We sent our baba Marta to Japan – we made a bracelet martenitsa with the kumihimo technique.
As we didn’t have the original kumihimo disk, we made our own and the result was quite impressive. It’s pretty, it’s easy enough for kids – and you only have to show them how to move the strings along the circle (count 1, 2, 3 and move to the empty slot).
My daughter immediately made a bracelet for her friend… it’s easy, and it’s fun!
To make the braiding base (faux kumihimo disk):
Take a piece of medium-thick cardboard (not the thickest kind as there will be some fine cutting to do). Use a glass to draw a circle.
Using a pencil and a ruler, divide the circle in two parts (1.) , then four (2.), then add the two last lines to make 8 parts (3. and 4.).
6. Trim around the edges so the string would not get caught.
7. Make a hole at the center and spin it a couple of times around the tip of the scissors to enlarge it.
8. You can now proceed to actually braid the bracelet.
Tie a knot at the end of a bunch of 7 strings (about 40 cm long). Thread the strings through the hole. Your choice of colors will determin the pattern of the bracelet.
It’s very easy… I hope I manage to explain it 🙂
Turn the disk again so the empty slot points downwards… and repeat the process, moving string number 3 to slot 0.
As you keep repeating those steps, your bracelet will slowly start showing through the hole.