When I was in the 6th grade I had this art teacher who was… different. She sang weird music and she swayed back and forth when there was no music and she talked about things and musicians I had never heard of. My mother (who had met my teacher from an incident where I gouged a huge chunk of my hand out with tool while making stamping blocks) told me that my teacher was a hippie. When I asked my teacher (because I didn’t have a filter) I was told that she didn’t conform to labels and that she was simply a free spirit.
I had really liked her before but I especially liked her after that and decided that I wanted to be a free spirit, too. I remember her wearing sandals and long flowy skirts no matter the weather and a long, long braid of black hair that she’d flip around while she talked. She also wore lots, and lots of natural stone jewelry and when I saw these beads, I instantly thought of her though that was many, many years ago. In an effort to make a piece of jewelry befitting a free spirit, my tasseled Kumihimo bracelet was born!
For this project you will need:
- Super-lon cord in a neutral color
- Natural lustre beads (I used 1.5 tubes of these)
- Kumihimo disc OR a Kumihimo Starter Kit is a good if you’re new to Kumi
- Large bead or a button for closure
- glue (optional)
For this bracelet you’ll need to work up an 8 strand beaded braid with a loop at one end. For the loop, take 4 cords about 36-40 inches long, find the center and tie a knot to form the loop that will hook around your large bead or button. When you get the length you require, braid with the loop a good 4-5 turns without any beads to form a bit of cord at the end.
Now, I cut my cords down to where my tassel would only have 4 strands. I did this mostly because I couldn’t fit all 8 through my big beads. It’s totally a matter of preference and I really think that a few more strands on my tassel would have been lovely. If you want to trim your cords down to four, start immediately below. If not, head on down to the third picture.
While keeping your cords in your foam disc, remove two across diagonally across from one another and tie into a knot twice. Do for both the cords running horizontally and vertically in the disc. You should have four cords left in a cross shape on the disc at this point.
Snip the cords that you tied off closely to the knot. At this point add a daub of glue and allow to dry if you’re worried about your knots coming loose.
Push your bead onto your cord and push a bit over the braid that isn’t beaded. Tie a knot at the other end of the bead as tightly and as close to the bead as you can. Pull the loop over the bead to finish this step.
Begin stringing the little beads on your tassel strands to the length you desire.
When you get to the last bead, bring the cord through the end nearest the beads on the cord. Hold the bead steady and begin to pull the cord tight. Pull the end through the loop twice and finish pulling tight to secure and knot at the same time. Trim the excess cord.
And that’s all there is to that! It seems to take me a long time to get my beads onto my cords in the beginning but after that bit of time this project is quick as you please!
It’s hard to pull the tassel through the loop which is why we brought the bracelet together before beading the tassel. To put on, simply pull the loop over the big bead or button closure to make larger. Slip on and then pull the loop back over your bead to make it fit properly.
Will you be adding some tassels on to your beaded Kumi braids?