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Kumihimo-Braided Bracelets and Lariats

Tell recipients of these gorgeously textured accessories that you relied on kumihimo (translation: "gathered threads"), the ancient Japanese braiding technique, to create them.

woven bracelets and necklace

Photography: Chelsea Cavanaugh

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2017

Introduction

The secret to these surprisingly simple projects is a kumihomo disk, available at crafts stores. It's a foam or cardboard circle the size of a CD with notches around its edge to keep the strands (try cord, yarn, or leather) in place as you twist them into lariat necklaces or wrap bracelets. Best of all, these one-of-a-kind pieces are one-size-fits all.

 

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materials

  • Thick yarn, thread, or cord (such as round leather cord, alpaca yarn, or flat linen tape)

  • Kumihimo braiding disk (Pictured: Dazzle-It kumohimo round braiding disk, $4, michaels.com)

steps

  1. Cut 8 strands of yarn, thread, or cord. (Tip: You'll need at least 1 yard to make a bracelet, and 2 yards for a lariat.) Knot strands together on one end, and slide it through hole in kumihimo disk.

    kumihimo disk
  2. Place 2 strands in top two notches of disk. Repeat for bottom two notches, as well as the two on each of left and right sides.

  3. Remove yarn on top right and place on bottom right, immediately to right of the two at bottom (A). Take bottom-left yarn and place on top left (B).

  4. Rotate disk a quarter-turn to the right (C) and continue, repeating previous steps. (If you need to pause at any point, do so when you have three strands on one side, so you know what to do next.)

  5. Slide tube beads onto each end, about 2 inches from end. Unbraid everything past each tube; frayed edge will secure tube in place. (D)

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