Introduction: Lock a Door Using Paracord

Picture of Lock a Door Using Paracord

This instructable will show you how to temporarily lock a standard, internal door from inside or out, using a minimum of 4 feet of cord (and a padlock if you are locking the door from the outside) although for ease of use, a large paper clip and some sort of hook and a keyring can be added.

Step 1: Attach the Cord to the Door Handle

Picture of Attach the Cord to the Door Handle

 Although this may seem simple enough, this is the hardest part of the project as the knot tends to slide along the handle to the pivot end when someone tries to turn the handle.

First, cut a length of cord aproximately 12"long and fold it in half, then tie a knot at the folded end, leaving a loop just big enough to fit the end of the door handle through. Place this over the handle with the knot at the bottom, then pull the two loose ends up over the little lumps on the end of the handle and tuck them under the top of the loop. put them back through the loop and pull upwards then the cord should be attached to the end of the handle. 

If you are using a hook and a ring (inside lock only), tie the ring to the two bits of cord hanging off the top, otherwise, just tie a big knot that you can attach the second piece of cord (from the top of the door to)

Step 2: From the Inside

Picture of From the Inside

 Tie a large knot in the end of a 3 foot long piece of cord and put it over the top of the door and close it, polling the cord tight. If you are using a hook (I use a small karabina), tie this to the end of the cord in a place where when hooked to the keyring, it pulls the cord tight, but not so tight as to not be able to unhook it. If you are only using cord, you can use a knot of your choice to temporarily fasten it to the cord around the handle.

For a more durable lock, a hook can be made from a large paperclip so that it fits over the door instead of using a knot. this may leave a dent so you can put a thick piece of card under it to prevent any damage.

Step 3: From the Outside

Picture of From the Outside

 Instead of putting a hook at the top, fold the cord over around 6-8" from the end and tie a knot, leaving a small loop. put a padlock through this loop and hang the knot over the top of the door so the lock is on the outside. Then simply close the door (making sure you have the keys with you on the outside)

To unlock the door, remove the lock, allowing the knot to be untied to the handle can be turned.

Step 4: The End

Picture of The End

 Thankyou for reading. if you found this useful, please dont forget to vote for it in the paracord contest.

Feel free to add any questions or comments.


cmcclellan (author)2013-05-28

What if your doorknob is round? Anyway to lock that with paracord? Ideas?

The Skinnerz (author)cmcclellan2013-05-29

You may be able to tie a loop around the handle, then tightly wrap a few extra turns around it in a direction such that any attempt to turn the handle will just try to pull it tighter. Adding a layer of electrical tape or similar around the handle first would probably help it grip better.

daltonjcw (author)2010-09-15


Open sesame!

Like Onikus said, Wire. Steel cable. Good Stuff.

Good 'ible, Though

tabgilbert (author)2010-04-13

Good travel information.  Thanks.

onikus (author)2010-04-01

 note to self "find knife" 

sorry had to, i like the concept it's original I would bet this would work pretty damn good with a steel braided wire.

also as far as the "locks keeping honest people honest" sometimes we put locks on stuff to find out who the dishonest people are, and still keep the valuable stuff in a more secure area, in which this case paracord may be the better option, cheaper then the steel cable.

The Skinnerz (author)onikus2010-04-04

 Thanks for the comments.
I tried the steel cable on the door and found a few things:
#  depending on how well the door fits, the cable may need persuading into       the right shape to go over the door with  pair of pliers.
#  paracord should still be used on the handle as the cable will ruin it.
#  if you do this, it is easier for the anyone trying to break in to just unscrew         the handle (this can be made very hard by using some thread locking             compound to stick the piece of square bar inside the handle onto your             side of the door).
#  steel cable really damages the top of the door, so the piece of tin plate on     the top of the door is needed.
#  knots don't work too well in steel cable, so some of those crimp on type         things are needed.

sorry about all the random gaps in the comment, as the editor does not like indented text.

Truehart (author)2010-03-30

Is this a "keep the honest people honest" lock?  I could very easily see someone cutting the lock off with a knife or even a lighter.  I might be missing something, though. 

The Skinnerz (author)Truehart2010-04-01

 This is mainly intended as a deterrent, as if you have anything worth stealing, you can probably afford a stronger, more permanent lock, although it should work better with thin steel cable such as that found in bicycle brakes, but then it wouldn't be using paracord. Also, the inside lock is pretty strong, and seems to hold up as far as the handle itself will.

zascecs (author)Truehart2010-03-30

 I was thinking the same...

uberchoob (author)2010-03-31

ALL locks keep honest people honest, it's just that some are designed with less honest people in mind =)

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