Picture of Homemade paracord
 Here is a fun craft project that will give you a basic understanding of how paracord is made. Here we are going to make an eight strand casing with a three strand core. Real military grade paracord has a 32 strand casing & a seven strand core. But the process is the same for both. 
 For this Project we are going to make a kumihimo wheel & eight bobbins out of cardboard this is going to be the jig to braid the outer casing. 
 For your fist time get two different colors of thread this will help you from getting to confused as you braid.
For this braid we will use green & purple.

Step 1: Making the kimihimo wheel & bobbins

Picture of making the kimihimo wheel & bobbins
 To braid up the casing for your paracord you will need to make a kimihimo wheel & eight bobbins out of some thick cardboard.

 Step 1.  draw out two circles one within the other one. The  outer around 6-7 inch. & the inner 1-2 inch. then 16 marks on the outer circle in equal distances from one an other.
Step 2. cut out the two circles & make 1/2 inch cuts on the 16 marks.

step 3. Then draw & cut out the bobbins out with 1/2 inch. cuts on each end.

1-40 of 44Next »

someone should make paracord out of paracord

whenever something needs s tee ing or yarn, I use paracord. th sea t stuff is so awesome, because you can make almost anything out of it, so I'm gonna give it a try with a LOT of paracord, and make 32-strand casing. its gonna be really thick!!
You should do an instructable on that and share with us how it works out.


that sounds interesting... I might give it a try if I have some free time;)
ruben.tan.107 months ago

How much of the coloured wire do you need to create a given lenght of wire? I'm thinking about using this technique to cover wires. But I'll need to have an idea of what length to use.

I use this to wrap my ear buds cord and it is working so far I haven't finished yet though
denanderen3 years ago
this seems like a fun thing to do with headphone cables, to get a vintage look (replacing the center thread with the cable.

thanks for all the hints and tips, by the way.
i've been wondering how to do this for a while.
czyoyo4 years ago
joehudy4 years ago
make a video
For anyone interested...you can go to your local Hobby Lobby store and in the craft dept. you can purchase a "kumihimo" disk VERY cheap. They are made of a light weight foam and maybe slightly smaller than the one here. It has 32 slots as mentioned above. But they are made by Toner Crafts, and are sold in a package containing four (4) disks and the findings to make key rings and lanyards...kit also contains plastic lacing. ALL sold for just under $6! YOU JUST CAN'T BEAT THAT!!! ;-)
rimar20004 years ago
Very interesting instructable!

I just see it, do not understand how I missed it when was published.
Foaly75 years ago
And how would you finish the cord, so it's one length, and not frayed-looking at the ends?
erik_mccray (author)  Foaly75 years ago
 how you finish the cord is dependent on what you use to braid it. I just use a drop or two of supper glue before I cut if its cotton or hemp. 
Ooh! Good tip.
i think that you could like burn the end of the cord and it wont be frayed
First off: fabulous 'ible! Well done, sir!

Fireruler, burning the cord to seal it won't work on natural fibres-- only synthetics will melt under heat, thus sealing the end.
oh ok thanks
RaNDoMLeiGH4 years ago
not to be a spelling nazi, but it's kumihimo, not kimihimo. Might help people who are trying to google it.

Foaly74 years ago
I just tried this, and i couldn't understand the directions for braiding. i think that perhaps a video would make it easier to understand.
globogym5 years ago
I'm having a lot of problems doing this and I don't know why. Everythings getting tangled and it doesnt even shape up into anything. help>?
erik_mccray (author)  globogym5 years ago
I may need more info, but some things that may help is to tie a weight to the braid to help keep tension as you work, hold the core fibers in your teeth to keep them out of the way & if you have an understanding of how the braid is moving try crossing two strands then cross two on the opposite side. This is not the easiest cord braid out there so you may what to try an easier one like this one http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-friendship-bracelets-using-a-braiding-disc/ then come back to this braid.
Saturn V5 years ago
Do the bobbins need to be exactly that shape, or just close

If they do need to be that shape, can you give me the dementions?
erik_mccray (author)  Saturn V5 years ago
 nothing here needs to be that exact. there are many ways to make them & buy off the shelf options to.

Thanks! I can't wait to start making paracord!
hardlec5 years ago
I see a clear advantage in being able to choose the colors used.  You could do the colors of a sports team, or some spiffy custom colors for a costume. 
What kind of threads have you used?

What is the longest cord you have made?

erik_mccray (author)  hardlec5 years ago
I have used all kinds of line. You can also get some great effect with using different thickness in the same line. I tend to make 5 to 10 yd at a time. 
PKTraceur5 years ago
 This is so awesome!!!

I don't really understand the directions though, is there a video for this? How expensive is this in comparison to real paracord?
erik_mccray (author)  PKTraceur5 years ago
 it is hard to find a video for this kind of braid on the internet. I will see if I can figure out how to make a video & post it. 
 I have not done a cost comparison so I don't know for sure, but I would guess
to do it your self is more expensive.   
Foaly75 years ago
Can you use this process to make military grade Paracord?
erik_mccray (author)  Foaly75 years ago
No, military standards are to high for a hand crafted rope. 

Okay, how close to military grade can you get? (Like, what kind of thread, how many strands, etc.)

PACW5 years ago
Please help me here.  I was so taken with this idea that I immediately had to try it.  The first two days of not getting it right was strictly my own ditzyness.  I finally got the bobbins all going in the direction they are supposed to and jumping the proper threads but I still have a few problems.  

When I move my A bobbins to the right do I put them in the slot taken by the next A bobbin or do I put it in the blank slot directly next to the B bobbin?  When I tried the empty slot approach since it made more sense I kept getting a traffic jam of bobbins!

When I finish a round of A jumps and a round of B jumps do I start the next round with the same slot I started with before or the same bobbin?  

Also, when I ignored the center threads they ended up next to my cord instead of inside it.  I finally solved this by lifting the center threads and hanging them from my kitchen light but this is not a perfect solution.  

And lastly, my cord is somewhat uneven, should I hang a weight from it as I go along?

erik_mccray (author)  PACW5 years ago
 This method of braiding is the easiest for someone new to it to understand & get started with. But you are having to deal with the traffic jam problem & it does get an uneven look. I picked this method as a way for someone to get started.
 If you think you have a grasp on how the two groups are jumping try crossing one A over one B then cross the A & B at the opposite side of the wheel, then turn do the two groups of A & B at 90deg. Then in the next set of crossings B will now cross A. I would start the first way then after the braid is going try the new way. The jumping to the opposite side will get you better faster results. As far as the center strands I just hold them in my teeth to get them out of the way as I braid the casing. 
 Also there is a ton of stuff on line about kumihimo braiding. To be honest the second method was so hard to see what was going on that I was doing this braid for about a week before I realized that I was just making fancy looking paracord.
 Here are two diagrames that may help that I pulled off the internet. the first shows the start of the second method described above the other one shows the four steps to do the same paracord braid a third way. 
I hope this helps if not please write back.

 I might have missed it, but what kind of thread do you use? Embroidery floss?
erik_mccray (author)  guitarmonk155 years ago
Yes, I did use embroidery floss but any thicker string will do. Yarn is another good  cheap material to start with.
craig35 years ago
i wanna use this thing with full paracods already, make a super one, I would be invincible with it
eyebot1175 years ago
Any way to mechanize this weaving rig?
erik_mccray (author)  eyebot1175 years ago
  There are many forms of mechanical braiding. From turn of the century hand crank machines  to modern CNC machines. Also there are more elaborate kumihimo looms. But you should try it by hand. After you get the hang of it, it has a very relaxing effect. I use it as a stress release.  
1-40 of 44Next »