Introduction: No Solder Nylon Wrapped Phone Cable!

Whether you have broken 3 of your fingers attempting to run in stilts and need to call your mom or need to order some life saving pizza delivered to your shop, your phone is your most valuable tool. Most devices require you to connect to a power source. So recently, I wanted to make a nylon wrapped charging cable because of the added durability and aesthetic qualities. However, all the tutorials required you to cut and re-solder the data and power connections. I personally did not want to risk my phone on some Frankenstein cable, so I thought on the matter for a while and I would like to show you what I have come up with!


• Diamond-Braid Poly Rope (Size depends on the cable you want to wrap)

• Heat shrink tubing (1/2 inch in diameter and 3/8 inch in diameter)

• Electrical tape

• Heat gun/lighter

• A cable to wrap

This Instructable mainly addresses how to wrap an apple lightning cable (I have found that they work the best, however, you can apply this method to many other cables (as long as their end fits in the rope).


If you somehow break your phone (or anything else) in the process of recreating this Instructable, blame your friends pet goldfish, not me. Also, heat shrink is fun, but don't go overboard! While it may seem like a good idea at the time, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HEAT SHRINK YOUR TONGUE! It will not go well...... trust me.

Step 1: The Concept

This type of rope is similar to a Chinese finger trap, in that when you pull it (with the inside removed) the overall diameter lessens and when you push it, it (sort of) broadens it. This means that the smaller end of any cable can pushed through, and give you a custom wrapped cable!

Step 2: Thread the Cable

Measure the rope to be roughly the same length as your cable (you will be trimming it) and cut. After that, remove the innards and (carefully) shove your cable through. You may have to shave the plastic part around the cable to get it to fit.

Step 3: Carefully Trim the Excess

Un-weave the end sections so there are just individual strands. Then, pull the strands away from the cable so you are not endangering the cable, and trim all those strands down to size.

Step 4: Use Electrical Tape to Tie Down Lose Ends

After trimming excess rope fibers, apply electrical tape to hold down any loose fibers so you can easily slide the heat shrink tubing through. Do this for both sides.

Step 5: Heat Shrink

Slide a 1 inch section of 3/8 inch diameter heat shrink all the way down the usb part of the charging cable as shown in the second photo and heat shrink it in place (Do this first!!). Once that is completed, slide over a 1 inch section of a 1/2 inch diameter piece of heat shrink over the usb side and heat shrink in place.

After that, move to the other side, applying a 1 1/2 inch section of 3/8 inch diameter heat shrink to the lightning end of the lightning cable. This will not only hold down the lose fibers, it will also provide extra support!

Step 6: Micro Usb Charging Cables

In this section I would like to address some limitations of this process. First and foremost, this will not work on all phone cables (30 pin cable, that weird Samsung cable, etc.). Second, if you would like to wrap your micro usb cable, you may have to shave down the end in order for the end of the cable to fit through (or you could get some thicker rope).

Step 7: Enjoy Your Custom Wrapped Phone Cable!

If you have completed this Instructable, I encourage you to post a picture down below.

Thanks for reading my Instructable, and see you next time!


PardoByNight made it!(author)2017-04-16

I'm definitely gonna try this! :)

dsantil71 made it!(author)2016-12-21

My only suggestion would be to use a heat gun which only heats up about 320 ℉ whereas a lighter can reach over 3,000 ℉ depending on the type of fuel it has in it.
I wouldn't want to expose my cables to that amount of extreme heat even if it's for a short time.
Heat guns are cheap, less than $20, last forever & work on a lot of materials. My husband even stole mine & uses it specifically for shrink tubes!

tbat made it!(author)2015-09-25

Super idea! Brilliant!

I did mine yesterday, it works perfectly and I can really feel that's a super strong design :D

Thanks a lot!

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graydog111 made it!(author)2015-09-25

Great idea Alaric Loftus ........ I have some antique electric fans that have braided cords that need to be replace. I will try putting the rope sheath over modern cord to make it look antique. Thanks for posting this.

JohnP120 made it!(author)2015-09-12

Here's mine! I used 1/4" poly rope (Lightning connector slides into 1/4 rope very easily), a piece of 3/8" heat shrink on the USB end, and a piece of 1/4" heat shrink on the lightning end.
Sliding the 3/8" heat shrink over the USB was a little bit of a chore, but it eventually went on. Making another one later tonight for my wife. Maybe I'll shorten the heat shrink. I used 3" precut pieces - might cut them in half from now on.

