Introduction: Double-perfect Whipped Paracord Staff Hand-grip

Picture of Double-perfect Whipped Paracord Staff Hand-grip

Whipping is the traditional way of binding the end of a rope to prevent it fraying.  Synthetic cords can be melted, but natural fibres need whipping, and melting is ugly.

Whipping can also be used to create hand-grips on walking sticks.

This is my own variation on a method known as "perfect whipping".  As far as I am aware, this is unique.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The exact amount of paracord you need depends on the length of the grip you want, and the diameter of the stick you are using.

I used about three metres each of 2mm and 4mm cords.

The only tools you need to do the actual whipping are your hands, and a pair of pliers with a slightly-serrated face.

Step 2: Starting

Picture of Starting

Arrange both pieces of paracord side-by side.

Leaving about 15-20cm of paracord below where you want the grip to start, lay both cords up the stick, make a bight (loop) just above the point where you plan the grip to stop, and bring the working end back down to the bottom of the grip.

Look at the photos: notice that the cords have not yet crossed.

Because you are using two cords at one, you will definitely find it much easier if you tape the starting bight into place on the stick.

Step 3: Wrapping.

Picture of Wrapping.
Use the thumb of one hand to anchor the two cords as you make them turn 90°, passing over the cord that is already laying along the stick.

Whether you find it easier to use one hand to align the cords, and the other to turn the stick, or hold the stick steady while you wrap the cords, there are two things to remember:
  • Do not allow the two cords to twist over each other.
  • Keep it as tight as you possibly can.
Keep wrapping to the top of the grip, making sure that each turn around the stick stays snug against the previous turn.

Using two thicknesses of cord, this will give an evenly-ridged grip to your stick.

Step 4: Finishing, Part 1.

Picture of Finishing, Part 1.

When you get to the top of the grip, just before the first bight you made is completely covered, thread both cords through the loop.

With the pliers, get hold of the lengths of cord hanging out of the bottom of the grip and pull.

If your wrapping has been nice and tight, it will be very hard to pull the cords.

As you pull, the loop at the top of the grip will close on the cords through it, and drag them down inside the grip.

Once the loop is inside the grip, stop.

The grip itself is finished.

What you need to think about now is the way you deal with the loose ends.

Step 5: Finishing, Part 2a - the Closed Loop(s)

Picture of Finishing, Part 2a - the Closed Loop(s)

Trim off the working ends of the cords (the end that is sticking out at the top of the grip) to about the same length as the cord sticking out below the grip.

Use the knot of your choice (most likely the reef knot) to join the ends of the cords from each end of the grip to make a loop.  Either knot the ends of both thicknesses at once, or knot the thinner and thicker cords separately.  You could also use a sheet bend to fasten a thick and thin piece together.

I was making this for my youngest to use as a walking stick when he goes out with his granddad over Easter - he had a look through our knot-books and requested a fisherman's knot, which is often used to make necklace cords adjustable.  Normally not the best knot to tie in smooth paracord, it seems to work quite well when tied in both cords at once - there must be extra friction with two cords in one knot.

To tie a fisherman's knot, lay the two ends side-by side.  Tie the first end in a simple overhand knot around the second, and then tie the second cord in an overhand knot around the first.  Officially, the two knots are then slid tightly together, but for a necklace adjuster they are simply slid to wherever they are needed.

Step 6: Finishing, Part 2b - the Bottom Loop.

Picture of Finishing, Part 2b - the Bottom Loop.

Cut the top ends of the cord off flush with the grip, and pull the botom ends to make the cut end disappear inside the grip.  Do not pull it too far inside, or it will come out of the loop that is locking it in place.

Now tie the ends of the bottom cords together.

You could use a simple two-strand overhand knot to tie them side-by-side, or tie them end-to-end with a sheet bend, maybe add beads - the possible variations are too many to cover in a single Instructable.

Step 7: Finishing, Part 2c - Loopless.

Picture of Finishing, Part 2c - Loopless.

