Stitch Pro: How to Finish the End of a Beaded Kumihimo Braid
Do you love working kumihimo with beads, but are perplexed by how to turn the resulting rope into a bracelet or necklace? There are many ways to finish a beaded kumihimo rope, but the most popular way is to add an end cap. Here is how it's done:
To finish the end of the kumihimo braid:
1) After braiding your rope, use opposite cords to tie square knots, holding the beads in place; trim the ends and dot with Super Glue if necessary.
2) Insert a 4" piece of craft wire between the knots just formed and the end round of beads; form a wrapped loop around the cords and trim off the short end of the wire.
3) Use the long end of the wire to string 1 end cap from inside to outside, tucking any loose cords within the cap. Note: You'll want to be sure to measure the width of your braid in order to purchase the proper size of end cap. In general, if you have an 8-cord braid using size 8 beads, use a 10 to 12mm end cap.
4) If desired for embellishment, string 1 metal or glass seed bead onto the straight wire.
5) Tighten all of the components and form a wrapped loop to hold everything in place.
6) Use a jump ring to connect a clasp or other finding to the exposed wrapped loop.
Pretty easy, huh? Kumihimo with beads is super easy and fun; you can almost do it with your eyes closed! But I've found there are a few tricks you'll want to learn if you're just starting out. Like bead patterning and dealing with curly cords, for instance. In her brand-new collection, Kumihimo Made Easy: 10 Beautiful Projects to Braid, designer Maggie Thompson offers some of her favorite tips while delivering 10 beautifully simple kumihimo with beads projects. As an award-winning kumihimo bead artist and instructor, Maggie knows just how to get beginners excited about this technique.
Do you work kumihimo with beads? What are some of your favorite tips and tricks? Please share them with your fellow readers here on Inside Beadwork.
Jean Cox (Campbell)
Content Strategist, Interweave Bead Group