Alaric+Loftus+ made it!(author)2015-09-20

Awesome! Thanks for the photo, it looks great!

AbhiM made it!(author)2015-09-14

would this work on mini usb cables? ( the ones you would use on a ps3 controller)

Alaric+Loftus+ made it!(author)2015-09-20

You could, but I would recommend that you use the next size up (1/2in).

JulioF3 made it!(author)2015-09-20

Yo preferí cubrirlo todo.

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Alaric+Loftus+ made it!(author)2015-09-20

Interesante! Qué hacer tú cubrirlo con?

RobTurrentine made it!(author)2015-09-10

I know is not-picky but the rope in the picture says Poly and the title says Nylon. Different stuff. Still, this a super idea. I have lots of different cables with different connectors. I tried color-coding them with tape but the tape comes off after a while. For some reason my cats like chewing on them as well. Now I have $100 ear buds that don't work. This idea will hopefully kill two birds with one stone. You may have saved a cat's life.

MariL1 made it!(author)2015-09-12

that's what I saw, too; I was looking for someone doing something handy with all those germy old nylons my horder-mind cannot be convinced to ditch...they just look primordial enough to be ableto do tons of stuff and conversions with...but this was about rope. sigh

Jfieldcap made it!(author)2015-09-07

Suggested edit: On the first line, change "Whether you have " ect, " to "Whether or not you have " ect. I don't mean to be rude or snobby, but it's better grammar, since you didn't have another reason you need your phone. ;) Hope you don't mind me pointing it out. Also, this is pretty cool, I may use it sometime...

emason made it!(author)2015-09-08

Could I suggest you change it to 'etc'?

Jfieldcap made it!(author)2015-09-08

Haha, good point. I don't know if there's a way to edit comments though... I'll have to see. ;) I didn't intend to have the extra " in there. Thanks for the correction.

Bazzatron made it!(author)2015-09-10

Easy was to remember "etc" - as I kept forgetting the spelling too - "End of Thinking Capacity"

List of all breads might be like "white, brown, Rye, etc" because I didn't have the capacity to think of the rest.

It also serves as a reminder that using "etc" is a really bloody lazy thing to do!

M.+A.G made it!(author)2015-09-09

ahahaha! Nice!

mickeypop made it!(author)2015-09-06

i used it to bundle the wires on my 3D printer and worked great. It certainly made my printer colorful.

One thing i did not see here however, take the time to pull the fiberglass inner cord out first.

Catley made it!(author)2015-09-10

Isn't that mentioned at the end of Step 2, or am I misunderstanding something? ("After that, remove the innards")

DaleR3 made it!(author)2015-09-09

I'm trying to avoid filing down the edges of my micro USB cable. Would stepping up from 5/16 in. to 3/8 in. cord work out fine?

M.+A.G made it!(author)2015-09-09

you can use this principle in a similar fashion when repairing ski tow ropes and end eyelets by threading the rope back into itself after making the loop etc.

MikeW30 made it!(author)2015-09-09

Other good donor materials are bungee straps and shoelaces.

jackperdue made it!(author)2015-09-08

I love the idea and it is necessary since the one thing that is the weak link in charging smartphones (iPhone) is the charging cable. I have discover the Anker 3ft Nylon Braided USB Cable with Lightning Connector on Amazon for $16. I have several, totally switching all of my cables to these. My son works at our local Apple Store and uses these too.

alcurb made it!(author)2015-09-08

Brilliant! Very attractive results. I want to do that with my android charging cord. I think that would be a little tougher to do because the micro usb end can get caught in the braids with the metal corners. However, I'm going to give a go and see if I can come up with an easy solution.

mjkurtz made it!(author)2015-09-08

I would think that if one or two of the core fibers were left in, you could use them to pull the cord through the braided jacket. Might really work well with the pen cap with a hole drilled in the end and the strand slipped through the hole and knotted.

Just some thoughts on an excellent idea. I never even imagined this could be done. Excellent use of a easily obtained product.

Note: Your picture of the rope shows Polypropylene not Nylon rope. Should work either way though

MadeByGloria made it!(author)2015-09-07

Cool! I wonder if this would work with paracord?

Tanzer26 made it!(author)2015-09-07

Love this idea. Need to do my kids earbuds to make them a bit more durable. I will comment though, that the rope in your photo is 'Poly' as in polyethylene, not nylon. It probably a better choice, as it's cheaper and has less stretch, so provides better protection against breakage.

Tanzer26 made it!(author)2015-09-07

PS. Voted for you.

txadams made it!(author)2015-09-07

Thank you! I see commercial versions of this for a ridiculous amount of money.

JitendraT1 made it!(author)2015-09-06

How did you manage to pass the broad end of the USB connector through the braided rope. There is not picture or explanation on it.

andymic made it!(author)2015-09-07

He passed the rope from the smaller side (the one with the lightning connector) and pulled it up to the other, larger USB connector. No need to pass over it if it fits from one side.

JitendraT1 made it!(author)2015-09-07


this is not for the apple charging cable. I want to pass a cable which is have both the ends as broad as USB connector.

andymic made it!(author)2015-09-07

In that case if you don't find rope which is wide enough you will have to remove the plug and resolder it back on after you cover it with the rope.

Garythebuilder+ made it!(author)2015-09-07

This process works best if the end you plug into your device has a smaller diameter than the USB end of the same cable. If the charging end is the same or similar thickness to the USB end, you can do what the author suggests and shave away some of the plastic to make it smaller, or, if you don't want to do that, you may have to buy a cable that's closer in size to the Apple branded one. Also, when feeding the cable through the rope, the USB end should never have to fit through it.

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londobali made it!(author)2015-09-06

Nice.. I'll try this soon, but i doubt i can find the same nylon rope, i'll have to try other kinds..
Would it be possible to attach the inner cord to the smaller end of the cable, and pulling out the inner cord in the same time also pulling in (while pushing to widen the nylon's opening..)..

thanks for sharing!

Dutchfreak made it!(author)2015-09-06

"DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HEAT SHRINK YOUR TONGUE! It will not go well...... trust me." Now this you're going to have to elaborate :p

Danielsan16 made it!(author)2015-09-06

Love the idea, but I find 5/16th pretty thick.

Can we use any smaller rope? or does the lighting end part need that size to fit through?

next size down is 1/4" has anyone tried it?

dvalentine8 made it!(author)2015-09-06

brilliant. And I only need a spare diamond braided rope.

pandrews8 made it!(author)2015-09-06

what a brilliant idea! Your work really lifts the look of the cable to those ridiculiously expensive custon cables. I am off to the hardware store as soon as it is opening time.

jvandeyacht made it!(author)2015-09-06

Auth funth het srek ton. No, donth het shrek thong. Love your tongue comment...

jabell1 made it!(author)2015-09-06

Pretty neat! I think it would be cool to combine the aux cable and the charger cable in one - in my car I am always running both cables and it's always a royal pain to manage them both.

Putting them together in the same wrap would be easier and more manageable.

killbox made it!(author)2015-09-06

putting a pen cap on the end of your usb cable gives you a "fid" to help push the cable through more easily. photo for type of cap im talking about.

Alaric+Loftus+ made it!(author)2015-09-06

Cool idea!

Two+Paddles+Design made it!(author)2015-09-06

thanks, I might have to try this

braytonlarson made it!(author)2015-08-31

Phone cable used to mean the four wire cable you would put through your walls but apparently now it means a charging cable... Nice instructable though!

jmacdonald13 made it!(author)2015-09-06

Yeah, I wondered where the phone cable was.

Garythebuilder+ made it!(author)2015-09-01

I had to cut and re-solder at the split to fit the rope over. If you cut the ear buds, you can also use paracord.

jmacdonald13 made it!(author)2015-09-06

There's a tutorial on youtube doing just hat. not a great tutorial to watch but it got the message across. The reason he did the tutorial was so the earphones don't get tangled rather than for looks. I'd use a D-Splicer for for dragging the cable through but they're expensive for what they are.

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Slim49 made it!(author)2015-09-06

That is totally awesome!


Garythebuilder+ made it!(author)2015-08-31


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About This Instructable




Bio: I have always had a passion for building and creating things and I am always on the lookout for new and better ways to solve ... More »
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