Easy Paracord USB Flash Drive Case

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Introduction: Easy Paracord USB Flash Drive Case

We first discovered this material through stormdrane's Instructables and quickly got hooked - lanyards, bracelets, handles, we even went so far as to knit it to experiment with it.

We use a lot of flash drives to try out Linux distributions or pass data around. Over time, the glue that holds the case together tends to fail, so we came up with this quick paracord fix to squeeze a little more life out of them.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

For this project, you will need :

  • paracord - 80 to 90 centimeters (about 3 feet) for a flash drive
  • a good pair of scissors;
  • a USB flash drive;
  • a lighter to seal your paracord.

Step 2: Removing the Case

Depending on how weak the glue holding your flash drive has become, this step might be more or less easy.

Worst case scenario, you will be able to do that with your fingers and nails. A Swiss army knife, a precision screwdriver or a smartphone repair prying tool will work even better. Just make sure you don't damage the flash drive's board and don't yourself!

Once you cracked the case, it's time to measure and cut your paracord.

Step 3: Measure and Cut Your Paracord

Braiding a new case for a flash drive using a snake knot takes up 80 to 90 centimeters (or about 3 feet) of paracord cord. This is easily the most important step as it cannot be undone. To ensure the success of your paracord project:

  1. measure once;
  2. measure twice
  3. cut.

You would be surprised how many people don't believe this is important. You would be equally surprise how many people end up running short of materials on a paracord project, or any project that involves cutting materials.

Step 4: Making a Loop

It's always convenient to have something to attach your flash drive to something like a key-ring or a , so let's give this little guy a loop. fold the cord in two equal parts, and set the flash drive on top of it. You can easily decide how big the loop will be at that stage but don't go too crazy ! You might end up a few inches short on paracord for your snake knot.

And now for the braiding...On to the next step !

Step 5: Braiding Your New Case

The knot we're going to use is the easy, famous snake knot you can see in Stormdrane's paracord bracelet Instructable and in so many others.

- Take the flash drive on top of the folded paracord, and make a loop to the left with the right-side half of paracord. It should then come under the flash drive and to its right (see picture 1) ;
- Take the left-side thread of paracord, make it go in a loop to the right, under the thread that went out to the right, and then over the drive into the loop (see picture 2) ;
- Tighten it all up together (picture 3), then repeat the steps from picture 1 and 2 on the other side of the flash drive (picture 4) ;
- Keep going alternating left and right and left and right, until you reach the end of the flash drive (see picture 5) !

It might be difficult at first, and the first knots will look ugly - but don't worry, it'll look better as you train and as you keep braiding ! Once you're done, time to cut, trim and seal the cord - in the next step !

Step 6: Trimming and Sealing Your Paracord

No need to keep the excess paracord : we're just going to cut it close to the body of the drive, and burn and seal it with the lighter. The strands of cord inside, as well as the outer sheath, will melt : once it does, press it against the strands of paracord with the flat side of the scissors so that it all binds together as the paracord cools off. Repeat on the other side, and you're good to go !

Step 7: The End, and Going Further.

It's always interesting to learn more about the materials you use. Here are a few extra resources to keep you going:

  • the paracord article on Wikipedia will teach you more about the origin of this versatile material
  • Stormdrane's blog continues to be a great source for paracord projects
  • our local library also has resources on paracord projects for crafts, Every Day Carry or jewelry - yours probably does too!

Step 8: Going Further

2 People Made This Project!

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44 Discussions

I couldn't keep up :/ it would've been better with a video

Cool but just a suggestion to make it stronger :hold the usb in its casing if its nice and flat.
But still very cool

I can't recommend this. I tried it with an old flash drive, and after a couple of uses the head of the flash drive was wiggly (it was not wiggly before). Soon after that I had to hold the drive in a certain place for it to work. I will probably solder the head back onto the board and try again but I think that the cord is pulling too hard on the drive, causing the head to loosen.

awesome instructable :D ive pretty much fallen in love with paracord (and thumbdrives) and this is the perfect thing to add to my collection. thanks alot

hi I would like to thank you about the nice and simple idea I like it
and i will tray it soon thanx

I find a good way to not get burnt ends is to use a windproof lighter and not just a plain Bic lighter. I think the windproof creates more heat at a faster speed and if done carefuly leaves no black marks.

3 replies

Good to know - I'll have to see about that and try myself. Could you post pictures or a video of your technique somewhere so we can see, ernie ? Or maybe an Instructables of your own ? Thanks for your comment !

I posted a Instructable. Take a look and see if it works for you.

Awesome, thanks ! I'll give it a shot as soon as I have a new batch of keys in the making.

Hi Don,

Thanks for your comment ! I'm glad if it helped.

Tried this but without any knots. Basically just wound the paracord round the edges and burnt the tips to the flash drive. Great instructable!

Picture0002.jpg
1 reply

Well I tore apart my USB and now I cant figure out how to do the knot lol. Any more instruction, videos or photos on this USB wrap would be greatly appreciated..

1 reply

Sorry it took so long to get back to you ! Taking a look at other Instructables specifically about this type of knot could help : this woven paracord bracelet by Stormdrane might be a lot of help and got me started with paracord braiding in the first place.

Keep us updated !

This guide should really be removed, seems easy, people tear apart their usb sticks, and then the pictures are directions are awful.

1 reply

Hey Emerett,

Thanks for the reminder - I haven't had the time to sit down and take new pictures or revamp this Instructable as I thought I could. I'll try to take care of that over the course of the next few weeks, as the paracord USB flash drives is one of the projects my middle-school students are interested in :)

Cheers !