The Kumihimo Disk – It Can Take a Lot!

I have given my Dazzle-it kumihimo disk a lot of work!

I underestimated just how many different fibers I would be able to use with it.

This week I made a kumihimo braid featuring a thick t-shirt yarn,  1.8 mm hemp and rattail.  It braided beautifully!

The kumihimo 10 mm end cap set finished my necklace professionally.

Hemp, Shells and Kumihimo!


It did not occur to me until a few days ago that shells might look fabulous with a kumihimo cord.  This strand of shells is such a gorgeous shade of purple and I didn’t have anything in my collection that would work with them.

For my kumihimo cord I used both rattail and hemp.  I have worked with the Dazzle-It Rattail since it arrived at John Bead.  The colour and size options are superb and I can virtually match any item I am working with.  (You can see that my purple shells inspired this colour grouping.)   I think the addition of hemp made my cord look even more interesting.

The John Bead kumihimo program continues to grow!  There are new tools which include pre-strung rattail on reusable bobbins.  That sure makes it easy to create wearable cords!

I used some hemp and a simple overhand knot to join my shells.

The purple shell beads come on an eight inch strand.

I used my kumihimo findings set for my closure.  I attached these to my kumihimo cord and then to my shells and my necklace was compete!

Hope you like it!

Pink Shamballa!

Now I am getting somewhere!  The shamballa bracelets are starting to make themselves now!

For this bracelet I used the Dazzle-It strawberry pink rattail 1.5mm and pink 1mm cotton wax cordI needed the thinner wax cord so it would be easier to string my fabulous rhinestone beads.

The silver crystal beads have quite a few openings, so while I could use a thicker cord, 1mm was the easiest to work with.

The choice to work in pink was my own.  Spring is here and I need a brighter bracelet to wear!  There are so many colours in the rattail line though!

I have been teaching myself these knotting techniques.  I have learned that a clipboard is really helpful.   It is your third hand.

I can almost say I have mastered the square knot.  Every now and then I forget what I am doing and I have to unravel my knots.  Rattail is forgiving.

I even tried a special technique of adding these knots to my bracelet as a sliding closure.  Success!

To finish my cord ends I have been using a little flame from my lighter.  It makes the ends look finished.

A few people have been asking where they can learn about knotting techniques.  The book that has really taught me the most is this one. If you go online though, many crafty folks have made Youtube videos and “how to” blog posts.

This UK magazine is wonderful.  This month’s issue came with a special extra techniques booklet also chock-full of knotting ideas!

Flat Kumihimo – The First Attempt

Hello John Bead friends!  I will be showing you the results of my first attempt to experiment with the new Dazzle-It kumihimo square disk.  You’ll find easy to follow written directions and images in the square disk kit. I followed them in order to make this first sample.  This flat braid design is known as a Anda-Gumi Braid.

I am quite pleased with this flat braid!  I also really like the rattail colour combination I choose.

The square kumihimo disk can be used to make both flat and rounded cords.

My first flat braid is a little wonky… knots are not perfect.  But you have to start at the beginning to learn a new skill. And I definitely need to make a few braids if I want perfection.

The other skill I need to learn is how to finish the ends of a flat braid.  For this I pulled out some ribbon clamps and my Hypo Cement.

When I cut my cord it would unravel faster then I could get all the ends into my clamp.  So I dropped a line of Hypo Cement in the area I would cut to make these sections stay together.

You can see that when I cut my cord (post cement) that the end was very stiff and went into the clamp easily!

That looks great!

It is really helpful to use a nylon jaw plier.  This way you do not scratch your ribbon clamp when you close it.

I pulled out a few things that I considered sewing to my new bracelet.  In the end I used the metal “LOVE” attachment and glued an embellishment to it.  (I bought that in a scrap booking store.)

Now that the bracelet is done, I can see a few loose areas in my knot.  I can do better.  Come back tomorrow to see how I do with my second attempt.

Kumihimo – Pretty In Pink Necklace

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  Many of us make little gifts for friends and family.  A few of you make pieces that men can give to their favorite women.

