Category Archives: instructions

Dragonfly Earrings

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Below are the instructions for the Dragonfly Earring Kits offered at Anita’s Beads. To complete your kit you will need a “Big Eye” needle, a pair of sharp scissors, and “Hypo-Cement” glue.

The kit includes two pieces of 6# Fireline, Czech dagger beads, Czech 4mm machine cut round beads, size 11/0 seed beads, 4mm soldered jump rings, and earwires.

You will string using a single strand of Fireline. The earring is reinforced by going around the path multiple times. Begin by picking up an 11/0 seed bead, one faceted round (the head), another 11/0 seed bead, two dagger beads, another 11/0 seed bead, four faceted rounds (the tail), and another 11/0 seed bead as shown below.

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Pull your thread through, leaving a 9-inch tail (single strand) of fire line at the head. You will need this piece later.

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Skipping the seed bead, pass your needle up through the four tail beads. Now add one 11/0 seed bead, two dagger beads, and another 11/0 seed bead. Now pass your needle through the head and the first 11/0 seed bead.

Pick up the soldered jump ring and repeat the path a second time to reinforce the earring. After you go through the jump ring a second time, continue down through the 11/0 seed bead above the head, the head, the left seed bead below the head, the two left wings and the seed bead below the left wings.

Now remove your needle from the main thread and thread the tail onto the needle. Pass the needle through the jump ring, the seed bead above the head, the head, the seed bead to the right, the two right wings, and the seed bead below the two right wings. Remove the needle.

Tighten the threads and tie a double knot. Pass the two ends of the thread down through the top three tail beads and trim with sharp scissors. Lay the dragonfly flat on a piece of scrap paper and glue the knot. Place a drop or two of glue where the four wings come together to keep them from flopping.

After the glue dries, open the loop on an earring hook, slip on the soldered jump ring of your dragonfly, and close the loop. Repeat for second earring.

 

 

Instructions for Super-DUO Wrap Bracelets

Your kit has beading wire with magnet clasp, wire guard and crimp already attached so you have a double wire for stringing. You will need chain-nose pliers for flattening the second crimp and cutters for trimming the wire at the end. The wire is stiff enough that you will not need a needle for this project.

Holding two wires together, string on one of the two small glass bead, then two metal heishi. Now separate the wires and put a seed bead on each, then string on a super-DUO two-hole bead with a wire through each hole.

Alternate two seed beads (one on each wire) and DUO’s ending with two seed beads. Let the beaded portion lay flat on your work surface to minimize twisting caused by too much tension.

4-wrap Bracelets: 30 inches of beads will wrap a 7.5-inch wrist four times.

1-wrap Bracelets: String 20 DUOs separated by seed beads before the focal. End with two seed beads and holding the two wires together, string on two heishi, then the focal, then two heishi. Begin the second half with two seed beads, one on each wire. Adjust for size by stringing extra or fewer beads.

Finish with two heishi, a glass bead, a crimp and a wire guard. Attach to the second loop on the magnet clasp. Next, string back through the crimp, the glass bead and the two heishi. This is all done holding the two wires together as one. Do not tighten yet. Leave at least an inch of play between the last beads and the crimp. (There is an extra crimp provided in the kit.)

Separate the magnet clasp and lay the bracelet flat. Slide beads up towards the uncrimped end to release the tension which causes the bracelet to curl and twist. Beads should all be touching with no wire showing between them except at the final end.

Tighten the end wires and flatten the crimp to finish.

All materials for Super-DUO bracelets are available separately at Anita’s Beads. Email Anita at anitaNH@roadrunner.com to place an order.

Tube Bracelet Instructions

Here are instructions for making the popular “Tube Bracelet” with magnetic closure. Just complete Steps 1-4 below. If you are making one of Anita’s Tube Bracelet Kits, Step 1 has already been done for you.

These instructions have been written for bracelets that have a focal bead in the center. Bracelets with no focal usually have 7 beads (6mm in size) in the middle for the large size; 6 beads (6mm in size) in the middle for the small. You can make Tube Bracelets to fit any wrist size by adding or subtracting beads. These bracelets are meant to fit snug on the wrist.

All components for Tube Bracelets may be purchased separately at Anita’s Beads. See the Tube Bracelet Supplies page.

