So, I finally finished off the bracelet that I started in the Kumihimo braiding class that I took a while ago, and here it is, along with another I made shortly after!
As I mentioned in my previous post, this is a waxed cotton cord (1 mm width) and size 6 seed beads in an iridescent sort of blue/purple colour and a matte finish.
Once I was done with that bracelet though, I wanted to try a few more styles…. and ended up doing a red leather one with black beads.
Lynn Caldwell uses Kumihimo to display beautiful glass focal beads.
The Bead Hive explains a bit about the history of Kumihimo, and shows off using different materials, and mixing bead types in one piece. Love the effect here!
Blogger Stephanie shows off a wide variety of styles in her blog.
Craftsy offers a pattern where a beaded Kumihimo necklace graduates in colour – very pretty!
I like how Mrs. Beadly starts off with her toggle clasp right away, rather than having to cap both ends of her work. Photos on this page also show use of satin cord rather than leather or cotton for a shiny look.
After the first project I went to two other materials I picked up during the class – a ‘wine’ (dark red) leather cord (again 1 mm wide) and black matte size 6 seed beads and made up a similar bracelet. This time around I cut my cord a bit shorter – I cut it 145 cm long, and when I was finished, I realized that I had about 18 cm more cord than I needed – so in future I could probably cut the cord about 130cm long, assuming the cord was the same and the beads were the same. I used about 240 seed beads on this project as well.
One aspect I noticed, is that when I was using the weight, the finished braid is much tighter, and when I took the weight off and used less tension, the beaded braid is looser. I like both – but I would have liked a more consistent finished product, and should have kept the weight on throughout the whole bracelet construction.
I finished the bracelet the same way that I did the one I did in the class, by wrapping the ends in wire, cutting them off, then gluing on the bead cap. I then used split rings to attach a magnetic clasp. I like magnetic clasps for bracelets, since they are much easier to put on by yourself than a lobster or box clasp – though I do worry about how much they’ll hold. Also, they are very small magnets, and if you’re using them to craft, you should be careful not to let them become ingested by children/animals/etc.
I do really like the contrast between the shiny leather and the matte beads in the finished bracelet.
Both finished pieces!
The costs for the caps were .85$ for the plain ones, and .40$ for the decorated ones. The large magnetic clasp was about 3.00$, while the small one came from a pack of four from Michaels (I think in the 9.00$ range). The leather cord was in the 9.00$ range for a small spool while the cotton cord came on a spool twice the size for about the same price. The beads were about 7.00$ per vial, and I used less than a full vial for each. I also used split rings from my crafting stash.