Tag Archives: bracelet

Kumihimo tricks and tips

15 May

The lady at the bead shop told us in the spring of 2012 that we were about a year ahead of the kumihimo trend. When we first started making bracelets with buttons we could only find one other person incorporating a button in their kumihimo design and the way they finished off the bracelet was completely different. Well, it looks like the lady at the bead store was prophetic! We are amazed at the kumihimo and button creations showing up on Google and Etsy these days.

Now that the kumihimo trend has caught on, I thought it would be nice to share some tips and tricks we learned along the way.

1. If you use Magatama beads, you will need a bit more C-Lon then just seed beads. Adjust the length of your cord for larger or smaller beads accordingly. The larger the bead, the more cord you need.
2. We usually measure one strand of C-Lon or S-Lon by measuring it from our hand to shoulder with arm extended.
3. I like to measure all eight strands at the same time and then cut once, keeping four strands doubled (to make eight strands). This way I can thread the strand through the button holes and have eight strands ready to go.
4. At the beginning, don’t braid more than 1/8″ or your button will stick out. You want the button to lay as flat as possible on the wrist for comfort.
5. Be sure to keep your cord taught on the loom. This will keep your design uniform.
5. If you need to take a break, do it when you have three cords at one spot. Then you will know right where to pick back up.
6. When finishing, use a good glue and be sure your knot is secure.
7. If you run out of cording, you are toast. You can always add beads but not cording.
8. Remember your cording will show, so match it to the beads or button.
9. If you miss a bead and don’t find it until after the piece is done, you can add a bead by threading cording and a bead on a needle and working it into the missed space. Just run your cord through a few beads on either side and secure with a hidden knot, like in sewing.
10. Don’t make your finished loop too long. If you do (we did this many times at first), go back and re-tie your finish knot, cut off the excess, and be sure the loop is just barely big enough to fit around the button. Otherwise your bracelet will look odd.

Hope these tips and tricks make your kumihimo experience a bit easier. Enjoy!

Beth
View our creations on Etsy

20130515-152030.jpg

Advertisements

Kumihimo bracelet stretched

29 Nov

Our experience has been a Kumihimo bracelet made with cord, (we use C-Lon or S-Lon), will stretch if it gets wet. Be careful about wearing it when washing your hands. I made a beautiful black bracelet with C-lon and Magatama beads. A few weeks later I found it had stretched about a half an inch. This made the problem even worse because the longer the bracelet got, the more likely it was to get wet when washing hands. This has only happened on the one occasion, however, it is a good tip to know.

So be sure to take the bracelet off or push it up on the wrist when washing hands. See our beautiful Kumihimo bracelets at CAAZandeffect

20121129-161000.jpg

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

20121111-074933.jpg

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

20121102-145419.jpg

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

20121029-113857.jpg

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

20121023-071944.jpg