfish one really as my key ring broke the other day so I needed a new one so the tutorial is for a kumihimo braid key ring but it is really easy to make into a bracelet or necklace too. I find kumihimo really relaxing (and addictive!) as it is repetitive and involves no counting so it great for doing in front of the TV! Here I am showing you a basic 8 cord pattern but there are also much more complicated patterns which can include more than 36 cords… I am definitely one for keeping things simple though!
What you need:
- Kumihimo disk – the one I used here is a foam one you can buy from craft/jewellery making suppliers. You can also make your own from some cardboard (or even an old cd). A quick internet search will find you a tutorial on how to do this
- Cord – I have used satin cord here but you can use whatever you have to hand. To make the pattern shown here you need 4 lengths of 2 different colours which are approximately six times the length you want your cord to be.
- Some keys and a keyring – I have left the keys on as the weight is really useful to keep the tension of the cord even.
- Thread your cords through the key ring and tie a knot near the ring so that the cords are folded in half
- Set the threads up in your disc as shown above. The numbers don’t really matter the cords just need to be opposite one another and at 90 degree angles from each other. The keys will dangle through the hold in the middle.
- To start the braid – bring the top right cord down to the right of the two bottom cords
- Bring the bottom left cord up to the left of the two top cords
- Turn the disc 90 degrees so the other colour cords are at the top and bottom. It doesn’t matter which direction so long as you always turn it the same way.
Once your braid is as long as you want it pinch the top to stop it from coming undone. Then remove the cords from the disk, tie a knot and snip off the ends to the length you want. And Done!
You can use exactly the same technique to make bracelets or necklaces with. You can still use keys as a weight but with a longer loop which you can cut at the end so you can finish the bracelet like I described in this blog post. You can also experiment with different colours to get different patterns as well as different materials.
Let me know if you try it and if you send me a picture of what you make I will feature it in my blog! If you have any questions or problems with the tutorial please let me know and I will try to help!
Keep an eye out for my next post where I will talk a bit more about where kumihimo comes from, different styles and most importantly the jewellery you can make with it! You can also check out my etsy shop for inspiration and to buy completed pieces of jewellery!