Why not celebrate your manliness with mans best friend?! This instructable will show you how to make a tough and durable paracord dog leash for you and your 4-legged friend! Take your pooch hiking, camping, or just outside your house! This leash will hold up in the toughest terrains and in the worse weather, it is truly a great accessory for any outdoorsman, or man, in general! Enjoy
Step 1: Get Some Paracord!!!!
The first step in any paracord project, obviously, is to get some paracord :) Now, depending on how long you want your leash will determine how much paracord you need! For a regular cobra stitch, it is about a foot of cord for each inch of stitch, MINUS THE CORE, meaning that for a braided piece of paracord a foot long, you will need approximately 14 feet of cord, 12 for the actual braid, and 2 for the core (since there is usually 2 pieces in the middle). You can never be too careful using paracord, especially for larger projects, so ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use a couple feet extra for the bigger projects. Now, for the king cobra stitch, it's about a foot and a half per inch, since the braid is much larger, but you don't have to account for the core, so don't worry about that. My paracord leash used about 160 feet of cord, since it was a little over 6 feet long, with about a foot and a half of handle, and I did a king cobra stitch. I cut about 175 feet just to be safe, and it was a little too close for comfort. If your piece is too short, you have to start over, and that is not an option when you are braiding this much ;) LETS GET STARTED!!!!
*Above you will see the same type of spool I used, as well as a cobra, and king cobra stitch. For those who are new to paracord, see next step!
Step 2: Cobra and King Cobra
The cobra stitch is relatively simple, and the king cobra even more simple. First, there needs to be a 'core', and the core dictates how long your braid will be. The first step is to find the middle of your piece, and measure how long it needs to be, and hitch knot it to whatever you are tying to, in this case, the hook for the end of the leash. You then take one end, place it over the core leaving a slight loop, then take the other piece, go over the first piece, but UNDER the core, and up through the loop. To get the stitch you want, you repeat those steps, but switch over every time. There are plenty of online tutorials if you needs some in depth explaining :) for the king cobra, you simply double back over the cobra, using it as your core, giving it the extra size and strength.
Step 3: Tools
You don't need much, just the standard stuff for a paracord project!
Step 4: The Hitch
To start my leash, I just did a regular hitch knot, but because the clip is very wide, as well as the king cobra stitch, I wrapped the loop around several times, and pulled it through. A basic hitch wraps once around and through, but to add the width you just wrap a little extra!! The reason for this type of hitch is to allow the connection to be very sturdy and not slide around, as you will see later. I tied a piece of scrap cord around the end by my hitch just to keep it in place during the process *The blue prusik knot in the picture is just an example of the different variations in hitch knots that you can use
Step 5: The Handle/Cord Management
The handle is the trickiest part of this instructable, but if you can figure it out, the rest is cake and it will look awesome. After I hitched the cord onto the clip, and measured out my desired length, I made a loop with the paracord for the handle. It is tricky to start, but theoretically simple. After I made the loop, what I did to make the handle is "core jump".. What I did was take the 2 braiding strands and instead of braiding them right on to the end, I began braiding them around the bottom where the loop met the leash. By doing this, the handle was secured for the rest of the braiding. After I "core jumped", I just cobra stitched my way around THE HANDLE FIRST! This is an important step when you come back with the king cobra stitch. **Note** when working with large amounts of paracord like this, I found it best to wrap the paracord up and put a couple hair ties or rubber bands around it (hair ties work best because of their cloth covering, allowing the paracord to slide out relatively easy compared to a rubber band). By doing this, you will only have to pull the bundled paracord through your braids instead of 70-80 feet at a time<----- this step is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT, as it will save you hours.
Step 6: Finishing the First Step of the Handle
After braiding around the handle, you will come back around to the original core, the one which is about 5 1/2 feet long in my case. Here, you will simply "core jump" back to the long piece, giving it a somewhat seamless loop in the braid. This step is important because it adds a level of "integrity" in the strength of the leash by making the handle one piece with the leash. ***FYI, this leash is made out of one solid piece of paracord, giving it a ridiculous amount of strength
Step 7: Braid Braid Braid!
Now after you get past the handle, the only thing to do is braid that cord all the way down! I suggest watching a movie or something, as this part takes a little while. As you notice how the handle is formed, remember that we will be going back over it all, making it look even cooler! As you near the bottom, it is best to braid AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN to the clip, making it as wide as you can, since when we double back and make the king cobra, it will be close to even. This part is easy, and we are half way done!!!
Step 8: The King Cobra
The king cobra stitch is extremely simple, especially after using the regular, peasant cobra (LOL). All you do, after braiding up to the clip and as wide as possible, you simply turn around and use the first cobra stitch as your core! It is important that you go as close to the clip as possible, securing that connection so that the leash won't rotate and twist and whatnot. After turning around, you just braid all the way back up!! We are on the homestretch!!
Step 9: Finishing Up
After braiding all the way back up to where the handle begins to forms, it is time to finish up! Once you reach this point, you can just pick a side of the handle to braid and go all the way around. After reaching the point where the long part of the leash starts, it is time to cut and burn the ends :) just pull that thing tight, cut it close, and make sure the end aren't going to slip through! We are done!
Step 10: Lastly, Thank You
Now that we are finished with the sweet leash, it is time to enjoy it with your pup! The leash is shown restraining a vicious Jack Russell, but it was made for a friend with bigger dogs, haha. I am entering this instructable into several contests, and your votes would be APPRECIATED! Leashes like this are unique, durable, and quite the masculine accessory for anyone who wants to keep a handle on their dog! Thank you very much Instructable family!