Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Make a Kumihimo Disk and Bracelet Part 2

Once you have completed your Kumihimo Disk (see my previous post), you are ready to make a bracelet.

Supplies needed to make 1 bracelet with ribbon clasp closure:
1. 16 20-inch lengths of string. I use wool embroidery floss because I have a stash from the thrift store. You can use any embroidery floss, thread, yarn, string, twine, dental floss, etc. that you have around. Be creative!
2. 2 ribbon crimps, 2 jump rings, 1 clasp. I purchased a package containing 3 sets for about $1.00 at my craft store.
3. Liquid glue that dries clear and works on fabric (optional).
4. Needle nose pliers or jewelry pliers.
5. Scissors.
6. Toothpick (optional).
7. Your brand new Kumihimo disk!

To begin, line up all 16 of your strings and tie them together at one end with a simple over-hand knot.

Place the knot through the center hole of your Kumihimo disk and hold the knot with one hand. Separate one string and tuck it into a slit (wrapping it on the template side of the disk). Separate another string and tuck it into the slit right next to the first string. Now skip 2 slits and tuck a thrid string in and a fourth right next to it. The pattern is 2 strings next to each other, 2 empty slits, 2 strings next to each other, 2 empty slits, and so on all the way around the disk, using all 16 strings.

Your disk is ready and you can now begin "weaving." I have marked one slit on my disk in red to designated the starting string. Turn the wheel so that your starting string is at the 12:00 position. Take the string on the right out of the slit and bring it down almost, but not quite, 180-degrees and place it to the right of the 2 strings below. (In my case this string is fuchsia - see pictures A and B.)

Now you will take the leftmost string of the 3 at the bottom (in my case this one is white) remove it from it's slit and bring it up to the left of the string at approximately 12:00. See picture C. At this point you will again have two string paired together all the way around your disk.

With the starting slit at the top rotate the disk a few turns counterclockwise until you have the next pair of strings in the 12:00 position. See photo D.

This will be your new starting position. Simply repeat steps A-D again. You will be doing this until your bracelet is the length you desire.

If your phone rings, or in my case your daughter yells "where's that toy I played with 3 years ago?!" you'll need to mark your position to resume weaving later. I do this by bringing the string I will use next up through it's slit so that it's still secure but hanging over the front of the disk. Now I know exactly where to start when resume weaving.
When your bracelet is as long or longer than you need, remove all the strings from the disk and tie another overhand knot to secure your weaving.

Gather up the rest of the supplies listed at the beginning of the post. I will be using glue and a toothpick to prevent my cut ends from fraying out of control. If you are using a different type of clasp, you may not need to do this. First I squeeze some glue out on a scrap of paper and have my toothpick ready. Then I cut the knot off one end of my bracelet.

I apply some glue to the ends that are starting to fray and mash them together a bit with my fingers.

I then use my needle-nosed pliers to squeeze the ribbon crimps tightly to the end of the bracelet. Do this on both sides after your have determined (by testing around your wrist) how long to trim the bracelet. Add a jump ring to one side and a jump ring with clasp to the other side.

You are done! Isn't it beautiful? Now that you have the hang of weaving on your disk, you can make patterns on your bracelets by using this pattern maker. You can design flowers, hearts, diamonds, ribbons, and more. Enjoy!


France said...

Thanks so much! I came across Kumihimo for the first time and wanted to try it NOW, and didn't have time for any mail order. Thanks for showing me how to recycle to make mine! Ice cream lids are great for stuff like that :)
Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for explaining this. My friend has started making these I think they are beautiful. Now I feel I can do this on my own.

Ruth said...

I am grateful for your picture of the disk. I can't afford a proper one and didn't want to work out all the angles to make one look right.
I will get one eventually. I am making one out of foam core card, I never thought about using this and I have a large piece for framing my cross stitch. I will be using my Kumihimo strands to go around my pincushions etc.
Thanks for a great tutorial.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much!! I love making friendship bracelets and this is something i haven't tried before. I appreciate the clear instructions!!

Bree said...

You're welcome - glad you are enjoying it!

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

Anonymous said...

This is just wonderful of you to share these directions and the pattern maker is an added bonus. LOVE IT! Just priced a Kumihimo disc at $9.95 plus shipping and it is cardboard. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Celine's Handcrafted Jewelry

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Anonymous said...

I know you posted this ages ago but i just found it...
i made one of these bracelets last night, but i have a couple of questions...
1. my bracelet came out a bit uneven, like some of it was loose while other bits were really you have any tips??
2. i don't understand what you do with the bit that comes through the hole in the card, i mean did you secure it to something while you're working on the bracelet, or do you just let it dangle??
hmm hope i explained myself enough there, and i hope you reply :)

Bree said...

Getting the bracelet even is probably a matter of practice. Also, if you use different thicknesses of embroidery thread, the bracelet will come out a little uneven. Mine usually do, but it doesn't bother me, I think they still look great!

As you're creating the bracelet, the completed bracelet just hangs through the middle hole. You don't need to secure it in any way.

Thanks for the questions and have fun!

E. K. Finley said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I've been trying to find a way to learn this (or persuade my sister to, she loves anything Japanese) for a while now. Now one (or both) of us finally can! Thanks again. =)

Tanya Ozanne said...

Want to try with beaded strings.,Not sure though.LOL love and hugs Tanya

Marsha Hedrick said...

Great that someone posted this. I made mine a few years ago and had thought about doing a tut now you have so that is great. I found a great large thick 'fun foam' disk at Michaels for like $1. The benefit of the thick fun foam disk is it is somewhat squishy and gives some tension on the threads in the slits and I think it would be more gentle on the thread than a cut edge of an ice cream lid as well, but it all works.

Adding Beads is easy Tanya you just thread the beads on the cords before you start and slide one down into the hole in the middle when you bring that thread across.

For any of you that want to make some fantastic necklaces using the kumihimo I sell porcelain 'slider sets' These have the focal and end caps for the cords in most cases. You can find them at in the 'sliders' category. Also endcaps separately in the 'cones' category.