{DIY} Braided Cord Bracelet – Kumihimo

I have a reader-requested DIY coming up for you soon my friends! First I am going to show you how to create your own braided cord using a kumihimo disk. You’ll need to know how to do this for the upcoming bracelet tutorial. I was originally going to do it in one post but it might never load with the number of images it would require, so you are just going to have to get it in two posts instead.

You can create your own cord with beautiful patterns and colors using this simple tool. Today I am going to show you how to make an 8 strand kumihimo braid. It is actually very similar to plain old boondoggle but using the disk allows you to create a cord that is even and professional-looking. I like to think of kumihimo as grown-up boondoggle. It also makes it a lot easier to use slippery materials like rattail because the disk helps hold things in place. It is a LOT easier than it sounds so make sure you at least try it out.
How To Make Kumihimo Braided Cord
To make a simple 8-strand kumihimo braided cord bracelet you will need:

  • A Kumihimo disk, I got mine here, but the other day I saw one at Wal-Mart. 
  • Rattail. I used four colors so that the tutorial would be easier to follow but you could use 1, 2, 4 or 8 for this.
  • A weight. I used a bag of change but you could use dried beans or something else.

Kumihimo Braided Cord 1

Cut off 4 long strands of rattail, one in each color, all of them the same length. Gather them together and fold them in half so you have a loop, place the loop so that it is below the knot of your weight. Create an over hand knot in the strands so that it looks like the image. The loop should be small enough that you can lift up the strands and the weight will just hang there. Then, pull the ends through the whole in the kumihimo disk.

Separate the strands out by color. Rotate the disk so that #32 is on top. Place one strand of cord in each notch on either side of each dot. Then, take the bottom left strand and move it to the top left. You'll have three strands on top and 1 on bottom. Take the top right strand and move it to the bottom right so that it is even again with 2 strands on each side. Rotate the disk counter clockwise 1/4 of a turn. Repeat the process until the cord is the desired length.
Keep repeating the process until the cord reaches the desired length. The weight will pull the cord down and keep everything even.
Kumihimo Braided Cord Bracelet in Progress
Once you’ve got it to the desired length. Pull the strands out of the notches and tie another overhand knot. Pull the knot tight. Remove the weight.
Kumihimo Braided Cord Bracelet
If you made the loop at the top small enough than one knot on the end will do to work as a clasp, if not, you might have to tie a second knot before trimming the ends.

See that nice spiral pattern? Thanks from having the dark colors opposite each other and the light colors opposite each other when I started the bracelet. Mess around with starting them in different spots and see what patterns you come up with!

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve already got one design using this pattern in the works for you guys. Big thanks to Mина for sending the idea to me on Facebook. Stay tuned for the final design! If there is something you would like to know how to make, let me know in the comments, on Facebook or email me at kristiina@typicalhousecat.com.

Now tell me, will you give kumihimo braiding a try?

Filed Under: DIY

15 Responses to {DIY} Braided Cord Bracelet – Kumihimo

  1. Very nice pictutorial! We used to make these on a smaller scale. Do you think girls 7-10 could do this? I’d give it try at my little girl party for the kiddos!

    • Hey Joi! Did you try this with the girls? If not or it was too hard, I do birthday parties with that age – I have a pattern I could share!

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  2. This does look very cool and very easy (great combination!) I think both my daughters would love these bracelets… and their friends, too. Maybe I could have a braiding party with my girls. :~)

    I’m visiting from SITSSharefest & am so grateful I did!

  3. thanks for the tutorial. I recently bought a Kumihimo disk so this will be really handy… except, I bought a square one, are they the same?

    • Hey Wendy! That’s awesome, you can make some really great flat braids with the square one. It’s actually the step where you rotate the disk 1/4 turn counter clockwise that creates the rounded cord so you should be fine using a square disk. I can’t wait to see what you make!

  4. You should add that for a bracelet you need about 3 inches of thread per inch of bracelet. This is for a simply one like the one in your DIY. For more complex patterns and if you are using threads that vary in weight you might need a bit more.

  5. I did a search to see how I could make one of these at home cuz I live in a small town and I don’t want to have to wait to order one.. lol So anyway I found one that I’m gonna make and then your instructions make it so easy to follow that I’ll use your tutorial.. Thanks so much for posting this!!
    This is the website with the instructions on how to make your own kumihimo board…


    • Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve had a couple people ask about making one. If you get chance, please share a picture of it and your bracelet on my Facebook page. I would love to see it!

  6. Love the instuctions and wanted to print them out but the one section of pictured is too large to fit the page. Is there a way I can get this done?