Belly Dancer Kumihimo – Coined Braid Tutorial

August 16, 2013Allison Murray
Make a coin beaded Kumihimo bracelet

Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

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.

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Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

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:

Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

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.

Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

The braiding technique we’re using is the plain old 8 strand. Click here if you need to learn the 8 strand Kumihimo braid.

Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

Run the 8 strand technique without any of your beads until you have 1-2 inches of normal braid.

Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

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.

Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

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.

Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

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!

Make a Kumihimo braid with metal coin beads. So pretty!

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!

 

Comments (9)

  • Midsommarflicka

    August 16, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Bratwurst + Bier = Deutschland.
    Yeah, well… At least you didn’t say Weißwurst and Lederhosen! ;)

    Let’s come to the point: The bracelet looks great! I really like all these round charms and it definitely reminds of a bracelet which belongs to a bellydancer!

    Love, Midsommarflicka

    1. Allison

      August 16, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      To be honest I’ve only seen a handful of Lederhosen at Germanfest. I think it’s more of an excuse for Americans to drink a lot of German beer :)

      Thanks, Mid – I’m so glad you like it!

  • Jennifer

    August 31, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Love this bracelet. I have just recently got started in Kimohimo braiding and wanted to try something new. I hope I can find those disks, or I was even thinking shells woulds be pretty too.

    1. Allison

      August 31, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      I hope you can find the coins, too! I’ve been looking at the craft sections in different Wal-Marts and some have them and some don’t so I’m afraid it will be hit or miss. I hope you find them easily, though! I think shells would be gorgeous – I’ll be keeping an eye out for some of those now!

  • Line

    September 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Love this tutorial! I´ve bellydanced a bit myself, but I braid more… So this is perfect for me! x Line in Norway

    1. Allison

      September 23, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      How perfect. You must wear one you’ve braided when you belly-dance :)

  • R

    October 5, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Well, Germanfests and culture fests for European countries sometimes get usurped by Renaissance Festival types. Sometimes those two genres clash and you get belly dancers at a heritage faire. lol But that’s not like Gypsies did not exist back in the old days and didn’t run through German towns at least once or twice in history. While the dancing they might have done was most likely not Belly Dance, to the modern mind its one and the same. So you get belly dancers at Renfests or heritage faires. LOL

    Anyway I love the bracelet! It looks great and I bet it sounds so lovely!

    1. Allison

      October 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Thanks so much for the history. Now that you say it, I do kind of notice that the Germanfests around here are a mishmash with local rock bands and whatnot. More of a big community get together which is kind of sad. But the food is always good!

      I’m glad you like the bracelet. I LOVE the way it sounds :)

  • Jeanne

    August 26, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    I hadn’t thought about adding sound by putting discs on the braid but now I’m even thinking jingle bells for Christmas or a combination… Thanks for getting me to think outside my too traditional box.
    I bought my bobbins/spools that hold the beads while I braid from Fire Mountain. They’re called Huggy Spools but if you put in the search “kumihimo spool’ they come up, too. They have the large size – 2-1/2”. I bought my smaller size at a local bead store.

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