Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kumihimo with Long Magatamas

I used a pattern by Paula Juvinall from Bead and Button magazine (August 2011) to make this Kumihimo braided bracelet. The long Magatamas look like leaves...or scales! However, I had to edit the instructions in order to make it. I used the bracelet instructions provided, but it didn't work out. SO...if anyone would like my edited notes, please ask!

kumihimo with long magatamas

Here is the pattern for the long necklace version, which I have not made, but looks very similar to the bracelet: Clicky here!


  1. Ooh! I like this one better, actually, in the context of GoT. Because it doesn't look dependent on stretchy string, it looks more authentic. Yes, I'm a dork. I'd like to get some of those beads-- the shape is really nice.

  2. they're called Miyuki Long Magatamas (Miyuki is the brand name), and they come in a zillion colors! I don't know which online seller is best, might search around a bit to see who has the best selection and sells retail. Caravan Beads is a company I've heard of before, and it looks like they have quite a few colors!

  3. I'd like to see your edited notes on this bracelet.

  4. Gladly!

    My version goes as follows, for a bracelet up to 8" long:

    4 cords of s-lon, 1.5yd each. Set them up as you would for an 8 strand cord braid on a disc.

    On each strand, string: 4 8º seeds, 30 magatamas through the "up" hole side, then 4 8º seeds.

    Wind excess cord around bobbins.

    Where the cords intersect, make a wire (20g) wrapped loop with the intersection in the middle of the loop. Leave a 3 or 4" tail of wire hanging down. I like to clip a spring clamp or weight to this wire.

    Make a round or two using just the cord. Then, begin dropping one bead at a time down into the center.

    If you need to add more magatamas, do so before you get to using the last 8º seeds. I just unwound each strand and added more beads, then wound it back up.

    Once you use up the last bead, make a square knot at the end by holding 2 strands at a time. You will make 2 square knots stacked on stop of each other. Glue the knot and trim.

    Then, make a wire wrapped loop on this end and put the knots inside the loop just before you finish the wrap.

    Feed a 10mm bead cap through the wires. Put on an 8º seed bead and then make the wire wrap at the end with the clasp in the loop. You can see this in the photo in the post.

  5. Hello Megan,

    Love your magatama bracelet. Can I please ask for some guidance? I am a Kumihimo newbie and am already besotted with it....want to make the magatama bracelet but am petrified!
    Can you please tell me if the 240 magatamas that I have would suffice?
    Can I make the bracelet without seed beads?

    Plese advise.
    Grateful for any help.

    Warm regards,

    1. Hi Ramya! This bracelet really was relatively easy, so do not let it stress you out!

      I used 3 10gram tubes in that bracelet, I believe. A web search tells me there around about 80 beads in a 10 gram tube, so 240 should be okay for you as long as you use some size 8 round seed beads for the ends.

      You need something at the ends that are smaller than the long magatama beads. I think it would be unbalanced if you didn't use at least a few seed beads on the ends to taper down into the bead cap.

      If you try it and are still confused, I may be able to post a short video with a few tips!

  6. Hello!

    I bought the magatamas but I only have size 6 rounds. I've never made a piece like this but I really want to, once I find and buy a disk. Could I use fireline black nylon thread?? It's all I've got right now and I'm on a tight budget. Thank you!

    1. Hi!
      You can certainly use size 6 rounds for kumihimo. You will probably need a larger cap/cone for the ends, if you choose to use one.
      I've never tried fireline for kumihimo, so I really couldn't say for sure. You could experiment and see what it does! My first thought would be to try it holding several strands together, to act as a thicker cord for each strand for the braid. If it works, please let me know!

  7. i am confused about the wire part... you use oly 4 cords instead of eight, correct.... if you have a video with wire part it would be appreciated... have done Kumihimo and would love to tackle this bracelet.....

    1. Joanne, thanks for your comment! I will try to make a short video soon on how I do this.

  8. I created a little video to help anyone who may be stumped about how to attach a clasp with my written directions: