How to Coil Extension Cords With the "Shepherd's Knot"





Introduction: How to Coil Extension Cords With the "Shepherd's Knot"

This Instructable explains a handy way to store an extension cord. Instead of a tangled mess, or trying to wrap the entire cord around your arm only to have it fall apart, try the Shepherd's Knot, it's quick and easy to do and even quicker to undo.

This instructable video was created for the Burning Questions contest, so it's only 15 seconds long, but I'm including a step by step image here as well...the Shepherd's Knot, try it, you'll like it!
  1. Untangle your extension cord and fold it into 2 even lengths, grab the cord at the center
  2. Create a simple loop
  3. Pull the the cord through itself to make a basic knot.
  4. Reach through and grab up more of the cord and pull it through the loop to create a second loop
  5. Repeat again and again until you reach the end of the cord
  6. Now we have a chain of loops ...kind of like a paracord bracelet...which can easily be un-raveled when needed
Pro tip: You'll find it works well to plug the front of the cord to the end

step by step
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    26 Discussions

    Good idea, and I use it, but with a slight variation on my 100' cord. (I hope I'm not repeating somebody.)
    What I do is lay the cord out in three runs instesd of two: down, back, down. Use a piece of tape to mark the thirds.
    Now you have a plug on one end and a recrpticle on the end of an extension cord you can use for a quick, temporary job.

    Brilliant; I now have a tidy shed wall instead of a tangle on the floor :-)

    I have been using this method for almost ten years with my heavy/long cords. It's amazing! The cords never tangle regardless of how many times they get moved or tossed around.

    Oh finally.. I will try this with my 100' cord - winding it around my arm just doesn't get it!! I'll try doubling it twice too - thanks for the guide!!

    1 reply

    I quarter my 100 foot/12Ga. power cords before I loop them. It takes less time to store and If I have a reason to use a 100 foot cord, it's always because a 50 foot cord is too short any way.


    2 years ago

    When I learned it it was called a Jacob's ladder.

    2 replies

    This is the simplest knot/tie available for crocheting or macramé.

    Interesting, that term is used for several things...including a rope ladder that is tricky to climb...I guess this looks like that type of Jacob's ladder when it is rolled up. Thanks for your comment

    Weavers call this making a warp chain - the warp will be made of 100's of threads that have been measured to all be the same length, perhaps 10 yards. Eventually when threaded onto the loom these threads will be the "warp" of the cloth to be woven. Chaining the warp keeps it in order while putting on the loom or storing for a later project.

    2 replies

    Interesting, I'd like to see that, thanks

    I found a youtube showing the warp chain process:
    the actual chaining doesn't happen until about 2:30 minutes.

    I've used this knot for years and love it. Worked with 300' + ropes most of my life and this makes them much easier to work with.

    2 replies

    Cool! I bet you can do it in your sleep by now. Thanks for your comment

    Pretty much. Lol it's a great little top to remember.

    I always use this method for the lawnmower chord after being shown it around 15 years ago by our church warden. As well as for parachutes, it's also the only way to stow the multiple bridle lines of a large kite, having drawn them together first.

    2 replies

    Good to hear, thanks for your comment. Where I am today would be a great day to fly a large have me day dreaming! I don't think I want to be responsible for rolling up the parachute cords :-)




    noun: chord; plural noun: chords

    1. 1.
      a group of (typically three or more) notes sounded together, as a basis of harmony.

      "the triumphal opening chords"


    verb: chord; 3rd person present: chords; past tense: chorded; past participle: chorded; gerund or present participle: chording

    1. 1.
      play, sing, or arrange notes in chords.

    they use this for quickly stowing parachute lines so they don't get tanlged.