Introduction: Stretchable Paracord Bracelet
While making paracord bracelets (for which there are many great instructables) and wishing there was a way to make one that did not require clasps or clips, I stumbled on this method which produces a bracelet that can stretch to slip onto your wrist and then form to it snugly and comfortably. The bracelet also looks quite a bit like the normal ones on which the design is based, because it is the same basic technique that is used.
The key to the design is removing the "core" strands that are used in most paracord bracelets. This allows the bracelet to stretch so that it can be made into a continuous circle and doesn't need clasps or clips to fit around your wrist.
Step 1: Setup
- up to two colors
- two 3 ft strands (one of each color if using two colors)
- one strand (of any color) that is long enough to wrap around your wrist when folded in half, plus about 4 extra inches (see pic). This will be the temporary core strand
- Use the lighter to melt both ends of all three strands to prevent fraying
Step 2: Starting the Knots
Now, to get started making the bracelet...
Loop the two strands, as shown in the first picture. Fold the core strand in half and thread it through this first knot (as shown in picture 3), then pull the knot tight around the core.
Now take the strand on the right and fold it behind the core. Then loop the other strand around/behind the first and push it through the loop made on the right side by the first strand. Pull this knot tight. This is hard to describe in writing, and probably even harder to understand, so the pictures will help a lot on this step.
To make the next knot, take the same strand as before (now on the left side) and repeat the technique above. Again the pictures will help a lot.
Step 3: Removing the Core
Continue this method until each strand has 16 loops on one side and both strands end up on the same side they started on (using two colors makes it easier to tell when this is achieved). At this this point you should make sure that it is long enough to wrap around your wrist. 16 is the number that has worked for me, and the bracelet will stretch even if you wrist is larger, but it may be more comfortable for some to try 18 loops.
Now, pull the core strand out completely using its loop at the top. Then, tighten the last knots at both ends by pulling the loose strands. This will insure that your bracelet does not come apart though the next steps.
Step 4: Completing the Circle
The last step is to finish the bracelet by connecting both of the loose ends of each strand into a loop that will look like all the others around the bracelet. This is where we get to play with FIRE!
But first, decide which strand you will connect first (i will be doing the silver strand). Cut both ends of this strand so about one cm sticks out, and melt each end with the lighter. If you take care here to make sure that the melted ends are clean and don't have a lot of melted plastic on them, the end result will look much better.
Now, position the two ends so that they can be remelted and the pressed together end-to-end (see pictures). Then melt the ends and press them together for about 10 seconds so they will cool and bind together. What I have found that works well is lining the two ends up and holing the lighter in between them the melt them both at the same time. Repeat this step for the other strand.
Any extra blobs of plastic can be cut off with scissors or sanded, and then melted carefully to smooth it out. Making these "seams" look nice is the most challenging part, but it gets easier the more times you try it.
Finally, stretch the bracelet out a bit (don't worry the seam will hold) and maneuver the strands near the seam so the area around the seam looks like the rest of the bracelet.
Step 5: Put It On
Well the bracelet is done now. Time to put it on and show it off.
To put it on, stretch it over your hand and onto your wrist. Then using your other hand, you can compress it a bit to make it conform more to your wrist's size and shape. Enjoy.