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Beaded kumihimo bracelet

Take basic kumihimo technique to the next level with pearls and metallic accents

This beaded kumihimo bracelet looks complex and elegant, but works up quickly. Crystal pearls and metallic seed beads are intertwined with leather cord for a beaded braid design that’s sure to stand out.


Bracelet 7 1/4 in. (18.1 cm)

  • 48 5 mm crystal pearls (Swarovski, gold)
  • 144 4 mm crystal pearls (Swarovski, light gray)
  • 2 g 11/0 seed beads (Miyuki 1052, gold)
  • 20 x 5 mm magnetic tube clasp with glue-in ends (
  • pearl cotton thread, #5 (DMC 415, pearl gray)
  • 3 mm leather or rubber cord
  • nylon beading thread (gold)
  • Big Eye needle
  • beading needle, #12
  • E6000 adhesive
  • kumihimo disk with 8 bobbins and weight or binder clip
Beaded kumihimo bracelet Photo a
Photo A
Beaded kumihimo bracelet Photo b
Photo B

1. Cut eight 30-in. (76 cm) pieces of pearl cotton thread. Cut one piece of leather cord at least 2 in. (5 cm) longer than the desired finished length of the bracelet.

2. Gather the ends of the threads, and tie an overhand knot around the leather cord about 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) from the end of the cord (Photo A). Feed the knot through the center hole of the kumihimo disk from front to back, and attach the weight or binder clip. Arrange the threads so there is one in each of the slots on either side of the four dots, and position the leather cord in the center as shown (Photo B).

3. On each thread, use a Big Eye needle to string nine 4 mm pearls, six 5 mm pearls, and nine 4 mm pearls. String one more or fewer 4 mm pearls at each end to adjust the bracelet by 1/2 in. (1.3 cm).

4. Snug up the beads to the edge of the kumihimo disk, and wind the ends of each thread around a bobbin.


Beaded kumihimo bracelet Photo c
Photo C
Beaded kumihimo bracelet Photo d
Photo D


1. To work a section of braid without beads around the leather cord: Position the disk with one dot at the top. Using the basic eight-cord kumihimo technique, bring the top-right thread down, and place it in the slot to the right of the bottom-right thread. Bring the bottom-left thread up, and place it to the left of the top-left thread. Rotate the disk 90 degrees, and repeat this braiding pattern. Continue working kumihimo without beads until the braided section is 3Ú4 in. (1.9 cm) long (Photo C), releasing more thread from the bobbins as needed.

2. To start incorporating beads, work in basic eight-cord kumihimo as in step 1. As you move each thread, slide a pearl up to the braid, and tuck it under the thread that crosses over the one the pearl is on. Continue working in kumihimo, adding a pearl with each movement (Photo D), until all the pearls have been added.

3. Work in kumihimo without beads as in step 1 until the braided section is 3/4 in. (1.9 cm) long.

4. Remove the threads from the disk, and gather them together. Tie an overhand knot around the leather cord close to the end of the braid. Trim any excess cord and thread to 1 in. (2.5 cm) past the pearl section.


1. Thread a beading needle on 1 yd. (.9 m) of nylon beading thread, and attach a stop bead leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Sew through an end 5 mm pearl, exiting next to a 4 mm pearl.

Beaded kumihimo bracelet Photo e
Photo E
Beaded kumihimo bracelet Photo f
Photo F

2. Pick up three 11/0 seed beads. Working to the left, find the thread at the bottom of the next 5 mm pearl, and sew under it from left to right so your working thread is going around the thread the pearl is on (Photo E).

3. Repeat step 2, working around the 5-mm pearl section in a spiral. When you reach the other end of the bracelet, attach a stop bead.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 to fill in the empty spiral on the 5-mm pearl section.

5. Remove the stop beads, and end the threads.


1. Apply glue to the overhand knots on each end of the bracelet and the braid next to it. After the glue has dried completely, cut the excess thread between the overhand knot and the braid, removing the knots from the bracelet. 

2. Measure the depth of each clasp opening (they may be different sizes), and trim the braid-covered leather cord to fit, taking care not to remove too much of the braid.

3. Apply glue to the inside of the clasp opening and the end of the cord. Press the cord into the clasp end (Photo F), and hold in place for three minutes. Repeat on the other end of the braid.

4. Close the clasp, and adjust the bracelet shape. Let dry completely overnight.

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