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A Beginner's Guide to Kumihimo by Donna McKean-Smith

  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 17 August 2018
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782215349
  • Stock: 50+
  • Carton Qty: N/A
  • Size: 204x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 300
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP Price: £8.99
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Kumihimo is a popular jewellery-making technique with origins in Japanese tradition. This colourful and informative beginner's guide to the craft explains how to use a circular kumihimo disc and a variety of braids and beads to create 12 stunning pieces of jewellery, plus colour and style variations, for any occasion. Kumihimo is a transportable craft so once you have mastered the basics of placing your braids over the disc in different formations to make a variety of patterns and motifs, you can create kumihimo jewellery wherever you go.

Table of Contents



Essential Techniques

The Projects:

Basic eight-braid bracelet

Eight-braid beaded bracelet

'Inside-out' bracelet

Infinity Knot necklace

Four-colour stripe bracelet

Flower motif bracelet

Beaded popper charm bracelet

Crystal kumihimo necklace

Eight-braid cuff

Simple seven-braid bracelet

Eight-braid square cord bracelet

Twelve-braid raised cord bracelet


About Donna McKean-Smith

Donna McKean-Smith founded Riverside Beads and Crafts early in 2002. Riverside has grown to be a household name in the jewellery-making and craft industry, bringing a wonderful range of craft and beading materials both to Donna's own shop and online at

Donna is a regular contributor to jewellery-making magazines, and has self-published her first guide to kumihimo, Bead-Braid-Twist. Donna is also a regular guest on Create and Craft, and can be found at craft shows around the UK.

Donna lives in Market Deeping near Peterborough, UK, with her husband and three sons.


Postcard Reviews

This stunning art of braiding to make wonderful pieces of jewellery is simple and unique.

You will learn basic techniques to braid and bead, which will give a beautiful finished piece of jewellery that will be wearable and stylish.

To make the projects you will need a Kumihimo disc or plate, I would have liked to have seen one included with this book, but you can pick them up for a couple of pounds quite easily, and you will need some cord.

The instructions are easy to follow and what I liked is that picture demonstration is included along with special hints and tips to give your work that professional finish.

Each piece is stunning, the beadwork is amazing and for a 'Magpie' like me I was drawn to the shiny and sparkle of the embellishments.

This is a book perfect for beginners, it really is a one to one craft class.

12 projects are showcased and each one is gorgeous and appealing.

Make your own beautiful jewellery with the ancient Japanese craft of kumihimo.  This traditional method of producing braids has been updated for the modern crafter with inexpensive disks and bobbins and is surprisingly easy to do. 

I have been using my marudai to make kumihimo braids for several years; basic fibre braids can be used for so many things.  This book does not require any of the larger, more expensive items but if you have them you can use them to make these beaded braids.  If you dont, the disks and other items you require are easy and inexpensive to obtain and you can use any cords or threads plus a wide range of beads and findings.  This is a well laid out, user friendly guide for either a total beginner, or somebody like myself who has made plain braids and wants to add beads and make jewellery.  A few pages are given to showing what you need and explaining why you need it; if you already make jewellery you will already own most of it.  Start making your first braid without the beads and learn the basics of kumihimo in the next chapter.  This includes working out how much thread you need, setting up the disk, the braiding sequence and finishing off.  Wisely this first piece is not just a cord but made into a bracelet which, even without beads, is a beautiful and wearable piece.  The rest of the book shows you how to add beads, make a variety of different cord types and fill your jewellery box with some gorgeous bracelets, cuffs and necklaces.  If you want to see them all at a glance there is a double page at the front with a gallery of the finished pieces.  Each project teaches you something new and has some very clear photographs and diagrams showing how to set up the disk, use different types of bead and achieve various effects.  There is a list of what you need, useful tips, and sometimes ideas and patterns for variations.  I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to try kumihimo and make their own jewellery.

This wonderful Kumihimo beginner's guide (or, to give the book its proper title: A Beginners Guide to Kumihimo) is by Donna McKean Smith.

Published by Search Press, it will come as no surprise for me to tell you that the book is beautifully laid out and illustrated. If youre someone who enjoys making beaded ropes, then Im going to tell you why you need this.

As the cover advertises, this Kumihimo beginner's guide gives you 12 projects to get you started. It also gives you a wealth of information about the tools and materials you need. Plus, in learning these projects, you are learning general Kumihimo techniques. So, youll end up with the skill set to go on and make loads more Kumihimo projects all on your own.

In case youre wondering, Kumihimo is actually an ancient Japanese craft. It is basically braiding. You will get to learn a number of different braid combinations. Each creates a different texture and look. You will start by learning how to braid with ribbon. Then, learn how to add in beads. Both these looks are beautiful. The projects in the book will give you necklaces and bracelets. If you want to try your own thing, then Kumihimo ropes also make fabulous necklaces for hanging a special pendant or cabochon.

Donna McKean Smith has been running Riverside crafts for many years. She is an expert teacher and this comes across in the book. She guides you through everything from a beginners perspective. So, you dont need to know anything before you start. Kumihimo is a very therapeutic craft. So, I can guarantee that with Donnas expert tuition, you will soon be relaxed and enjoying it for yourself.


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