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In my garage I’ve been going through boxes of craft supplies stashed away and forgotten about over 3 moves in about 5 years. Running across my huge toolbox of Kumihimo supplies made me surprisingly happy. Recently a reader had asked if I might get back into this fun braiding craft, as she wanted some more project ideas. Today I’m happy to say that I’ve picked my Kumihimo wheel back up and have gotten after it.
The very first time I posted about Kumihimo patterns on this blog was almost SEVEN years ago. I was obsessed and shared 5 different patterns you can create with 8 strands of cord in 2 colors. Little did I know just how often I would reference my own post. It’s hard to remember where to place the cords after a few years :)
Back when I first wrote this post, I used yarn more often than not because it was cheap. But in those 7 years satin cord, sometimes called rattail or bugtail, depending on it’s diameter has gotten a lot more affordable. And I’ve noticed that a lot of y’all are saving this post to Pinterest… It seemed with a spike in interest and a decrease in the cost of materials, Kumihimo is the PERFECT quarantine craft!
What is Kumihimo?
If you haven’t heard of Kumihimo before, here’s a little FYI on the quick… Kumi himo is Japanese and it means “gathered threads”. An ancient craft from the 6th century, Kumihimo is the art of braiding cords, threads, ribbons, strands of beads, jewelry wire and so much more into gorgeous ropes.
You can repeatedly make your favorite Kumihimo patterns by keeping track of the placement of your cords.
Supplies for Kumihimo
I love Kumihimo because you can start out this craft without a ton of expense. Just starting out with the basics, you will need a foam disc and then cords to braid together.
These days you can get 735 total yards of 15 different colors of satin cord for around $30. Prices on Amazon fluctuate like crazy. I actually ordered this set of cord for less than $25 so watch for a good deal.
For enough length of cord to make an 8 strand Kumihimo bracelet, you’ll need around 20 inches per strand, or 160 total inches per braid. If you get one of these big samplers of satin cord, you’ll be able to braid more than 120 different bracelets. In my book, that makes this an extremely affordable craft!
To make round braids you’ll need a round foam disk. You need a disk that is made from thick foam so that it doesn’t bend. The one I’ve linked to is the one I’ve had for over 7 years and it’s still in tip-top shape. They sell for around $6 apiece. There are also square Kumihimo disks for flat braids, but we’ll get into that on another day…
Or you can grab a Kumihimo Kit.
If you just want to get enough materials to see if this is a craft you’re into, you can purchase a Kumihimo kit for around $24 on Amazon. If you have a Hobby Lobby in your neck of the woods, you can get this kit for $15+ tax if you use their 40% off coupon. I think $15 isn’t a bad investment to check out a new craft…
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Now to the meat of this post, the patterns…
Originally in this post I shared 5 patterns. But over the years I’ve gotten 9 favorites that are my go to braids. All of them use 8 warps (or strands of cord) in only 2 colors. It’s fun to make a whole wrist-ful of bracelets using the same colors just different patterns. I will make a stack of Kumihimo bracelets in whatever color palette that has taken over my wardrobe. Here are the patterns: