Get your creative juices flowing
Kumi Ladder Bracelet
by: Pam Kearns
We often talk about the products we carry and wonder how we can use them
in ways that may be different or unexpected and we were specifically
talking about the 1mm wire lace. It's not a product that I've regularly
used so I wondered how it would do up as a basic 8-strand kumihimo -
it's wonderful! The thin braid it creates has a nice shine to the finish
and you can sew through the braid. I was able to get a 39" length of
braid from the four spools of wire lace I used so I used the braid to
make a ladder bracelet (instead of the traditional leather) and
Swarovski pearls. The result is an elegant double wrap ladder bracelet
that can be used for more dressy wear.
To get started, you need two double-strands of 4 colours of 1mm wire
lace. The easiest way is to pull the lace off of a spool, fold it in
half (giving you two pieces) and folding both pieces in half again (now
giving you four pieces). Do this for all four spools; you will have a
total of 16 strands of wire lace - 4 strands of each colour. Knot the
Set up a round foam kumihimo disk - I set it up as two strands of Dusty
Rose on both sides of N; two strands of Merlot on both sides of S; two
strands of Turquoise on both sides of E; and two strands of Navy on both
sides of W. You will want to spool the excess wire lace onto kumihimo
bobbins to keep it from tangling. Proceed to do basic 8-strand kumihimo
for the length of the wire lace you have on the bobbins. (if you need a
refresher or how-to on basic kumi, see here for a video:
When you've done your length (approximately 35 - 40") tie off the
strands into another knot and trim the excess wire lace.
Now you'll prepare to make the ladder bracelet. I used a clip board and
a bull-dog clip; others have used a beading tray and bull-dog clips to
help hold the materials in place.
I needed to cut one of the knots to slide on the button; it is a little
tight but squish down the end (it is wire) and slide it to the middle of
the length of kumi braid. Retie a small knot in the end of the kumi.
Fold the braid together at the button and tie together with the thread;
wrap around the braids 2 - 3 times and secure with a knot. You can sew
through the braid as well. Thread the needle and travel a little bit
through one braid and exit the bottom braid about 1/2" from where you
tied the two braids together. Thread on one 8mm pearl and go around the
top braid and back down the pearl to the bottom braid. Go around the
braid back to front and thread on another pearl - you are creating a
figure-8 pattern attaching each pearl. You want the pearls to be
touching but not overly crowded. If you need to see some visual
instructions on how to do a ladder bracelet, click on
Work down the length of the kumi braids adding the pearls; add thread as
required. For my wrist size (approx. 6 1/2") I used 43 pearls (approx.
13 12/"). Wrap it around you wrist to see how the fit is going allowing
for a loop to go over the button. When you have reached the desired
length, travel your thread along one braid and join both braids together
with a couple wraps and secure. Travel further down the braid and wrap
and second time creating a loop that will fit the button. Secure and trim.
To finish the ends, the Silver Silk terminators work very well! Cut off
the knots, dab some E6000 glue on the ends and pinch the terminators
onto the kumi braids.
That's it - enjoy!
ComponentsGo to our components list for this project and to buy what you need!
Need some help with some of the techniques? Check our tips page.