Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords & Big Beads

September 13, 2013Allison Murray

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Ack!  It’s Friday the Thirteenth! Are you superstitious? I kind of am but I think it’s just because I have totally crap luck. For instance, I once ran out onto the back porch to escape a wasp that had gotten in my kitchen. He was busy banging himself into the window over and over but I was so scared of this silly thing.

And what did I do? In my getaway to the back porch, I slammed the door and disturbed a new wasp’s nest with a ticked off meanie in it. He then promptly stung me on my head. My head people. It hurt and I wound up going inside with a huge lump on my head and crying while I was staring at this other wasp still freaking out on my kitchen window.

Had I stayed put, I probably would have been fine, but I have bad luck so things wound up sucking that day. So this Thirteenth I’m staying home and doing nothing. Better safe than sorry. But moving on…

The Kumihimo thing is huge with me, and if the emails I’ve been getting from sweet readers are any testament, you’ve been pretty down with it, too. So I’ve been experimenting. Experimenting with different kinds of cords and beads and patterns and basically wearing my foam kumihimo disk out! This project is one of my experiments that ended up really well. I took a Kumihimo braid OVER some beads on paracord and the results are awesome! I’ve already wasted your time with tales of bad bugs so let’s just get on with it.

For this project you will need:

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Now a lot of this process was trial and effort for me but this is what worked the best for me. These big beads have big holes in them so they fit on the paracord well, but when braiding they’re going to try to shimmy away from you. To stop that, put some hot glue inside of the bead resting where you want it on the paracord. Be careful, though. I’m still sporting a decent sized blister where the glue came pouring out onto my thumb that was holding the bead steady.

I’d really recommend doing a practice run before using up expensive materials. This isn’t hard but it does take some getting used to when covering the beads.

When working on a necklace, space the beads however you’d like. On a bracelet, I’d really recommend spacing about 0.5 inches apart.  I went further than that on my first bracelet attempt, about an inch apart, and it sits kind of funny on my arm. My second attempt was much more comfortable at the half an inch increments. Quarter of an inch also seems to work pretty well.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

We’re going to do a basic 8 strand Kumihimo braid. So take 8 pieces of rattail and tie them onto the end of your paracord. Use a little daub inside of the knot of hot glue to get it to stay put.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Pus your cord through and set up as for a normal 8 strand Kumihimo braid. If you need help, go here for the Kumihimo tutorial.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Start working the braid just as you normally would… bottom left to top left top right to bottom right. If you need a refresher, ain’t no shame.

Keep your paracord and bead over the two cords nearest you, so keep moving it with every turn of the disc.

Be sure to hold the disc nice and straight while working so that the braid wraps evenly around the cord.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

As you get closer to a bead, the cord will try to stand up.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

When you start to braid around the bead, move the cords in a sweeping motion, much like the hands on a clock.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

And just so you know, this is what the rest of that photo looks like. Liddy’s gnawing on my business. I’m so used to crafting with cats that I don’t even notice anymore!

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

As you work, the bead will become covered.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Keep going until you reach about halfway over the bead.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Take your Fast Grab Tacky Glue and put a healthy dose all over the top portion of the bead.

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Continue braiding while the glue is wet. This fast grab will hold the cord nice and flush with one another. In my first 3-4 attempts I went without glue and even after all of those tries had gaps in the bottom portion of my beads. This is so much easier!

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Continue the braid down the cord after you’ve covered the bead. Now doesn’t that look so neat and lovely?

Kumihimo Tutorial Over Cords and Big Beads :: www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Here is  my first attempt at a bracelet with this technique and it’s the one that sits kind of funny. Bringing your beads totally fixes this.

When I get in my end caps I’ve ordered, I’ll share the results of the braided bracelet with them better set up.

To make a bracelet I used 1-1/4 yards for each strand. For practice I wound up mostly using off-cuts.

I hope you enjoyed this Kumihimo tutorial! Will you be making some of these very interesting covered bead braids? I’d love to see the results!!


Comments (20)

  • wendy

    September 14, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    this is brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Allison

      September 14, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      You’re so welcome. Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

  • Patti

    September 21, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    I love this idea for bracelets! Plain kumihimo bracelets are a little too meh for me, bit I would love a bracelet that looks like this! Good job figuring out how to do this!

    1. Allison

      September 22, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      Thanks so much. I hear you about the simple nature of the braids. I make a ton but only actually wear a few of the simple strands. When I started adding beads all of the sudden I wanted to wear one constantly. I’m trying to dress the braids up a bit and hope to have more fun tutorials in the future!

  • Sue

    September 22, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    I have been looking all over for endcaps to fit the rattail. Where did you find yours? Love the bracelet.

    1. Allison

      September 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      Hey, Sue! You can find the end caps that I use in this post: https://www.dreamalittlebigger.com/post/putting-end-caps-on-your-kumihimo-braids.html

      Click the images to go to Amazon to purchase :)

  • fina perez

    September 22, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Son preciosos todos los trabajos que veo ,todos me gustan ,le doy las gracias por lo bien que lo explican,un abrazo .

    1. Allison

      September 22, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      You’re too sweet. Hugs back!

  • Flo

    September 28, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I absolutely love this bracelet. My granddaughter will go nuts over this when she opens it at Christmas. Love it.

    1. Allison

      September 28, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      I’m so glad, Flo!

  • Priscilla

    October 17, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    I’ve just started doing kumihimo, I love it! I think it will take a little more practice before I start adding or covering beads, but I’ll do it ! thanks for all your tips and advice, they will help a lot.

    1. Allison

      October 17, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      The beaded strands aren’t too much more difficult, really. I say the very second you’re confident in your 8 strand you just tackle the beaded version. If it doesn’t work out you can always untwist it and use the beads to try again!

  • Carole Fontaine

    January 7, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    These are stunning and WAY easier than doing a geometric polymer cane to get a similar look.

    I’m having trouble getting glass “E” beads on to 2 mm rattail cord—have you had any success doing so, and how do you do it.

    When I do bead crochet it looks a lot like the beaded Kumihimo cords, the crochet cord stretches, making the bracelet all floppy and big. But I’d love to beads a few sections on a braid with beads, this trick of covering a BIG bead might be the technique I need.

    You could also put a large hole bead (pandora, troll bead type) on the cord in between the covered beads, too…yum!

    1. Allison

      January 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      Unfortunately I;m not sure about the E beads. I’d say practice with maybe a spray adhesive on the beads? That seems like it might give greater purchase!

  • Lola

    February 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Very nice. I´ll try to do it. Thanks very much for thist tutorial.

  • Bronda

    May 3, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    I love this bracelet..however I started one and omg
    I can’t get started to save my life. I have been making
    kumihimo bracelets for about a year and have made some
    awesome patterns, but I just can’t get this I’m not sure what
    the heck I’m doing wrong. And I have followed you exactly.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much!

    1. Allison

      May 3, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      When you say get it started, do you mean the very beginning or over the bead?

  • Vanessa

    August 16, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Hi Allison, I really love your website. Like me, you like to experiment. And I love hearing about and seeing all the exciting patterns you have. This one is really cool! So thank you for taking the time to put up all this useful information.

    Also, I wanted you to have a link to my ebay shop where I sell kumihimo supplies (mainly rattail and really cool end caps). I see that my rattail is more expensive than the show you showed on etsy, but I have a LOT more colors, so maybe I might be of assistance to you one day with the rattail. But I really wanted you to see that I have some really nice and different end caps. The end caps I have can really make a project look so much more expensive, too. So please check it out and hopefully I can help you out too! :-) http://stores.ebay.com/blingitonbyv/


  • Karen

    May 26, 2019 at 8:32 PM

    My cat LOVES to kumihimo with me. She advises me how to pull the strings.

    1. Allison Murray

      May 27, 2019 at 9:00 AM

      I LOVE THAT! Happy braiding :)

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