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How To: Kumihimo with Preciosa Tee Beads

The new Preciosa Tee beads are here and we just love their unique, interlocking design! Joy Wignall couldn’t wait to get her hands on the new beads and shares her Kumihimo necklace and bracelet project in the tutorial below. The gunmetal seed beads contrast perfectly with the plum and frosted silver AB Tee beads to make a cool, wintery look! Check out all the Preciosa Tee beads to make an alternative colour combination if you wish. 
kumihimo-tee-bead-project-beads-direct

Project Materials

Preciosa Pressed Tee Beads Plum x3 (BG0659)
Preciosa Pressed Tee Beads Frosted Silver AB x3 (BG0650)
Toho Size 8 Round Seed Beads Metallic Hematite x3 (8TR81)
Antique Silver Zamak Heart Toggle Clasp (F0108)
Silver Plated Kumihimo Bullet End Caps 3mm (F743)
Silver Plated Iron Jumprings 5mm 0.8mm (F0211)
S-Lon Bead Cord Gunmetal (TC663)
Silver Plated Magnetic Clasp (F982)
Small Round Kumihimo Disk (W343)
No Tangle Thread Bobbins (W510)
Fevi Kwik Glue (W311)

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Project Tutorial

For tips on how to Kumihimo, check out Sarah Milsop’s Kumihimo necklace video tutorial.

To make a 50cm necklace, cut four 2 metre lengths of S-Lon cord. Gather the middle of the four cords and tie a knot. Push the knot through the centre of your Kumihimo disk.  Tie a weight on to the knot for the tension.  I started with a 90 gram weight and changed to 45 grams when I reached the Tee beads, changing again to 30 grams at the end of the Tee beads, this allows for an even tension through the whole necklace.  I use a bag of coins so it is easy to change the weight. Set up the disk by slotting two strands either side of the dots at 8, 16, 24 and 32.

On each of the four strands at 16 and 32 thread 133 size 8 Seed Beads, either tie a knot around the last bead or go back through the bead to use as a stopper bead.

On the remaining four strands thread 35 seed beads, then 22 Tee beads, followed by another 35 seed beads. If you are using two colours of Tee beads thread one strand of each colour at each point, making sure they are in the same order on the opposite point.

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Wind the threads onto bobbins, this helps stop the threads from tangling.

Begin braiding starting with point 32 at the top and count 64 passes to give a couple of centimetres of braid.  This is important to provide a strong base for the beads.

To start adding beads slide a bead up the cord towards the point of braiding and press it as close as possible to the braid making sure it is tucked under the last cord to have been moved.

kumi

Carry on braiding as normal dropping a bead into place on each move until you reach the first Tee bead to be added.  Change the weight for the tension to 45 grams.

On the Tee bead passes drop one Tee bead on each pass, making sure the smaller end points towards the middle.  On the seed bead passes drop 3 seed beads on each pass.  Use your finger to keep them there if necessary.  If the seed beads try to ‘jump’ out of place pull the underside of the braid through the middle slightly.

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Continue until all the Tee beads have been used.  Change the weight to 30 grams and continue braiding adding one seed bead at each pass.  Keep going until all the beads have been used or until the length of seed bead section is the same as the first section, you may need more or less beads here depending on the tension of your work.

When you are happy with the length, braid another 64 passes without beads to create a couple of centimetres at the end.  Remove cords from the notches and knot together so the braid doesn’t unravel.

necklace

Wrap some cotton tightly around the braid at the length needed for the cord end and sew through the braid a couple of times to make sure it is securely fastened.  Do this at both ends.  When you are happy that you have secured the braid cut the knots off.

caps

To complete glue each end into the end cap and allow to dry. Attach the clasp with jump rings.

To make a 19cm matching bracelet

Cut four 1.2 metres of S-Lon cord and follow the basic instructions as above, but thread 69 seed beads on the four strands at point 16 and 32. On the other 4 strands add 2 seed beads, 22 Tee beads then 2 seed beads. Use a 45 gram weight throughout for the tension.

Separate the magnetic clasp and glue onto each end of the bracelet,  glueing them separately in case the glue seeps through to the magnet.

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We hope you enjoyed Joy’s beautiful Kumihimo project. Are you feeling inspired? You can find all your project materials right here. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

kumihimo-tee-bead-project-beads-direct

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