Beading / Jewelry

Pot Belly Kumihimo Bracelet

A fun twist on the traditional kumihimo braid!
By  Myléne Hillam  

8 1/4”


  • Round leather cord, 2mm, 48”: red; silver; gold, two
  • Round wooden bead: 14mm, two; 16mm
  • Gold bracelet memory wire
  • Gold filigree bead cones, 18x16mm, two
  • Gold split rings, two
  • Gold toggle clasp


  • Kumihimo round disk
  • Sewing thread
  • Round nose pliers
  • Split ring pliers
  • Memory wire shears
  • Strong adhesive

basic supplies

  • Scissors
  • Fractions

This idea was originally published in our 2016 Winter issue. Subscribe today and save off newsstand prices! You’ll get ALL the projects delivered to you in six jam-packed issues per year. 

Project Instructions

*Tip: Even though this bracelet measures 8¼”, the bulkiness of the finished braid creates a smaller internal diameter making it the correct size for an average wrist. To make the bracelet suitable for a larger wrist, increase the length of the braid in steps 7 and 9.

Work left hand cords with your left hand and right hand cords with your right hand. Hold center of the disk with your free hand to keep tension in braid and beads in place as you work.

1. Cut 1½ coils of memory wire and turn an outward facing loop on one end. String on a bead cone with pointed end first as shown.

2. Find middle of the two gold cords and lay them over disk opening. Insert one cord in slot to left of top dot and corresponding end in slot to right of bottom dot. Insert other cord to right of top dot and left of bottom dot so they cross over in middle.

3. Fold one of remaining cords in half and place fold over disk center. Position two cord ends on either side of left dot as shown. Hook remaining cord through fold of left-hand cord and bring ends together. Place cord ends on either side of right hand dot as shown.

4. Pick up bottom left cord and place it in slot to left of top two cords. Take top right cord and place it in slot to right of bottom cord. Rotate disk counter-clockwise and repeat to create braid.

5. Once braid is beginning to form, insert cut end of memory wire from Step 1 into braid from back of disk and pull approximately 1”-2” of wire through to front.

6. Continue creating braid by repeating Step 4. Make sure memory wire is in center of  braid at all times, feeding it through as the braid grows.

7. Once braid is 2¼” long, string a small bead on the wire. If a longer bracelet is required, continue braiding for half the additional length required before adding the bead.


8. Continue braiding pattern to encase bead. Hold bead in place with free hand as you work until it is secured by braiding. Before small bead is fully encased, string a large bead on wire and continue braiding to secure it in place. Once large bead is secured, add remaining small bead and continue braiding around it until it is fully enclosed.

9. Create an additional 2½” of braiding. For a longer bracelet, continue braiding until the two sides of bracelet are even and then braid an additional ¼” to allow for any unravelling that may occur in the next step.

10. Cut 12” length of sewing thread. Grip working end of braid from behind disk and remove cords from slots. Wrap thread firmly around braid several times before knotting it securely, making sure the two sides of the bracelet are the same length. Trim away excess sewing thread.

11. Trim ends of cords to 1/8”.

12. Test bracelet for size by placing it on your wrist, taking into consideration clasp length. If required, lengthen braid by gently stretching it along the memory wire, making sure not to pull the beaded section.

13. Apply adhesive around thread and cord ends. Slide a bead cap over end.

14. Trim excess memory wire to 3/8” and turn an outward facing loop. Attach one half of clasp to loop with a split ring. Connect other half of clasp to other end of bracelet with remaining split ring.
pot belly kumihimo bracelet