I’m so excited to share this bracelet Kumihimo tutorial with you, but first I have to admit something to you guys. I am addicted to window-shopping at Anthropologie. I covet so many of their things, and so I visit them frequently – via the internet-machine.
I was perusing the jewelry section when I came across a bracelet that immediately inspired me. This is the Industrial Arts bracelet. It’s simple, but makes a statement.
It reminded me of the Kumihimo braiding that I had been wanting to try my hand at.
Today’s project is only inspired by the fabulous folks at Anthro. I didn’t copy it exactly, as a) I like putting my own spin on things and b) I didn’t have leather cording. I had rattail (the cording, not the awesome 80’s hairdo that way too many people wore).
Supplies needed to make your own bracelet Kumihimo:
- White Rattail Cord.
- Kumihimo Round Disk/Loom.
- Wooden Bead.
- E-6000 adhesive.
- Kumihimo Findings/End Caps.
- Jewelry Pliers.
- Gold Findings.
To braid in the Kumihimo style is much easier than I originally thought. The set I got came with instructions and in no time flat I was braiding quickly.
You start with eight pieces of rattail, all cut to four times the size of your desired finished product. The tied end is put through the hole of the loom and then the cords are arranged in the fashion you see below. Two cords are at North, East, South and West. Because I was mimicking the style of the Anthro piece, I used only white cording, but multiple colours are really lovely in this style of braiding.
Once you’ve done the “exchange” in this position, you make a half turn to the next direction. In this case, it would be East. Then you lather, rinse, repeat until you’ve created a fabulous braided length of bracelet Kumihimo!
Because this bracelet Kumihimo does not have a clasp, I checked a few times to make sure that I could slip the length of the bracelet Kumihimo over my hand. Once I was satisfied, I cut the rattail very close to the end of the braid and then slipped it into an end cap containing a big dollop of E-6000 adhesive.
I let the two ends sit and cure for about an hour. I didn’t want the caps to fall off while I was working on the next step and then came back to attach the bead.
To make the bead, I essentially created a charm. I used an eye pin to slide the wooden bead onto the bracelet, then used round-nosed pliers to create an eye on the other end of the pin.
I used a jump ring to close the bracelet and secure the bead.
I love it! I think that the gold accents make the piece a tiny bit nautical, and yet still really lovely.
This bracelet Kumihimo could be worn with nearly any other bracelet, or worn alone.
And now that I’ve realized how easy this bracelet Kumihimo was to create, I’m thinking about painted beads and perhaps using different colours of cording. Kumihimo is going to be a new obsession of mine – I just know it!