Your kit contains:
1 24-inch piece of .015 beading wire
2 crimp beads
2 metal wire guards (look like horse shoes)
1 magnet clasp
4 3x2mm rondelle metal beads
4 3mm round metal beads
4 2x38mm metal tubes
6 metal flat heishi spacer beads
10 colored bracelet beads
1 focal bead

You will need the following tools:
Chain nose pliers
Cutters

Step 1) Attach clasp to wire guard with crimp:
Thread the beading wire through one tube of the wire guard from the bottom, and then down the second tube from the top. (Note: if you are unfamiliar with wire guards, they are horse-shoe shaped with a hollow tube portion at both ends connected by an open u-shaped channel between them.)

Move the wire guard to the center of the beading wire. Now slip one ring of your magnet clasp over one end of the beading wire and bring it up into wire guard so it rests around the u-shaped channel. Once the magnet clasp is attached, bring both ends of the beading wire through the crimp. Pinch the two tube portions of the wire guard together so they are touching, and slide the crimp up to meet them.

With your chain nose pliers, flatten the crimp so it makes secure contact to hold the wires. For the best appearance, there should be no space between the wire guard and the flattened crimp. Make sure you do not compress the tiny tubes of the wire guard as you flatten the crimp.

Step 2) String on beads:
Holding the two wires together, string one colored bracelet bead, then one metal rondelle, and then one 3mm round metal bead and slide them up to the crimp. Now split the wires and string one metal tube onto each one and slide them up to the 3mm round metal bead.

Hold the two wires together again and string on one 3mm round metal bead, one metal rondelle, one bracelet bead, and one heishi. Continue to alternate bracelet beads and heishi for a total of two, three, or four sets. Then add the focal bead, followed by enough bracelet beads and heishi to match the first side, ending with a bracelet bead.

You can adjust the size of your bracelet by the number of beads added in the center on either side of the focal bead.

String on a rondelle metal bead directly after the last bracelet bead, and then string on a metal 3mm round. Now split the wires again and string one metal tube onto each.

The bring the wires together again and string on one 3mm round bead, one rondelle, one colored bracelet bead, and finally, the second crimp.

Step 3) Add second wire guard and attach to clasp:
Make sure all beads are strung evenly and without spaces, showing bare wire as little as is possible. Take the two wires coming out of the second crimp and feed them up through one side of the second wire guard, across the top of the wire guard, and down through the second side.

Now slip the second ring of your magnet clasp over the piece of beading wire that you just fed through the second side of the wire guard and bring it up into wire guard so it rests around the u-shaped channel. Once the magnet clasp is attached, bring the ends of the beading wire back down through the crimp and the colored bracelet bead. Pinch the two tube portions of the wire guard together so they are touching.

Keeping the crimp in position against the last colored bracelet bead, pull the tails of the wires running through the wire guard until the gap is eliminated between the crimp and the wire guard. If you can, insert the two tails through the last bead before the crimp as well.

With your chain nose pliers, flatten the crimp so it makes secure contact to hold the wires. For the best appearance, there should be no space between the wire guard and the flattened crimp. Make sure you do not compress the tiny tubes of the wire guard as you flatten the crimp.

Step 4) Trim wires:
Carefully trim off the two short pieces as close as you can. Your tube bracelet is now complete.

Visit Anita’s Beads and ask to see a demonstration at the counter if you need help.

Here are links to additional items related to Tube Bracelets: Tube Bracelet SuppliesCrystal Beads for Birthdays

Kumihimo Bracelet Instructions

NOTE: The instructions below are for a spiral pattern. The design of your bead kit will vary. Follow the set-up diagram and bead counts shown on the card included with your kit.

To make the spiral pattern, choose two contrasting colors of size 8 seed beads. You can use either Japanese or Czech seed beads. My design utilizes matte black Miyuki (stock no. MI-8-401F) and lovely matte gold Toho’s (stock no. TH-8-559F). The beads are strung on coordinating colors of S-Lon cord. I used black and Light Khaki. If you look at the close-up photo below, you will see that the cord shows ever-so-slightly, so matching the cord color to the bead is a good idea if you can manage it.

Each strand of cord will be strung with 50 beads, four strands of black, and four strands of gold, so it will take 200 beads of each of the two colors to make a bracelet length. This is approximate. You can string on more beads further into the project if you need to, or stop braiding before all beads are used.

You will need a Mini Kumihimo braiding disc, eight bobbins, and a button (Note: If you are making a Kumihimo Bracelet Kit the button is included) to make the closure. Sharp scissors, and “Bead Tip” hypo cement to glue your end knot will also be required. A short “Big-Eye” needle is used to thread your beads onto the cord. All of these kumihimo supplies are stocked at Anita’s Beads.

I start by cutting two 2-yard pieces of black S-Lon cord, and two 2-yard pieces of light khaki. (Note: If you are making a Kumihimo Bracelet Kit the thread is pre-cut into four pieces.) Strands will be folded in half to give you a total of eight cords required for this type of Kumihimo braid. I will begin with adding my button by taking all four cords together and threading them through one hole of my button from the back (the button is slightly domed in shape, the high part of the dome is the top, and the back of the button is slightly “dished”) and then through the second hole towards the back. (Note: If your kit comes with a shank button just thread through the shank. ) I keep sliding the button until it rests at the center point of the four cords, at the fold.

Then I place the button top-side down into the center of my Mini Kumihimo disc. Supporting the button with my fingers, I slide each of the eight cords into slots before and after the four dots located at the North-East-South-West positions on the disc. (Note: If you are making a Kumihimo Bracelet Kit, place your threads as shown in the set-up diagram.)  To make the spiral design, I want to arrange the cords so one color runs vertical (North and South) and the other color runs horizontal (East and West).

Once the cords are secured into the slots with my button face down in the center, I flip the disc over and begin stringing on beads. (Note: If you are making a Kumihimo Bracelet Kit, string according to the set-up card.) Each of the four black cords get 50 black beads, and each of the four light khaki cords get 50 gold beads. After adding each group of 50, I slide them up close to the disc and wind the remaining cord onto a bobbin so the beads rest above the bobbin. The bobbins serve two purposes: they keep the beads from sliding off of the cord, and they keep the cords from becoming tangled as you work. You can always unwind the cord, remove the bobbin, and string on more beads if necessary.

NOTE: If your kumihimo kit includes Super-DUO, 3.4mm drops (aka “Fringe Beads”) or 4mm round beads as accent beads or “bump outs” you must string these by hand. The holes are too small to accommodate thread in a big eye needle. Trim the end of your thread at an angle if it becomes frayed in the braiding process.

When all your beads and bobbins are in place you are ready to start braiding. I hold the disc in my left hand and manipulate the cords with my right, turning the disc in a counter-clockwise direction as I work. I can use the fingers of my left had to create a little tension on the braid by grasping the button from the back. Some people prefer to use a weight.

I start out by braiding a short section without moving up beads. This will create an area of plain cord just behind the button where your loop will attach to secure the bracelet. I start by moving the cord in the Left South position UP to the first empty slot to the Left North, and then take the cord in the Right North position and move it DOWN to the first empty slot to the Right South. Then I turn the disc one-quarter of a turn counter-clockwise and repeat. You can tug on the bobbins to release more cord as needed as you go.

So the sequence is bottom Left UP, top Right DOWN, 1/4 counter-clockwise turn. At first it doesn’t seem like you’re doing much, but then the braid becomes established and you will see the spiral pattern beginning to form. Keep braiding without beads until you create a space of about 1/4 (.25) inch.

You will notice that as you braid, the position of the cords will move away from the dots. Gradually they will work around until, again, all eight cords will come into position at four compass points with one cord on either side of each dot. This is your check point. If the cords fail to line up, check your work for errors and work in reverse until you eliminate the error.

Using the same sequence of moves, bottom Left UP, top Right DOWN, 1/4 counter-clockwise turn, continue braiding. Only now you will begin to braid in beads. Slide one bead down to the center as you move a cord up, and do the same when you move a cord down. Each cord you move will be under the adjacent cord. Position the bead so that it slides under the adjacent cord to lock it in place. The first four placements seem awkward, but once a few beads are in place, each bead that you braid will move into position like a puzzle.

Maintain tension in order to form an even braid. I am always tightening the cords as I braid, and I keep my braid in the center of the wheel. If the bead does not want to slip into place, try putting a little tension by pulling down on the braid from below. The goal is to have no thread showing between the beads in the finished braid.

Some people like to hang a weight from the finished end of the braid. In general I do not like to use a weight because it can result in your thread showing if too much weight is applied. I apply a bit of tension on the button in the beginning, but as the braid lengthens, the weight of the braid itself is usually sufficient.

