Kumihimo Necklace Tutorial

Kumihimo Necklace Tutorial

Kumihimo Necklace Tutorial

I’m in the mood to play around with Kumihimo jewelry lately, so I’m hoping you’ll join me! It’s such a meditative process once you get in the groove, and I could definitely use a bit of zen-style beading in my life right now!! There is a wide range of designs and styles that you can do with Kumihimo, including patterns, spirals, or even adding beads, but for today let’s start with a simple spiral Kumihimo braid. This will help you understand the basics of Kumihimo before adding beads or creating other patterns.

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You will need:

60″ Length of Medium Weight Macrame Cord, Color A (4)

60″ Length of Medium Weight Macrame Cord, Color B (4)

Round Kumihimo Disk

Kumihimo Bobbins (8)

Kumihimo Weight (Optional)

Super Glue OR Thread Zapper

22 Gauge Craft Wire

End Caps (2)

S Hook Clasp

Needle Nose Pliers

Round Nose Pliers

Wire Cutters

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1. You will need one kumihimo disc and eight bobbins.

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2. Use a ruler to measure out four 60 inch pieces of macramé in color A and another four pieces in color B. The general rule is to cut each strand three times longer than your desired finished piece.

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3. Wind one cord tightly around the interior of a bobbin.

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4. Leaving a 6 inch tail, fold the bobbin closed. Continue with the other 7 bobbins.

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5. Gather all eight macramé cord tails and tie them together in an overhand knot.

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6. Pass this overhand knot through the hole in the center of the disc. You can hold this knot between your fingers or hang a weight from it (I prefer using a weight).

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7. You will notice that the kumihimo disc has numbered notches around the perimeter, as well as four dots. Take one Color A cord (purple here) and pass it through the notch to the left of the top dot (between 31 & 32).

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8. Take a second Color A cord and pass it through the notch to the right of the top dot (between 32 & 1).

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9. Take a third Color A cord and pass it through the notch to the left of the bottom dot (between 16 & 17).

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10. Take the fourth Color A cord and pass it through the notch to the right of the bottom dot (between 15 & 16).

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11. Take one Color B macramé cord (green here) and pass it through the notch above the right hand dot (between 7 & 8). Then pass a second Color B cord through the notch below the right hand dot (between 8 & 9).

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12. Take a third Color B cord and pass it through the notch above the left hand dot (between 24 & 25). Then pass the fourth Color B cord through the notch below the left hand dot (between 23 & 24).

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13. Move the cord at the bottom left (between 16 & 17) to the top left (between 30 & 31).

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14. Move the cord at the top right (between 32 & 1) to the bottom right (between 14 & 15). Pull all four cords very tight.

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15. Rotate the entire kumihimo disc counterclockwise ¼ turn.

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16. Move the cord at the bottom left (between 24 & 25) to the top left (between 6 & 7).

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17. Move the cord at the top right (between 8 & 9) to the bottom right (between 22 & 23). Pull all four cords very tight.

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18. Rotate the kumihimo disc counterclockwise ¼ turn and repeat steps 13-17 until you reach the desired length. The cords will slowly move away from the dots, and the numbers will change with each rotation. If you need to put your kumihimo disc down, stop with three cords together (as shown below). This will help you find your place easily when you return to your project.

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19. When you reach the desired length, tie the ends of the cords in an overhand knot. Use super glue or a Thread Zapper to melt the cords.

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20. If you use a Thread Zapper the knot will stay closed when melted.

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21. Wrap 22 gauge wire in a coil at the base of the knot.

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22. Bend the wire so the long end faces the end of the necklace and thread a bead cap or cone on to cover the knot.

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23. Use your wire wrapping skills to form a closed wire wrapped loop with the wire. Make this loop large enough that you can slide your S hook clasp into it.

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24. Repeat steps 19-23 on the other end of the necklace. Add an S hook clasp, and your necklace is finished!

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So how was your first foray into Kumihimo? Did you get into the groove with it or do you need some more practice? Keep working on it and next month I’ll show how to add beads and how to make a different style of clasp using a button.

Happy Beading!!

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