You may decide to have no loops at all.

In this case, cut off the top ends flush to the grip and pull them down a little, as for the previous step, then cut the loose end off flush with the bottom of the grip.

It is better, though, both decoratively and practically, to have some form of loop on the grip of your stick - you can slip your hand through the loop, giving you a chance to catch the stick, should it slip out of your hand.


Charles PaulD (author)2015-05-20

Great idea using two pair cord strands. I made one just using one I like the idea of the two it gives it a I made one just using one I like the idea of the two it gives it a good look.

Johanvr (author)2015-01-10

Thank you sir, just what I was looking for.

Kiteman (author)Johanvr2015-01-10

Cool - maybe you could post pictures of how it turns out?

Johanvr (author)Kiteman2015-01-13

I went to a few outdoor stores in my area, but none of them sell Paracord, except for a "survival bracelet", which is 3m in length.
Checked on amazon, but Paracord doesn't ship to South Africa.
So I was stuck buying 3 of those survival bracelets.
I tried to use the 3 cords next to each other, but I couldn't maintain a tight wrap all the way up the handle.
I used sandpaper to sink the area of the handle into the staff, which I hope will aid in preventing the Paracord from sliding down the staff.
So for my first attempt, I tied them end-to-end.
This worked, apart from the unsightly knots (see picture), which will probably come undone over time.

The dimensions of the staff-handle:
width: 4cm
length: 15cm.
Needed approx 7m of Paracord.

Kiteman (author)Johanvr2015-01-14

That looks cool - I like the idea of sanding the wood down to "inset" the cord.

It's a shame about the suppliers, though. Have you tried this one?

Johanvr (author)Kiteman2015-01-16

Paracord-shop do indeed ship to SA.

Thanks for the info.

Kiteman (author)Johanvr2015-01-17

You're welcome - keep making stuff, and I'm looking forward to you sharing your own instructables.

vladivastok (author)2014-09-25


Kiteman (author)vladivastok2014-09-25


canemaker49 (author)2012-06-24

this looks like something similar that the japanese use to bind the flutes they make. i like to use bamboo to make walking canes but bamboo cracks and that is a problem. i found this site i hope will help strengthen the bamboo. binding is tedious but very cool. nice job on the ible. i like it. here is the site:

Kiteman (author)canemaker492012-06-24

Thank you for that link.

bigdan35 (author)2011-06-16

I love this. I've been thinking about doing something with a massive stick which I acquired a while back whilst walking through the wilderness (it was just too good and too good looking to leave there, all alone). I cannot wait to get my order of paracord through to do this.

Kiteman (author)bigdan352011-06-17

Cool - post a picture when it's done.

thebeef2 (author)2010-05-13

 Can you do this with a single cord or does it have to be double?

Kiteman (author)thebeef22010-05-14

Single cord is much more common - as far as I know, I'm the first to do it double.

Vick Jr (author)2010-04-19

I like how it looks, and how it implements a handle and strap in one. It's also very comfortable.

However, I did notice that if you twist it against the way it was wound, it will get looser.
Also, i am wondering if there's a way to make the strap tighten when pulled on, or to have no (visible) knots in the strap, and just have the string go in at the top and out at the bottom.
Oh, and is there any way to do something like this with only one piece of cord?

Kiteman (author)Vick Jr2010-04-20

One cord: yes.  Just use one cord...

I'm not sure about hiding the knots, unless you lay a loop of cord against the stick and hide the ends with the binding...?

Twisting - if you wrap it tight enough (pull hard so your fingers hurt) it shouldn't.

NachoMahma (author)2010-03-27

.  Great job! I really like how you used two different colo(u)red wires to illustrate the sheet bend. All the background clutter in the pictures is interesting but rather distracting.

RadBear (author)NachoMahma2010-03-28

That's not clutter! It's ambiance to inspire the creative mind. :)

Kiteman (author)RadBear2010-03-28

No, it's clutter.

jamiec53 (author)Kiteman2010-04-12

Haha! That made me laugh a lot.

Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2010-04-04

Is this better?

NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2010-04-04

.  Dang! That's almost professional looking.Most excellent.

Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2010-04-05

Er, thank you?

NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2010-04-05

.  Er, you're welcome.
.  It was supposed to be a compliment - any DIYer that is doing a close-to-professional job must be doing things right.

Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2010-04-05

I know - that was supposed to be humour.

NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2010-04-05

.  As with a lot of British humor, that one went

Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2010-04-05

And that's American humour - three seconds of noise, 15 seconds of applause.

NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2010-04-05

.  ROFL  How else will those of us watching at home know when to laugh?

Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2010-03-27

The wire photo is from an old Instructable.

You're right about the clutter - this was the first time in the shed for quite some time, and it had sort of accumulated junk over the Winter.  I need to get myself a new cutting mat, and spend a couple of hour clearing the shed out.

tevers94 (author)2010-03-27

there is a paracord contest, you should enter this

Kiteman (author)tevers942010-03-28

I have - I'm just waiting to be accepted.

tevers94 (author)Kiteman2010-03-28

same do you know how long it takes, because i entered one like 3-4 days ago but it says pending or something

Kiteman (author)tevers942010-03-29

Mine went in today, after being entered over the weekend - the staff need time off as well...

tevers94 (author)Kiteman2010-03-29

same with my key fob

Blainer (author)2010-03-29

 Thank you for posting this Kiteman.  It is particularly useful to me since I also make custom walking sticks with string wrapped handles.  I've been experimenting with different methods of wrapping and found a related method that I like.  Instead of wrapping straight on each course, I use a "half knot" on each one ( in other words, I pass the cord under itself then over for the next course).  Because this method puts tension on the cord in one direction, it results in a nice spiral pattern and has the additional advantage that if you stop you will not lose all tension on the cord.  Using this method on paracord might result in a knot that is too large, but it works well in smaller cords.  2 examples in photos.
I also like the way you have incorporated the retainer cord into the string wrap.

Kiteman (author)Blainer2010-03-29

I tried something like the second wrap.  It worked, but the spiral proved to be uncomfortable.

Kryptonite (author)2010-03-27

Awesome piece of rope work!

I'm just curious for the benefits of the two ropes?

Kiteman (author)Kryptonite2010-03-27

Mainly for the look, but also because (as far as I've been able to find) nobody else has done this.

If you ever see a two-cord wrap, check the publishing date...

Kryptonite (author)Kiteman2010-03-29

Fair enough, nice job. I plan on enterring a usb related paracord entry. Also original!

JohnJY (author)2010-03-28

 Psst: click the link!

Kiteman (author)JohnJY2010-03-28

I entered already, but it's moderated - I have to wait for a human to say "yes".

JohnJY (author)Kiteman2010-03-28

 Oh, sorry, didn't know! 

TweakGeek1 (author)2010-03-27

An idea, it might be nice to add "ranger beads" to the walking stick as well.  I wish it was my original idea, but it isn't so I'm glad to share it here!  I could see it would really come in handy.  I'll have to add this to my 'shroomin stick because mushroom season is just around the corner.

Kiteman (author)TweakGeek12010-03-28

There are all sorts of things you could do.  I was making it for my youngest, so I finished it the way he wanted.

TweakGeek1 (author)Kiteman2010-03-28

Very understandable!  Just thinking of ideas.  Would be a good project for scouts and adding the ranger beads would give them a great chance to learn orienteering. 

I'm going to try this project sometime soon.  I'll post pics when I get the chance.


Kiteman (author)TweakGeek12010-03-28

Cool, you're welcome!

mbudde (author)2010-03-27

That is pretty unique, I'll have to try it.

Kiteman (author)mbudde2010-03-27

Post a picture when you do.

MichelMoermans (author)2010-03-27

I wonder how, I wonder how indeed.... ;)

You got my vote kiteman :D

great ible :)

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Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
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