Kumihimo bracelet with Magatama beads cost per bracelet

11 Nov

We were recently discussing our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads and the cost per bracelet.

I thought I would share a perspective of what is takes to create one of our CAAZ and effect Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama seed beads. First we need supplies; a beading mat, braiding disk, plastic bobbins, beading needle, scissors, hanging weight, and book with pattern suggestions.

Next we need materials. We typically use Magatama beads and C-Lon cord. A tube of long Magatama beads costs anywhere from $5 to $12 a tube. We usually use from three to five colors. C-Lon cord runs about $4 per spool and we match the color of our cord to the bead, using several colors per bracelet.

Once we have counted out the beads for each of the eight strands, string the beads, and wind the cord on the bobbins, it’s time to braid. It takes about two hours to complete the braiding process. Once the braid is complete it’s on to finish the piece. This includes a button, large bead, and often a charm. Each of these items need to be purchased adding to the production cost.

We sell our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads for $48. Unfortunately not a lot of profit. It’s a good thing we love the creative process!

Feel free to view our products at CAAZandeffect

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Kumihimo and fiber

6 Nov

Kumihimo braiding with fiber has endless possibilities. Ribbon, cord, yarn, leather, satin, almost anything can be used to create a fabulous kumihimo piece. Be sure to test your fiber for stretching. It isn’t fun to create a piece thinking it will be one length only to find out when pulled, it multiplies in size. For example, we tried braiding a ribbon made of 26% nylon, 74% polyester, only to find our careful calculations for a seven inch bracelet turned into a ten inch bracelet when completed due to stretching. If you use a heavy weight with your creation, as you braid it, you will notice it get skinnier and longer. We found that 100% polyester works best. Stay away from anything with nylon in it. Satin cord and most yarns work well without stretching. If your fiber stretches before you make the piece, it will definitely stretch when completed and unfortunately it doesn’t shrink back to the smaller size.

View our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads here…CAAZandeffect

Friendship bracelets, is the effort worth the price?

2 Nov

Today we researched making friendship bracelets to accompany our kumihimo bracelets. We really like the look of variations in stacked bracelets. First we needed the material and most tutorials say to use cotton pearl thread, or more commonly known as crochet thread, size five. So we purchased about twenty colors from $1.29 to $1.69 each and a book for $15.95. The instructions state to use several colors per bracelet. Then we researched the technique for each pattern. After about an hour of research we began to knot the friendship bracelet. We will readily admit that we were intimidated that the descriptions for most of the friendship bracelet tutorials were accompanied by either a picture of a child or the words “children’s activity”. It didn’t seem like a children’s activity to us. After about another hour and a quarter inch of bracelet, we decided to run to the local five and dime store to see what mass produced friendship bracelets were selling for. As you can see from the picture you can buy a pretty nice looking friendship bracelet for anywhere from $2.95 to $6.95 (depending on the material used). That was our big aha moment. No more friendship bracelet making for us. We still like the idea of stacking Kumihimo and corded bracelets, we just need to find summer camp attendees to make our friendship bracelets…haha!

You can view our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads here…CAAZandeffect

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Kumihimo and color

29 Oct

Deciding which colors of beads to use in a kumihimo jewelry piece is sometimes the toughest part. There are various patterns to follow to get your piece to look just right. Sometimes a piece is one color, sometimes two and so on. If using multiple glass seed bead colors for an eight strand piece, try selecting one or two colors that are out of the ordinary. That will make the piece “pop”. For example, in making an eight strand bracelet, we sometimes use several coordinating colors of Magatama seed beads and then one or two vibrant colors of another bead, to stand out. Notice the rust and blue in this otherwise tan and white kumihimo bracelet. We’ve finished this one with an Italian bronze tone button. To see more of our bracelet creations visit us at CAAZandeffect

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Magatama glass seed beads

25 Oct

When we first starting researching which materials we wanted to use for our Kumihimo bracelets, we noticed a longer glass seed bead among the common round glass seed beads. We loved the look. Now if we could find the bead!

We went on a search to find these unique beads in the local stores of San Diego. We quickly learned these beads have several descriptions; dragon tooth, dragon scales, long seed beads, 4×7 Magatama, peanut. It seemed each store had a different name for it. Even calling ahead didn’t work since the Magatama beads are called so many different names if they said they had magatama beads, we would arrive at the store only to find out if was either the wrong bead or they had one or two colors of it.

Next we researched the Internet and lo and behold, there they were. We now order the Magatama beads almost exclusively online. We love the shape, texture and array of colors in these beautiful beads. To view our kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads…CAAZandeffect

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Difference between kumihimo and macramé

23 Oct

Typically macramé uses four strands of cord where kumihimo usually uses eight strands of cord.

I started doing macramé projects as a teenager. I made bracelets and plant hangers (remember hanging a fern in the corner of the living room inside a rope looking thing? That was macramé!). I used an old cardboard insert from a bolt of fabric to work the cord. I would pin the four strand cord by a knot at the top of the board then work my design down the board using a pattern of a forward or backward number 4. There has been a recent increase in macramé friendship bracelets.

More recently I discovered the more intricate work of kumihimo, an old Japanese technique. Kumihimo uses eight strands of cord and a braiding disk. The patterns change based on the color of cord and the placement of the cord on the disk. The braiding disk has a hole in the center and the finished product hangs from the center. The resulting product can be flat or round, thin or thick depending on the size of the cord.

Our creations can be viewed here…CAAZandeffect

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Kumihimo…here we go!

18 Oct

If you can read this….just know that I am so excited you found it!!! My name is Beth. I’m a wife, mom of two adult sons, and I live in Gilbert, Arizona. I left a corporate job this year to travel, spend time with family and slow down. On one of my trips this year, my sister-in-law Debbie, taught me how to braid beautiful bracelets using the ancient Japanese technique called Kumihimo. I was hooked immediately. The combinations of colors, cording, patterns, finishings, all of it, fascinates me. Together, Debbie and I, are having a great time navigating the social media sites and telling our peeps about our jewelry. I hope you enjoy our creations as much as we enjoy creating them. CAAZandeffect

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