Leather Kumihimo and Instant Glam Arrow

I have designed many kumihimo braids this year using different stringing materials and fibers.  My husband is always quite interested in the results and it occurred to me that I should try and make a kumihimo braid that he might wear.

This braid uses lots of different leathers and our traditional black rattail.

 When I set up my kumihimo disk I knew that two of the leathers were going to be too thick for the slots….but surprising, by just placing them on the edge of the disk they stayed securely in place during the braiding.

I used black suede lace, black braided bolo cord, 1mm leather cord, 1.5mm black rattail and black glossy fish leather for this project.

 John Bead has new and extra large end caps.  My braid was very thick and these new caps finished the ends beautifully.  Quick Grip glue was used to attachment the leather braid to the end cap.

I made a photocopy of my Instant Glam Arrow bezel so that I could cut a piece of fish leather which would fit this unique shape.  I then used Quick Grip again to glue my fish leather to my bezel.

These pewter toggles really look amazing.  They are a great weight and I felt like they gave my finished necklace a “manly” feel.

Here is a closer look at this nautical themed set.

My leather kumihimo and Instant Glam necklace is ready to wear!

Verdi Difacto Necklace by Fernando DaSilva

This is the Verdi Difacto necklace by Fernando Dasilva.

Fernando has created many pieces of jewelry which are displayed in the John Bead showroom.  Some of these designs appear in our catalogues and may have been published.  For those of you who can’t visit in person we will have a regular post on this blog giving you a closer look at the finished jewelry.  Fernando has written all the instructions and is sharing them with you. Welcome to the series we call:  Fernando DaSilva’s Atelier. 

Here is a closer look at Verdi Difacto’s linked sections.


Materials Used

2 topaz 8mm crystal bicone beads

2 mooca 10mm crystal round bead

1 silver  pink  17x17mm metallic diamond glass peacock beads

4 blue metallic 17x17mm peacock beads

1 African turquoise 30x40mm rectangle bead

4 oval dyed green shell donuts

10 oval jump rings

3ft of dark chain

2 rhodium plated frames

16 black bead  bumpers

silver plated wire guardians

10 silver plated 4mm crimp covers

19 strands Beadalon pink colored stringing wire

3 ft silver plated German style wire


Side Cutter

Flat Nose

Round Nose

Crimper tool


1.  Cut chain in the following lengths:

– four pieces of 5 inches length

– one piece of 10 inches length

– for bottom fringe cut one of each of the following lengths: 5 inches; 4 ½ inches; 4 inches; 3 ½ inches;  2 ¾ inches and  2 ½ inches.

Set them aside.

2. Create individual links using silver plated wire.

Making loops: Cut a 3 inches piece of silver plated wire. Use round nose pliers to make a simple loop at one end and trim excess wire and then feed beads following directions given below.

link A:  simple loop + frame + bead cap + round crystal + bead cap +simple loop (make 2 of  it)

link B: simple loop + metallic bead + simple loop (make 5 of it)

link C: large simple loop + large turquoise bead + simple loop

3. Strung sections:

Cut a ten inches piece of stringing wire. Feed a crimp tube onto wire followed by oval jump ring. Pass wire back to crimp and then using the crimper tool secure it in place. Trim excess wire.

String on wire one green donut, one crystal bicone and then feed through other hole of donut, placing crystal inside of donut. Start stringing one pre-cut piece of 4 inches chain onto wire, passing wire end through chain links but skipping two links at a time.  Chain will “collapse” onto wire making a rugged section. Add another green donut, eight black bead bumpers and then pass it through the second hole of donut. Secure its end repeating first step and then set aside. Make similar second section.

4. Cut a twelve inches piece of stringing wire. Feed a crimp tube onto wire followed by oval jump ring. Pass wire back to crimp and then using the crimper tool secure it in place. Trim excess wire.  Feed the ten inches piece of chain onto wire creating a larger “rugged” section. Finish the end repeating first step. Make other two similar sections using the other two left pieces of chain.  Set them aside.

5. Assembling necklace: open and close loops of links using chain nose pliers.

Open one loop of a link A then attach the six pieces of chain left and then close gently.

Continue attach other sections on pattern as follows:

One link B + one link A + one link B + one green donut section + link B + large rigged chain section + one link B + second green donut section + one link B + one rugged section + link C + last rugged section + then open jump ring and attach to first link A.

6. As a final touch add one piece of approximately 1¾ inches of chain on the outside surface of turquoise bead. Add a second on the other side. Use its own loop to attach chain links.

7.  Use one crimp cover on each crimped section to hide crimped tubes. Use the outside jaw of crimper tool to close each crimp cover properly.


* “rugged” chain section is named after the sections where pieces of chain are strung onto stringing wire. The numbers of links feed onto wire will determine the look of each section. I suggest skipping every other link for a subtle look.  If you wish for a more “collapsed” section, feed stringing wire every two links of chain.

* Keep in mind that asymmetrical designs give you an opportunity to add your own “twist” to the design, making it more personal and unique.

* Always read the instructions before start working on your piece. Have fun!


How To Show Off An End Cap

This stunning necklace is just one of the latest creations sent into the showroom from Fernando DaSilva.  His task? Show us what to do with the new end caps.  Naturally, he outdid himself.

These oval silver endcaps are ideal for kumihimo, but as you can see Fernando used them to finish a collection of leather cords.

The donut was created by wrapping fish leather around an open bead.  I didn’t think it was possible to make fish leather so pretty…but the addition of the pearls makes this necklace ultra feminine.

Here is one last look at how Fernando used our new end caps.  I bet you have ideas circulating in your head now too!  Here is a link to all the new end caps.

Fernando DaSilva is the Product Development and Creative Manager for John Bead Corporation.

The Metal Complex Second Skin Blog Hop!

I have a post filled with wonderful wearable art today!  Welcome to the Second Skin Fish Leather blog hop!

Eleven artists, jewelers and craftspeople were shipped one piece of Second Skin Fish leather along with a metal cuff and our Dazzle-it Leather scissors.  They could do anything with what I sent!  The results will astound you!

Each image links to the artist’s own blog post.  Many have provided wonderful mini tutorials!

Lisa Kettell – Her variations will have you searching through your old jewelry stash!

Charlotte Gordon applied colour and wiring in a way I would have never thought of!

Michael Demeng created a wearable shrine!

Andrea Matus DeMeng’s cuff is both delicate and exotic.  She experimented with heating the leather.

Laura Weed incorporated the actual image of a fish eye!  She was not a fan of the leather when she started the project, but I think her finished cuff tells you that she found a way to love it!

Suze Weinberg went wild!  She made and wore her cuff the same day.  If you go to her blog you’ll see the matching pendant/necklace she made as well!

Lori Mendenhall incorporated components and findings that bring out the very best in the colour leather she received.  Her colour palette is vintage and fresh at the same time!

Bindy Lambell created a stunning cuff.  Her leather colour is fabulously celebrated with this beaded cabochon!

Vicki Boutin’s use of text imagery makes this cuff look like a secret message.  I want to stop and read everything!

June Beach has big and bold embellishments!  Love those crystals!

And finally, we have our own local crystal star Stephanie Dixon.  Leather, metal and some very fine felt.  She has sent us a video!  I am going to try this idea next!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this blog hop!