March 3, 2024

Mckerrinkelly

Inspired By Shop

How to Make a Rope Friendship Bracelet

8 min read
How to Make a Rope Friendship Bracelet

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This beginner tutorial for Kumihimo bracelets will teach you everything about how to make a rope friendship bracelet using this easy round braiding technique! When you’re done, go ahead and try making some name friendship bracelets. This post contains affiliate links.


One day, I came home and found a huge box of threads from DMC, one of my favorite embroidery floss companies. They supplied me with loads of packages from their Threadship friendship bracelet line to enable me to bring you more friendship bracelet patterns and tutorials.

In the box were some Kumihimo discs. I knew that I just had to do a tutorial on Kumihimo bracelets!

The craft threads may not be as incredible in finish as DMC’s embroidery floss that I’ve used many times (and they do come in fewere colors), but they are much more affordable. They are much, much softer than the no-name threads I’ve used, and didn’t unravel on me while working.

I’m sold and now my old no-name thread stash is going to my nieces to have fun with!

What are Kumihimo bracelets?

Kumihimo is a braiding technique that creates a circular braid, enabling you to make a rope friendship bracelet from scratch.

As you get more advanced at making Kumihimo bracelets, you’ll learn about the different patterns you can form. The basic four-color 8-strand pattern that I created makes small blocks of color so that you have two “stitches” in a row of the same.

I intend to eventually work out a checkerboard and a spiral.

I also played with two monochromatic setups.

One is actually made using an ombre thread. I measured and lined up the threads so that the colors are the same on all four, in the same starting position. You can see that it wasn’t perfect, but it still looks so cool!

And finally, you can also see that the yellow one is monochromatic, however it has subtle texture. That is because it’s not truly monochromatic. I used four very similar colors that are only slightly different. This makes it look like one color but adds texture.

Kumihimo teaches us just what can be done with a single disc. It teaches us the beauty of simplicity and the possibilities that come when you whittle your friendship bracelet making down to the basics.

It’s a bracelet that can remain a “kids summer camp craft” but it’s classy enough to stack with your everyday jewelry, and finishing it off with actual jewelry findings like I did makes it feel like an upscale accessory.

There are many many ways to make Kumihimo bracelets, but today I’ll be sharing just one – that you can switch up to get different looks too. I hope you love it!

How to Make Rope Friendship Bracelets using Kumihimo

Watch the Kumihimo Bracelets video

You can watch the full tutorial video on YouTube, or check out the quick snippet here.

What you’ll need

Some of the kits linked contain overlap – you don’t need everything. I’m linking separately my favorite option for that particular one so that if you already have some supplies you can know what to get for the ones you don’t.

To finish it with a functional clasp:

How to Make Kumihimo Bracelets – step by step tutorial

Setting it up

1. I chose four colors of thread to start with. You’ll need eight threads, and you can use any combination – which will determine your final bracelet pattern.

2. Measure your threads loosely three times around your wrist. I always add a little extra to allow for tangles and mishaps.

All threads should be the same length and should be joined together to start your bracelet.

3. Tie them together in a knot at the end. If you’re using a clasp, the knot can be pretty close to the edge of the threads. Place the knot through the center hole of the Kumihimo disc to start making Kumihimo bracelets.

4. Do you see those dots on some of the tabs of your disc? Place a thread through the slot on each side of those knots. Hold your disc so that the dots are at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Start with the number 32 tab at the top.

How to Braid it

5. To start your kumihimo braid, take the thread to the right of the 32 notch. Move it to the right of the 15 notch (in the direction you’re holding it). Now, take the thread to the left of the 16 notch. Move it up to the left of the 31 notch.

Rule: Every time you move a thread: You’re moving the top right thread to the right of the bottom threads. Then, you’re moving the bottom left thread to the left of the top threads.

6. Rotate your disc clockwise, roughly 90 degrees, to the next set of threads. Again, move the top right to the notch on the right of the bottom threads. Move the bottom left to the notch on the left of the top threads.

Rule: between every set of moves, you’re rotating your disc clockwise – to the right – until the next thread grouping. Then proceed to move your threads.

7. By your third and fourth moves, the threads will be back with their pairings.

And after a few moves, you’ll start to see a design form in the center.

Rule: each time you move a thread, run your hand down the length of that thread after your move. That ensures that you’re not forming an accidental “secondary braid” at the end that’ll cause your threads to knot.

8. Keep on going until your bracelet fits around your wrist.

Tip: Keeping even tension the entire time will make for a smooth, even braid.

I recommend pulling each thread tight, rather than allowing for some slack. You can see how much nicer my four-color one came out than the others.

Finishing it off

9. Pull your final threads off the disc (don’t worry if the last weave comes a drop loose.) Tie the end threads together and trim.

10. To finish, glue your knot well. You can also glue right before your knot, so that you can snip it off after. Place a ribbon crimp or cord end over it or before it and close tight. Trim. Attach a clasp and chain to each end using a jump ring.

Now try making Kumihimo bracelets with other color schemes!

Prep Time:
5 minutes

Active Time:
45 minutes

Additional Time:
5 minutes

Total Time:
55 minutes

Difficulty:
Beginner

Estimated Cost:
$1

This fabulous braiding technique uses a cardboard disc to make rope-like bracelets in whichever pattern you’d like! Dive right in and get braiding – you won’t want to stop at one bracelet!

Materials

  • Embroidery floss – I used colors from DMC’s Threadship Neon pack for all three bracelets shown
  • A Kumihimo disc
  • Scissors

To finish it with a functional clasp:

  • Large cord ends or ribbon crimps
  • Jump rings
  • Pliers
  • Clasp
  • About 1.5 inches of thin cable chain to connect the clasp to
  • Glue

Instructions

  1. I chose four colors of thread to start with. You’ll need eight threads, and you can use any combination – which will determine your final bracelet pattern.
  2. Measure your threads loosely three times around your wrist. I always add a little extra to allow for tangles and mishaps. All threads should be the same length and should be joined together to start your bracelet
  3. Tie them together in a knot at the end. If you’re using a clasp, the knot can be pretty close to the edge of the threads. Place the knot through the center hole of the Kumihimo disc to start making Kumihimo bracelets.
  4. Do you see those dots on some of the tabs of your disc? Place a thread through the slot on each side of those knots. Hold your disc so that the dots are at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Start with the number 32 tab at the top.
  5. To start your kumihimo braid, take the thread to the right of the 32 notch. Move it to the right of the 15 notch (in the direction you’re holding it). Now, take the thread to the left of the 16 notch. Move it up to the left of the 31 notch.
  6. Rotate your disc clockwise, roughly 90 degrees, to the next set of threads. Again, move the top right to the notch on the right of the bottom threads. Move the bottom left to the notch on the left of the top threads.
  7. By your third and fourth moves, the threads will be back with their pairings. And after a few moves, you’ll start to see a design form in the center.
  8. Keep on going until your bracelet fits around your wrist.
  9. Pull your final threads off the disc (don’t worry if the last weave comes a drop loose.) Tie the end threads together and trim.
  10. To finish, glue your knot well. You can also glue right before your knot, so that you can snip it off after. Place a ribbon crimp or cord end over it or before it and close tight. Trim. Attach a clasp and chain to each end using a jump ring.

Notes

Rules:

  • Every time you move a thread: You’re moving the top right thread to the right of the bottom threads. Then, you’re moving the bottom left thread to the left of the top threads.
  • Between every set of moves, you’re rotating your disc clockwise – to the right – until the next thread grouping. Then proceed to move your threads.
  • Each time you move a thread, run your hand down the length of that thread after your move. That ensures that you’re not forming an accidental “secondary braid” at the end that’ll cause your threads to knot.

Tips:

  • Keep your tension consistent the entire time while braiding. I recommend pulling each thread tight, rather than allowing for some slack.
  • Play with the colors. Try eight different colors, two color schemes with adjacent colors, two color schemes with sets of two colors, monochromatic, and more!

Recommended Products

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