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I used a glue gun and didn't melt the rope ends together. It may be less durable, but that glue is softer and easier to work with. It's comfortable even with the button over the connection. Also, I experimented with braiding rat tail cord for a different look.
It sounds like you probably overcooked it. It is a little tricky to get candy just right; you have to constantly be checking it. For some people it may be easier to use a candy thermometer and cook it to 300 degrees rather than use the method I described where you periodically drip some candy into water.
Great idea! I tend to scratch my face when I'm concentrating, so I've been trying to find something else for my hands to do. Fidget spinners and stress balls get in the way when I am writing. This would be a great alternative. I like that it's cheap as well!
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