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Kumihimo necklace with two-hole beads

Intertwine two-hole Twin beads to created this beaded, braided masterpiece

Fiber and beads share the spotlight when two-hole twins are braided together. Here, we match the cord to the beads for a clean look.

Materials

Necklace 20 in. (51 cm)

  • 22 g 2.5 x 5 mm Twin beads (Preciosa, copper)
  • 10 g 8/0 seed beads (Miyuki 278, aqua-lined crystal AB)
  • 2 6/0 seed beads for finishing (Miyuki 4202, gold)
  • 2 11/0 seed beads for finishing (any color)
  • 2 20 x 15 mm tulip bead caps (gold)
  • toggle clasp (gold)
  • 12 in. (30 cm) 20-gauge wire (brass)
  • C-Lon or S-Lon cord (antique gold and aqua)
  • kumihimo disk with 8 bobbins and weight or binder clip
  • Big Eye needles
  • E6000 adhesive
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions

Setup

1. Cut 12 1 1/2-yd. (1.4 m) pieces of cord. Gather the cords, and tie an overhand knot 1 in. (2.5 cm) from one end.

Beaded kumihimo necklace Photo a
Photo A
Beaded kumihimo necklace Photo b
Photo B

2. Feed the knot through the center hole of the kumihimo disk from front to back, and attach the weight or binder clip. Arrange the 12 cords so there is one cord in each of the slots on either side of the dots on the top and bottom of the disk, and a pair of cords in each of the slots on either side of the dots on the right and left (Photo A).

3. On one of the single cords, use a Big Eye needle to string 100 8/0 seed beads. Wind the end of the cord around a bobbin so that the beads are approximately 2 in. (5 cm) from the disk. Repeat for the three remaining single cords.

4. Thread a Big Eye needle onto each cord in a pair of cords. String 100 2.5 x 5 mm Twin beads, with each cord going through one hole of each Twin (Photo B). Wind the end of the cords around a bobbin so the beads are approximately 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) from the disk, leaving all the Twins exposed. This allows the Twins to slide off easily and will keep the cords from twisting. Repeat for the three remaining pairs of cords.

Braid
As you work with the pairs of cords, always make sure the cords are not twisted and that you have equal tension as you braid.

1. Position the kumihimo disk so that the single cords are at the top and bottom, and the Twin cords are on the right and left.

2. To work a section of braid without beads: Using the basic eight-cord kumihimo technique, bring the top-right cord down to the right of the bottom-right cord. Bring the bottom-left cord up to the left of the top-left cord. Turn the disk 90 degrees so that the paired cords are at the top and bottom.

3. Bring the top-right pair of cords down beside the bottom-right pair of cords, taking care to keep the cords from twisting. Bring the bottom-left pair of cords up to the left of the top-left pair of cords. Turn the disk 90 degrees.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the unbeaded section is ¼-1/2 in. (6 mm-1.3 cm) long, ending with step 3.

5. To begin working with beads: Pick up the cord on the top right, and slide an 80 down to the braid, tucking it under the pair of cords crossing over the cord you’re working with. Move the cord to the right of the bottom-right cord. Pick up the bottom-left cord, and slide a bead up to the braid, tucking it under the pair of cords that crosses the cord you’re working with. Move the cord up to the left of the top-left cord. Turn the disk 90 degrees.

Beaded kumihimo necklace Photo c
Photo C
Beaded kumihimo necklace Photo d
Photo D

6. Pick up the top-right pair of cords, and slide a Twin up to the braid. Tuck it under the crossing cord, taking care not to twist the cords. Bring the pair of cords down to the right of the bottom-right pair of cords. Pick up the bottom-left pair of cords, and slide a Twin up to the braid, tucking it under the crossing cord. Move the cords up to the left of the top-left pair of cords (Photo C). Turn the disk 90 degrees.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you’ve added all the beads to the braid, taking care to keep the cords from twisting, the tension even, and the beads on the outside of the braid.

8. Work in kumihimo without beads as in steps 2 and 3 until the unbeaded section is ¼-1/2 in. (6 mm-1.3 cm) long.

9. Remove the cords from the disk and the bobbins, and tie the ends with an overhand knot next to the braid.

Finishing
1.
Dab the knots and the unbeaded braid ends with glue, and let dry completely. Trim the excess cord just above the knots.

2. Cut a 6-in. (15 cm) piece of 20-gauge wire, and slide it through the middle of the unbeaded braid so about 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) comes out the other side (Photo D). 

Beaded kumihimo necklace Photo e
Photo E
Beaded kumihimo necklace Photo f
Photo F

Make a hook in the short end of the wire (Photo E), and tightly wrap it around the end of the braid to secure the wire.

3. Extend the remaining wire so it points straight up from the end of the braid. String an 11/0 down to the braid, then slide a bead cap or cone over the bead and braid. 

4. String a 6/0 seed bead (Photo F), and make the first half of a wrapped loop. Attach half of the clasp, and complete the wraps. 

5. Repeat steps 2-4 on the other end of the necklace with the other half of the clasp.

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