DIY: Leather & Chain Kumihimo Braid

KumihimoBracelets1 BaublesAndBeads.comAncient technique meet contemporary materials in this great Kumihimo braided bracelet design. Mixing leather and chain has never been so easy; add a flashy clasp and 30 minutes from now you will have yourself a new favorite bracelet. A bit of wire wrapping experience is helpful to get professional looking results but the braid itself is super easy when using the handy braiding disk.Kumihimo Braid Materials Baubles & Beads

Securing the First Side of Cords & ChainSecuring Cords Baubles & BeadsStep 1: Cut all cords and chains to length.

Step 2: Tie an overhand knot at the center point in each of the leather cords.

Step 3: Using a length of the wire, feed the wire through the center of the knot on the cords and the center link of the chains. Position the cords & chain about 3” from the end of the wire.

Step 4: Cross over the two sides of the wire directly above the cords and chain. Secure the cord & chain to the wire by wrapping the short wire end around the longer tightly, two times. Cut the short wire tail flush against the wraps. The ends are now secured.

Wire Wrapping the End Cap in PlaceWireWrappingEnds Baubles&Beads

Step 5: Feed an end cap onto the end of the wire, hiding the wire connection.

Step 6: Feed on a daisy spacer bead for embellishment (optional).

Step 7: Make a wire wrapped loop on the end of the wire. (Later we will connect the clasp with jump rings.) Cut the remaining wire flush against the wire wrap.

Preparing the Cords and Chains for Braiding
There are four large black dots on the disk. These dots signify the starting position of each of the cords & chains. Our braiding material will be split up into 2 pairs of cords and 2 pairs of chains that will be positioned opposite of each other. Notice how the braiding disk has little slots that are numbered, while braiding we will moving along the disk in a counter clockwise fashion.StartingPointofBraid Baubles & BeadsStep 8: Position the secured end into the center of the disk, pointing away from you, and divide the cords and chain into pairs.

Step 9: Position the cords into the slots beside the top and bottom dots.

Step 10: Position the chains into the slots beside the dots on both sides.

Braiding the Cords & Chains
When braiding, try to maintain a consistent tension. The resulting braid should be centered in the middle of the disk hole. The resulting braid will be very tight and will require loosening for accurate length measurement.Step11-12 Baubles & BeadsStep 11: Bring the top right cord downward and position it into the bottom right slot of the disk.

Step 12: Bring the bottom left cord upward and position it into the top left slot of the disk. Turn the disk one quarter turn to the left (clockwise).Step13-14 Baubles & BeadsStep 13 Bring the top right chain downward and position it into the bottom right slot of the disk.

Step 14: Bring the bottom left chain upward and position it into the top left slot of the disk. Turn the disk one quarter turn to the left (clockwise).

Step 15: Repeat Steps 11-14 until your braid measures approximately 2.5 inches in length. Always complete the braid with the chains crossing over.LoosenTheBraid Baubles & BeadsStep 16: With the braid still positioned on the braiding disk, gently roll the braid between your fingers to loosen it. It should nearly double in length depending on the tension of the braid. The clasp and findings take up a lot of length in this design. An 8 inch bracelet is made up of about 5.25 inches of braid, ideal for a 6.5 inch wrist. Adjust the length of the braid to fit your needs.

Securing the 2nd Side of the BraidSteps18-20 Baubles & BeadsStep 17: Keep the braid on the disk. Tie the top right cord and the bottom right cord together into a tight double knot. Tie the two remaining cords together in the same way. Apply glue to both of the knots and allow the glue to dry.

Step 18: Cut the ends of the leather cords against the knots. Apply a bit of glue to the cut ends for added strength. Give the glue time to dry.

Step 19: Remove the chains from the braiding disk. Gather all four chains upward, above the leather cord knots.Finishing2ndSide BaublesAndBeads.comStep 20: Using a length of the wire, feed the wire through one link of each chain directly above the knots. Cut off the excess chain.

Step 21: Position the chains about 3” from the end of the wire. Bend the wire in half where the chains are attached to the wire. Secure the chain to the wire by wrapping the short wire end around the longer wire tightly, two times. Cut the short wire tail flush against the wraps. All ends are now secured.

Step 22: Repeat Steps 5-7 to position the end cap in place.AttachTheClasp BaublesAndBeads.comStep 23: Connect the clasp to the wire wrapped loops with jump rings.

Hooray! You’ve made your first Kumihimo braid. For your next project may we suggest using all leather or all chain in contrasting colors.

About Lisa Claxton
Beads... what can I say, they are and have always taken over my life. Every room in the house has them and yet I crave more.

6 Responses to DIY: Leather & Chain Kumihimo Braid

  1. Lisa Claxton says:

    My interest in Kumihimo was recently ignited by a presentation at our local Bead Society meeting. (www.beadsocietyofnorcal.org) The program addressed braided hair jewelry, much of it braided using Kumihimo looms. Read more about it here: http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=hairworkwebring2;id=3;url=http%3A%2F%2Fsentimentaljewelry.blogspot.com%2F2006%2F09%2Fhairwork-jewelry-table-worked-hair.html

    Like

  2. Lori says:

    This is awesome, Lisa, thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kjwinston says:

    Oh my God she’s doing kumihimo!

    Sent by virtual carrier pigeon via my iPhone

    >

    Like

  4. Ann Holliday says:

    In step 12, I think it should say to turn the disk to the right (clockwise), not to the left.

    Like

    • beadshopgirl says:

      Hi Ann,
      With four groups of threads it actually doesn’t matter which direction you turn the disk (clockwise vs counter clockwise) so long as you do it in the same direction throughout the braid.

      Like

  5. HoundMason says:

    Truly a unique idea! One that I plan on trying right away!

    Like

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