Monday, January 9, 2012

Adventures in Paracord

My eleven year old son came home from middle school talking all about paracord survival bracelets. I had never heard of them, but a quick search showed me all of what I had been missing!

Paracord was on his Christmas list this year and he received quite a bit to experiment with. First we learned about the bracelets and used a side release buckle. The best tutorial I found was from Stormdrane, well known in the world of paracord creations. My son picked it up right away and made a few already.

Next we wanted to make a necklace. I purchased some plastic safety clasps and looked around at images. I finally settled on a four strand braid or diamond braid. Unlike the bracelets, I was not finding many necklace tutorials, especially lacking in how to attach the safety clasp.

Before I could attach a clasp, I needed to learn the diamond braid. Somehow I had never learned it before. I think that every tutorial I saw was very intimidating. Finally I got it. In my mind I just figured it out as under two, over one, then repeat from the other side. I was able to teach my seven year old with this method and she got it too.

We also got some different threads and cording to make thinner styled bracelets and necklaces for the girls in the house.

I decided to make a tutorial for the four string diamond braid that might help others out who learn as I do.  The first one is more detailed, while the second image shows the pattern and how it goes.

To add the necklace safety clasp, I decided to stop the braid, cut three of the strands short and tape the braid. To make the longer strands on each side fit into the clasp, I removed the inner threads and threaded the remaining strand through the clasp and knotted it. The tape is not an ideal long term solution. I plan to sew a few stitches to secure the braid instead and possibly use a heat shrink tube on top. I think the heat shrink tubing is what others are using.

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