Monday, July 9, 2012

Paracord Survival Bracelet Tutorial


The be-all-end-all craze at GS Camp a few weeks ago was the Paracord Survival Bracelet. You know how it works...older girls get this craft because it requires more fine motor skills and all the little girls want to be like the older girls. Heck even this old lady wanted to learn. The joke was on me though! Turns out the gal who can pick up almost anything crafty and run with it was a little deficient in the following directions area. In my was 2 a.m. after almost 20 hours on my feet in the heat. Thank you to Shutterbug, TuTu, and Lefty for your patience (and jabs) to encourage me to keep trying. "Hi! My name is Dory...have we met yet?"

After a night of rest and several hours working on a sample in private, I finally got the hang of it. In fact, I went a little nutso (NO! NOT ME!) making dog collars, key fobs and bracelets once I arrived home.
  • Paracord, or equivalent 1/8" diameter cord (I visited the Army Navy store! $.12/foot)
Tape measure or ruler

Sharp scissors

Buckles (also at the AN story, $.50/each)

Lighter (we used a wood burning tool at camp)

The length of paracord varies depending on your project. The best rule of thumb is 1 in. = 1 foot of paracord needed.

1. Measure your wrist, neck, etc.

2. After you cut your length of paracord according to the measurement you took, fold the cord in half to find your center. Using a larks head knot, attach your paracord to one side of your buckle.

3. Okay, because this is the only way I know how to say this, your buckle has an "inny" and an "outy" part. Release the buckle and run your paracord through whichever end you haven't already used. Pull that part of the buckle to the length you need plus one inch for good measure (ie...your wrist is 8 inches, then make it 9 inches).

4. Now laying all parts flat, you should have two center pieces attached to your other part of the buckle and then two long free-flying pieces on either side of those center pieces. The knot is called a "cobra" stitch; if you know it, then you're good to go. Go here for FABULOUS photos (and better instructions). STORMDRANE writes, "Take the cord on the left side and place it under the center strands running between the buckle ends. Now take the cord on the right side under the left side cord, over the center strands, and thru the loop of the left side cord. Tighten up the cords so the half knot you just formed is next to the buckle. Now take the right side cord under the center strands. The left side cord goes under the right side cord, over the center strands and thru the loop of the right side cord. Tighten up the cords(not too tight, just until they meet the resistance of the knot) and now you have a completed knot. You will continue doing the alternating the left and right sides as you go. If you don't alternate, you'll quickly see a twisting of the knots, just undo the last knot and alternate it to correct." JUST GO TO HIS INSTRUCTABLE...IT'S AWESOME! Or go ask ShutterBug...I bet if you hire her to be your photographer, she'll teach you! ;-)

5. At the end, use your lighter to melt the ends of your paracord to keep them from fraying.

NOTE: I made the key fobs with experimentation, using the scraps that were not long enough to make another bracelet. StormDrane also has other patterns...I think the fish braid is a real wowie zowie!

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