When I was a kid we often went to a Germanfest. And for some reason, when I was in high school, there was a belly dancer troupe that performed on this itty bitty wood stage. Now I’m pretty sure that bratwurst and beer have nothing in common belly dancing beside the fact that they all start with the letter “b”. And just to be sure I didn’t come off as a total freaking idiot, I wikipedia-ed that business and learned that belly dancing is, in fact, not the least bit German and a whole lotta Middle Eastern.
At this point in my life I wanted to be a dance teacher when I grew up and the few discussions I had with my parents about going to college for dance didn’t end well. At all. Any new type of dance was automatically crazy interesting and belly dancing was this totally new and exotic form of dance with interesting music and little chimes of the coins on the dancers waists and wrists and feet.
My dad had installed full length mirrored closet doors in my room when I was a kid and I used them to practice dance recital pieces and choreograph for the dance team. I also used it to try to imitate the belly dancing I’d seen but couldn’t swing it. As an adult, I still can’t quite get the hang of it despite taking a few classes and owning several instructional DVDs. I’ve been told it’s because I’m cute, not sexy, and belly dancing – well, it ain’t exactly cute.
That doesn’t mean I can’t have the sounds that I loved and when I saw these round, metal disc charms and they clinked together in the way of the pieces those dancers wore, I threw several packages into my cart. And when I got home this belly dancer Kumihimo bracelet was born almost immediately!
For this project you will need:
- Kumihimo disc – or Kumihimo kit
- coin/disc jewelry charms (I used 2 packages of product#ajm63615004 from Wal-Mart though I cannot find them online – look in stores)
- matching braiding cord
- Kumihimo ends and closures
- strong glue
Cut 8 lengths of your hemp cord so that they are about a yard and a half long. Tie the ends together and string exactly 15 coins onto each string. I used paperclips to keep my beads on the cord, but they also sell these nifty bobbins that I have but cannot find.
The braiding technique we’re using is the plain old 8 strand. Click here if you need to learn the 8 strand Kumihimo braid.
Run the 8 strand technique without any of your beads until you have 1-2 inches of normal braid.
When it’s time to start adding the coins into the braid, you’ll only add one coin every go. On that first move of the left bottom cord to the left top, take one coin and slide it down the cord.
Pop the jump ring the coin sits on underneath the first horizontal cord. Continue to move the cord up to the upper left. Finish that round as usual.
If you need a bit more detail on this bit, it’s the same as using traiditional seed beads – so check out the Beaded Kumihimo Tutorial here.
As you work up the braid, you can see that you really only need one coin per go. I started doing two per turn on the wheel and it was just too much.
Continue working the braid until you have your desired length. This particular braid makes excellent bracelets and anklets.
Using your Kumihimo findings, finish off your bracelet or anklet. I used caps for up to 6mm Kumihimo braids (since I don’t have a lot of findings in bronze) and they were a bit big but worked out okay in the end. Need help with gluing on your endcaps? Guess what – I’ve got a tutorial for that, too! Putting End Caps on Your Kumihimo Braids
Belly Dancer Kumihimo – Coined Braid Tutorial
Now that is one attractive bracelet if I do say so myself. Oh, and the kitties love to chase me around the house while I’m tinkling about. Just be sure to put it up when you’re not wearing it. I’ve had to go searching more times than I’d like to admit. Luckily this is a small house and I know all of the cats’ hiding spots!
I don’t know why, but I don’t think the sound this belly dancer Kumihimo braceletmakes will ever get to me. You know how you buy a pair of jingle bell earrings and think they’re a great idea in December but about 2 hours in they’re tucked into your purse? That hasn’t happened with this bracelet, yet! I love the look and I love the sound and I hope that you do, too!
Will you be getting after it and making your own belly dancing Kumihimo? I say it doesn’t matter if you’re cute, sexy, or somewhere in between. If you want one, make it and rock it and don’t apologize for it! Happy Friday!