Continue braiding until your bracelet is the length you require. You need not braid all of the beads that you have strung on. Also, you can remove the bobbins and string on additional beads if you did not string on enough initially.

After you braid in your last bead, continue braiding with just cord to form the loop for the button. Remember that cord braided without beads will stretch. So when you are 3/4 of the way to having a length of braid that, when formed into a loop will fit around the button, stretch it!

When your last braiding segment is long enough it is time to remove the braid from the wheel. First, take the two opposite cords that you would have exchanged next, remove the bobbins, and then remove them from the slots. Tie them in a square knot to secure the work from un-braiding. Now remove the remaining six bobbins and remove the cords from their slots.

The last step is to finish the loop and your bracelet will be ready to wear. To finish the loop you will need a stiff darning needle with an eye large enough for one strand of cord. A pair of chain nose pliers is useful to pull the needle. The center of the braid is hollow but the space gets tighter as each cord is drawn through. I also like to secure the base of the loop with a thin application of Hypo Cement.

Thread one cord onto the darning needle. Fold the loop over and pierce the needle through the base of the braid right above where the beads begin and pull the cord through tightly. Make a half-hitch knot to secure it and insert the needle down into the beaded part of the braid from the top, through the hollow center about and inch or so and then out through the side of the braid. (It is necessary to take care that the needle exits between beads. If the point of the needle goes through a bead hole, chances are that bead will be broken as the eye is forced through.) Draw the needle and cord out the side of the braid and tighten it but do not trim the cord.

Now thread a second cord onto the darning needle. Insert the needle down into the beaded part of the braid and through the hollow center about an inch and then out through the side like the first cord. Repeat with cords three through seven. Cord eight will be wrapped a few times around the base of the loop and inserted through the center of the braid as before. Your last few cords may fit tightly and require pliers to pull them through.

I find it difficult to maintain a neat wrap while inserting the last cord so I insert the cord first, then wrap the loop remaining above the braid around the base of the loop, and then draw the cord through the rest of the way to tighten the wrap. Using the thin applicator tip, coat the wrapped portion of the loop with Hypo Cement and allow it to dry.

The final step is to trim the cords one at a time by putting a little tension on the cord as you carefully cut it close to the braid. The tension causes the ends to slip back into the braid where they remain hidden. Your bracelet is complete!

Tip #1: Although you can stop and add beads, you cannot add more cord. For this reason I cut my cord generously. This allows me to snip off and discard frayed bits from the end of the cord. You will need about a foot of cord per strand at the end of the braiding process in order to comfortably finish the loop. And it is good practice to avoid braiding in the end of the cord that has been weakened by the needle in the bead-stringing process.

Tip #2: Inspect your work frequently so you catch mistakes early. A hole in the braid will result if you forget to move a bead. Loss of tension will cause a bead to slip into the center of the braid and again a hole will result. You can correct these errors by braiding in reverse.

Last updated 10/03/2017

Daily Bracelet Instructions

Your Daily Bracelet Bead Kit contains:

  • Bracelet beads
  • Dangle beads
  • Seed beads or Crystal Bicones

Your Daily Bracelet Metal Kit contains:

  • 24 gauge headpins
  • 21 gauge half-hard round wire pieces
  • 3mm and 5mm Bali-style heishi spacers *or*  bead caps
  • Ball & Socket Clasp *or* Lobster clasp w/extender chain
  • 6mm Soldered Jump Rings

You will need the following tools to complete your bracelet:

  • Round-nose pliers
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Wire cutters

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STEPS 1-6: CREATE THE DANGLES

Step 1 – Assemble four dangles for each bracelet bead. Daily Bracelets will have between 7 and 10 bracelet beads (between 28 and 40 dangles) depending on a) the size of the bead in your particular design and b) the size of your wrist.  On each headpin add (in order) one seed bead or crystal bicone, one dangle bead, and one metal heishi spacer bead (or bead cap if working in SP or GP). Note: Refer to the photograph of your Daily Bracelet as you work.

Step 2 – Bend one assembled headpin to a 90-degree angle using chain-nose pliers. Pinch the headpin wire just above the metal heishi spacer bead (or bead cap if working in SP or GP) with the TIP of the chain-nose pliers and bend the remaining top section of the wire 90 degrees. The portion of the wire held in the tip of the pliers is the SPACE which will allow you to make three wire WRAPs (3 complete turns) to close the LOOP which will be make in Step 3. The straight piece remaining after the bend is the TAIL.

Step 3 – Turn a LOOP using the round-nose pliers. Position the wire near the tip of the round-nose pliers so a small LOOP will be made. (Make note of this position and use it for all of your dangles so the LOOPs will be of uniform size.) Pinch the wire TAIL just after the bend. With the round-nose pliers in a vertical position (viewed straight on the tips of the pliers will look like this: 8) bend the TAIL up and over the top and then down until it forms a partial Loop. When the TAIL touches the other wire and you cannot wrap it any further, slide the wire off of the top of the pliers and move it to the bottom. Now you can continue wrapping the TAIL around until it forms a complete LOOP.

Step 4 – Using your chain-nose pliers, grasp the LOOP across two wires for a secure hold. With your other hand bend the remaining TAIL around the space which remains between the LOOP and the metal heishi or bead cap. It should take approximately 3 WRAPS to fill the space.

Step 5 – Using your wire-cutters, clip off the excess wire TAIL that remains, cutting as close to the WRAPs as possible. If a small snag is left, you can push it close to the WRAP with the tips of your chain-nose pliers.

Step 6 – Repeat Steps 2 through 5 to complete the remaining dangles.

 

STEPS 7-9: FORM FIRST LOOP ON BRACELET WIRES

Step 7 – Using your chain-nose pliers, grasp one piece wire at a point one-third from the end and bend the wire in a 90-degree angle to form the shape of the letter L. Note: One of the wires in your kit has already been bent and looped as a sample.

Step 8 – Using your round-nose pliers, grasp the wire by the short section just at the bend. You will need to make a LOOP which is approximately 2mm in diameter (like your sample) so you will be grasping further back on you round-nose pliers in comparison to where you formed the LOOPs on your dangles. (A larger LOOP is required to give your dangles room to move around once the bracelet is assembled.) With the round-nose pliers again in the vertical position (8) bend the TAIL up and over the top and down until it forms a partial LOOP. When the TAIL touches the other wire, slide the wire off of the top of the pliers and move it to the bottom. Now you can continue wrapping the TAIL around until it forms a complete LOOP.

Step 9 – Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have one wire for each of your bracelet beads. The number will vary depending on which bracelet you are making. See: Step 1.

 

STEPS 10-18: CREATE THE BRACELET

Step 10 – With your chain-nose pliers, open the LOOP of one piece of wire enough to slide on one dangle, then the ring of your lobster clasp, and then another dangle. Close the LOOP with your chain-nose pliers.

Step 11 – Using your chain-nose pliers, grasp the LOOP across two wires for a secure hold. With your other hand, grasp the TAIL and wrap it around one complete turn. Trim off the remainder of the TAIL close to the wrap with your wire-cutters. You should have what resembles an eye pin with a closed LOOP holding your clasp with a dangle on each side of the clasp.

Step 12 – Add a heishi spacer (or bead cap if working in SP or GP), followed by a bracelet bead, and then another heishi spacer (or bead cap) to the wire. Then bend the wire 90 degrees with your chain-nose pliers directly after the second heishi bead. There should be no space between the heishi and the bend in the wire because you will only be wrapping the TAIL once after forming another LOOP.

Step 13 – Using your round-nose pliers, grasp the wire just at the bend. You will make a second LOOP which is approximately 2mm in diameter (matching the size of your first LOOP). With the round-nose pliers in a vertical position (8) bend the TAIL up and over the top and down, forming a partial LOOP. When the TAIL touches the other wire, slide the wire off of the top of the round-nose pliers and move it to the bottom. Now you can continue wrapping the TAIL until it forms a complete LOOP.

Step 14 – With your chain-nose pliers, open the LOOP you just made enough to slide on one dangle, a soldered jump ring, and then another dangle. Close the LOOP with your chain-nose pliers.

Step 15 – Using your chain-nose pliers, grasp the LOOP across two wires for a secure hold. With your other hand, bend the remaining TAIL around to form one complete WRAP. Trim off the remainder of the TAIL close to the WRAP with your wire cutters. You now have the first bracelet UNIT with four dangles and a soldered jump ring to which you will attach another piece of wire.

Step 16 – With your chain-nose pliers, open the LOOP of another piece of wire. Add one dangle to the LOOP, then slide the LOOP onto the soldered jump ring attached to the previous bracelet UNIT. Add a second dangle and then close the LOOP with your chain-nose pliers.

Step 17 – Using your chain-nose pliers, grasp the LOOP across two wires for a secure hold. With your other hand, bend the remaining TAIL around to form one complete WRAP. Trim off the remainder of the TAIL close to the WRAP with your cutters. You should again have what resembles an eye pin with a closed loop and two dangles attached to the soldered jump ring at the end of your previous bracelet UNIT.

Step 18 – Repeat steps 12 through 17 until you come to the second LOOP of your last bead. Add a dangle, then the second half of your clasp, and then the last dangle before closing the LOOP.

 

TO KEEP IN MIND:

The most common mistake is to forget to add dangles before closing the loop.
I can make a bracelet in about 1.5 yours (one hour to create dangles and then 1/2 hour to assemble). If you have not had much experience working with wire, figure on 3-4 hours to complete.

This is an advanced project. Take frequent breaks if you feel the need.

Visit the shop during business hours with your wire and bead kit materials and I will gladly assist you if you get stuck. Join us for Bead Club which meets Monday and Thursday afternoons from 2-4 to receive free instruction.

Here are links to additional items related to Daily Bracelets: Daily Bracelet Bead KitsDaily Bracelet Metal KitsMetal Findings for Daily Bracelets

11/0 Seed Bead Kumihimo Necklace Instructions

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.

Stringing Instructions:

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.

Braiding Instructions:

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.

Knotted Kumihimo Necklace Instructions

These are the general instructions for Anita’s Knotted Kumihimo Necklace kits. Refer to the Information Card included in your kit for bead counts 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; a dozen plastic drinking straws; hypo-cement; a “Big-Eye” needle; a darning needle; eight bobbins; a small kumihimo wheel.

Cut drinking straws into 1″ sections. For the number required, refer to your Information Card.

Begin by stringing the beads for the center portion of the necklace. Matching the thread to the bead color, string beads in sections separated by straws, beginning and ending with a bead.  String on all of the beads before you start knotting. A double bead will signal the end of a strand when you are knotting.

Make your first knot one yard from the end of the cord. You will use the extra cord to kumihimo braid the ends later. Slide the first bead up to the knot. Make a second knot right after the bead. Next will be a straw. Move it up next to the bead just knotted. Now make a third knot and slide it up to the end of the straw with the beading awl. Now move the second bead up to the knot and make a knot right after it. Keep repeating until you reach two beads together. The first bead will be the last bead of the strand you are working on. The second bead will be the first bead of the next strand. When you have knotted after the last bead, push all of the un-knotted beads down so you can leave one yard of cord after the last bead.

Begin the next strand by making a knot one yard from the end of the cord and repeat the steps in the paragraph above.

You should have knotted eight strands beginning and ending with one yard of cord. Remove each straw by bending the cord around your finger to move the cord to the bottom of the straw. Carefully cut across the top of the straw with small sharp scissors.

Hold the eight strands together from one end and let them dangle. Stagger the strands so the beads fall in different positions. Tie all eight cords in an overhand knot about 1/2 inch or so from the first bead. Then grasp from the opposite end and tie a second overhand knot.

Each 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 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.

Braid the beads and then do a section of plain braiding to form a loop large enough to fit over the button. Remember to stretch your braid, otherwise the loop will stretch as the bracelet is worn. Finish the loop by stringing one cord at a time back down the center of the braid and out the side. Be careful not to insert the needle through a bead as it will break. Wrap the last cord around the base of the loop before pulling it through the braid. Trim loose ends of cord by pulling slightly as you cut. This causes ends to disappear into the braid. Secure the wrapped portion with a bit of hypo cement.

Braid the second half of the necklace just like the first only omit the plain braiding for the loop. 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 all eight cords through the shank of the button. Move the button to within 1/2 inch of the beaded portion of the braid. Choose two of the cords and separate one to the left, the other to the right. Fold the remaining six cords from the button shank down to the braid. Use the two cords you separated to macrame flat using alternate cords to cover the 1/2 inch of cording between the button shank and the bracelet.

Finish the end by stringing one cord at a time back down the center of the braid and out the side.  Trim loose ends of cord by pulling slightly as you cut. This causes ends to disappear into the braid. Secure the macrame portion with hypo cement.

This project assumes prior knowledge of basic bead knotting and braiding an 8-strand beaded kumihimo braid.