Kumihimo - Japanese braid-making

This was my first try at Kumihimo, a traditional Japanese form of making braids. Armed with a Kumihimo how-to video and plenty of supplies from my friends at Prima Bead, I really wasn't sure at first if I would enjoy it, since I'm not a knitter-weaver-stitchcounter type. But I am happy to report it was fun, easy and even somewhat meditative.

I highly recommend watching the video to learn the basics, rather than trying to learn from reading the package instructions. Once you have your cords loaded on the slotted foam disk, it's just three basic steps that you repeat over and over until the cords are braided together:  right cord down, left cord up, turn the disk.

I used one of my crystals as a weight, it really helps keep the braid taut as you are working. For the white bracelet, I used four double strands of cord. I love how the braid looks like thick rope, but so much prettier, especially with that silver thread in there.

For the blue bracelet, I used four single strands of cord, which ended up being the perfect thickness for the large-hole Trinkettes beads; they pretty much stay right where you put them in the center of the braid. I added some large-hole sterling beads as spacers.

Add some heavy-duty glue and some finishing findings...and not too bad for my first try! You can also add seed beads into the process, but I really like the look of the braids by themselves, especially with colorful, sparkly cording. Now that I've mastered the bracelet, I'm off to try a longer braid for a necklace.

For more Kumihimo projects, check out what these talented designers made this month too!
Cheryl Boglioli
Jennifer Priest
Kerrie Slade
Krafty Max Originals
Kristi Taylor
Molly Alexander
Pearl Blay
Rachel Nielson
Stefanie Girard