So, pretty and sweet pink kumihimo braids do come in handy this month!

To make this braid I used two shades of Dazzle-It pink rattail (love them) and one ball of interesting yarn in my stash.

Making my braids is easy and relaxing now.

Colour matching my pendants is my favorite part of the designing process.  I made this little Kewpie pendant by pouring resin into a bezel.  (More on resin soon!)

I am experimenting with how to finish my ends.  I have learned that I need different sizes of end caps.  Since I never know what I’ll be making I stocked up on a few different sizes the last time I was at John Bead.  Here you see the smaller bronzed end cap  8.5mm, which is usually sold for viking knit.  The larger end cap is hammered 10-8mm gold.

I am attaching wire to my braid ends and running it through the end cap to make a closure.

Here is what it looks like…I also make sure to add Hypo Cement to ensure the strings don’t get free of the wire.

I am trying two other ideas too.  Here are my experiments!

Colour Matching With Kumihimo & How to finish off the ends!

When I began teaching myself kumihimo I didn’t realize that I would start pulling out all my old jewelery to see if I could give it a makeover.  This brown and red rose never seemed to work with anything.

I decided to try and colour match the tones in the stone and rose and selected two rattail and one hemp cord from the Dazzle-It collection to work with.  By using two strands of hemp, my finished cord is a lot thinner.

I should really call this kumihimo cord the super bowl necklace….I made this extra long piece on Sunday.

I made such a long strand that I knew I could make a bracelet too!  All you have to do is tie off a section and then cut it.

I added some links to my JBB pewter end caps by twisting a little wire. I created a loop and wire wrapped the bottom of the loop.

Then I glued my kumihimo cord ends in place with Hypo Cement. Hypo cement adheres to metal and fabrics , it will dry in a few hours and cures in about 24 hours.

Isn’t it amazing how this little bit of red hemp added so much to the cords final colouring?

I’m really happy with this necklace now!  I have one more round disk sample to complete and then I will be starting to test out the square/flat braid disk!

Rattail and Hemp Kumihimo!

This turtle pendant has finally become wearable!  He has been in my collection for years and I have struggled to come up with an interesting necklace so he could be worn.

Kumihimo to the rescue!  In my last post I mentioned that I only have four rattail spools to choose from.  🙁   My colour choices are silver, blue, green and black. So I wondered. Could I use some of the hemp cord I already have in my collection?

The new kumihimo disks have rattail included.  I think it is a brilliant and inexpensive way to give this craft a trial.  If you end up loving it…you’ll be buying the big spools of rattail at John Bead!

When I did my original colour matching I thought these two colours would be great with the pendant.

But with the addition of the hemp, I had one extra colour that made my finished cord a much better match.

I hope you can see how beautifully the hemp worked.  It is much stiffer than rattail, so I was careful to watch the knotting so all the areas were even.

By the way, the instruction you get in the kits is fantastic…it is all I needed to start learning this ancient art form.  Tomorrow I am at John Bead.  I’ll take a picture of my shopping cart for you…you just know I am getting all the rattail my little hands can grab!

Dazzle-it Rattail and Sneak Peak!

The Dazzle-it line has brought 30 new fabulous colours of rattail to the John Bead line up!  Where to start?  There are metallics, pastels and brights featured in 3 new sizes ; 1mm , 2mm and 3mm

Rattail is a wonderful stringing material.  On its own, it can used to showcase any number of beading styles.

However, in a group, magic can happen.

John Bead is launching a new group of products dedicated to the Japanese art of braiding:  Kumihimo.  “Kumihimo cord was first created by a form of finger-loop braiding. The most prominent historical use of the cords was by samurai as both a functional and decorative way to lace their armour and their horses’ armor. Kumihimo cords are now used as ties on haori jackets and obijimes, which are used for tying on an obi (kimono sash).”

So, can this John Bead bloggger (me) learn an ancient skill in order to create fabulous pieces to show off on line?  In just a few days?


In one hour I made this!  Imagine what I can make after a week!  Stay tuned!

Bulk Kumihimo Disks and Plates are now In-Stock and ready to Order !!