So I've been working a lot with paracord recently. Projects include The Ultimate Survival Paracord Belt with Survival Pack Buckle, the Double-Wrap Adjustable Cobra-Weave, and the Bi-Color and Multi-Color Adjustable Trilobite, all pictured. Pending interest, I'll be writing these up soon. However, while playing with this wonderful material, I discovered the following super-useful paracord loop by accident and it has completely changed things up.
First off, you could probably do this 'ible with upcycled shoelaces, but they probably won't be as strong. Also, I don't know about burning and singing shoelaces. Please don't set your house on fire and blame me.
The loops I've created here with paracord have a million uses I'm sure, and you can make them with the leftover lengths you have after a project. So far, they've come in handy for me in two ways, first as a loop to add to my belt-loops on my work pants, and second, as a zipper pull.
If you are like me, you like to attach things to your belt-loops while working (hammers, etc.). Utility belts just aren't my thing. If you are like anyone who uses zippers, replacement zipper pulls are always handy. So here's what you need and how to make them:
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
1. Paracord--at least about 8" (20cm) in length
3. A lighter
4. Maybe a ruler, but you can probably eyeball it
8 or 9" will give you a nice zipper pull or a loop large enough for a hammer IF you run the cord through the belt loop BEFORE you tie the loop knot, thus fixing them permanently to your trousers (well, you could always cut it off later). If you'd rather attach the finished cord loop to your belt loop using a cow's hitch so you can take it off, use about 12" for a hammer, 11" for a large screwdriver.
Step 2: Double the Cord and Tie the Knot
You don't need a ring to tie this knot (yuk, yuk). Just double over the cord and tie the Overhand Loop Knot (which is just a square knot with two strands side-by-side). If you don't know how to tie the Overhand Loop, check out Lets_Prep_Together 's excellent knot primer here:
It's the second knot down.
If you want to use the loop as a zipper pull, do a cow's hitch over a zipper opening. You might have to use needle-nose pliers if the zipper opening is small. If you don't know how to do a cow's hitch, ewcrew does it in steps 7-10 here, calling it a "pedigree cow's hitch":
Important note!: If you want to permanently attach them to pant loops or whatever else that is a complete loop beforehand, loop the to-be paracord loop through the other loop first (see picture). After that, you can launder them, unlike carabiners, and they won't scratch you or shrink with use, like zipties (shhh, don't tell my zipties they aren't my fave for this use anymore).
Step 3: Optional: Cut and Singe Again
I like to snip the ends about a quarter inch (half a centimeter) from the knot and smooth them down over the knot with the flat edge of the scissors. If you've not have much singing experience, heat the paracord until the edges of the outer layer mushroom over, and then with careful but timely precision, smooth out the melted nylon with something metal and with a texture you like. Sometimes I use other things for looks, but the flat edge of scissors works perfectly for this. Whatever you use, DON'T TOUCH THE HOT PARACORD! Let it cool for a minute or so before you touch it, and melt the ends over a non- flammable, non-living surface. I got a second-degree burn from liquid paracord once, and don't plan to repeat the experience.
You're done. Enjoy!
A quick note about strength: these puppies can hold up my entire toolbox with all the tools inside (see pic). I haven't tried to see if one can hold my entire weight because 1) I don't want to let on how much that is, and 2) I don't have a rig for doing so. But I can say these things are strong. Let me know if you make them and use them in a way!