These are the general instructions for Anita’s 11/0 Seed Bead Kumihimo Necklace kits. Refer to the Information Card for your specific kit for strand patterns and a set-up diagram for braiding. To view a photo of the finished necklace, choose your kit number from the list on the Kumihimo Necklace Kits Page.
In addition to your kit you will need the following: small sharp scissors; beading awl; hypo-cement; a “Big-Eye” needle; chain nose pliers; round nose pliers; cutters; eight bobbins; a small kumihimo wheel.
By following the Stringing Specifications on the card that came with your kit, you will create eight strands beginning and ending with one yard of cord. There will be a knot at the beginning and at the end of each strand of beads to keep them centered on the cording. Lay the eight strands parallel to each other tie all eight cords together in an overhand knot to secure one end. You are knotting the extra cord right at the beginning of the beads. Use your beading awl to slide the knot into position. Now make a second overhand knot at the other end of the beads.
Before braiding the first end section of eight cords, string the cords through a tulip. Use your big eye needle to pull a few strands at a time through the inside of the tulip and out the back. The beaded end of the strands will go up into the tulip which serves as a cone end to hide the knot you made in the previous step.
The first end is now ready to be braided using a small round kumihimo wheel. Draw the cords from the first end of your necklace up through the center of the wheel. The tulip cap, beaded portion and the second set of cords will hang below. Arrange the eight cords on either side of the four dots on the wheel according to your Information Card, and string the required number of beads on each cord, winding excess cord onto a bobbin to secure the beads.
When you finish braiding beads, make two exchanges without beads to close off the braid. Then take the two cords that would have been used for the next exchange, remove them from their slots, and tie them into a double knot before removing the braid from the wheel.
Pass four of the cords through the closed loop of an eye pin. Tie a double knot with the other four cords to knot the braid to the wire. Use hypo cement to secure the knot and trim to within 1/2 inch of the knot once the glue has dried.
Pull the wire through a plain cone cap from the large open end. Place a 3mm metal heishi bead over the wire so it rests on top of the cone cap. Using chain nose pliers, bend the wire at a 90-degree angle right where it comes out of the cone. Form a small loop with your round nose pliers. Slide the ring of your clasp onto the loop and then wrap the loop closed using your chain nose pliers to hold the loop as you wrap the wire. Trim excess wire with cutters.
Repeat all steps of Braiding Instructions for the second group of eight strands only add the extender chain to the wire loop instead of the clasp.
This project assumes prior knowledge of wire looping and braiding an 8-strand beaded kumihimo braid. Join us at Bead Club for free instruction on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Anita’s Beads located at 2517 Wakefield Road (Rte 153) in Wakefield, New Hampshire.