How to Make a Paracord Dog Leash Using the Seesaw Knot




About: I love to make things & work with my hands. I mostly make stuff for dogs and sometimes I dabble with recipes, too. Right now I'm in the process of setting up a DIY blog for pet lovers.

Since I've shown you how to make the dog collar, let's make the matching dog leash! It's actually easier to make than the collar, you'll just need a little more paracord.

If you liked this tutorial, you'll *love* my blog, Bloggie Stylish. There are lots more cool tutorials to see there!

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

You’ll need a few basic tools to make this project. A C-clamp, hemostat clamps, scissors, a lighter, a flexible measuring tape, a dog leash snap and paracord.

Parachute cord shrinks by 10% when it gets wet. To preshrink the paracord, soak it in hot water for 5 minutes and then hang it to dry. You can also use the washing machine & dryer, it's up to you.

To determine how much paracord you will need, the project length must be broken down into inches and multiplied by five. So, I’m making a four foot leash with a five inch allowance to make a handle loop. Therefore 53″ X 5 = 265″. For making this leash I will need TWO cords that EACH measure 265″ long

Step 2: Arranging the Cords on the Snap

Fold both of the cords evenly in half and run the loop of each cord through the eyelet of the snap. Take the loose ends of the cords and run them through the cord loops. Tighten the cords so that the loops are snug against the snap eyelet.

Step 3: Clamping Down the Snap

Clamp the snap to a steady surface like a table top. This will keep your knot work steady and you can put tension on the cords when you are knotting.

Step 4: Knot One

To make the seesaw knot, we will be knotting alternating half-hitch knots. Take the first colour of cords, bring it behind the second set of cords and through the loop that you have just created. Gently tighten up your knot. Don’t tighten too much or your knot work will begin to twist.

Step 5: Knot Two

You will now take the second colour of cords and make a half-hitch in the OPPOSITE direction.

Step 6: Knot Three

Take the first colour of cord and make a knot in the same direction as you did with knot one. Keep knotting in alternate directions until you make a knotted cord that is 53″ long. You can measure it with the flexible measuring tape.

Step 7: Starting the Handle Loop

From the END of the knot work, measure out five inches and fold it over on the leash.

Step 8: Finishing the Cord Ends Part One

This is where the hemostat comes in handy. If you don’t have one, that’s cool. A pair of needle nosepliers will do just fine.

Find the closest spot where a turquoise cord goes under a blue cord. Poke the hemostat clamps under the blue cord, grasp the turquoise cord and pull it through. Repeat this for the blue cord, running it under a turquoise cord. Repeat this "back knotting process once more. Stretch the leash out with your hands, this will allow the cords to settle properly into place. Now trim the cords relatively close to the leash so that they look like the second picture.

Step 9: Finishing the Cord Ends Part Two

Here’s the part where you get to play with fire, so be careful! The melted ends of the paracord get really hot and a hot plastic burn isn’t cool! With your lighter, place the flame as close to one set of the cut ends as you can. When the paracord gets all brown and bubbly, take the flat side of your knife & press is against the same coloured cord that is directly below it. Repeat this for the second set of cords. If the ends are a little rough and not to your liking, you can do another pass with the lighter.




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    16 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Good Instructable! Instead of burning the ends, use heat shrink tubing. It looks much cleaner!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    So a six foot leash would be 77" x 5=385" correct? So that would mean I would need two 32 foot cords of paracord?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent instructions and excellent finished product!! Thank you. Have made 6 leases now and all my dog owner friends will be getting these (and matching collar) for Chrismas!! thanks again!! Jeff

    I just made one of these tonight and I really love how it looks but I was really disappointed on the length. I have a 4 month old Great Dane puppy with massive lines so she's going to be a very large dog and I did my numbers for a 6 foot leash and it came out at about 4 feet... :( I did my knots pretty tight but took into consideration the note that if pulled too tight it will twist, but I felt it was at a good tension. I'm not sure what went wrong but something did somewhere along the line. Either way, its a great instructable and I enjoyed this evenings craft. I can always redo it and use more cord.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Where do you get different colors of Para Cord? The only colors I have found are OD green ,Black and Tan

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    What kind of time are you looking at to make one of these?

    thanks :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have a 92 pound Bull and Pit mix.  Will this cord be strong enough? 


    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Finished mine today.  Thanks for the instructable!.  It didn't take as much paracord as stated, but I tie my knots tight.  I can't wait to make the matching collars for my Carin Terriers! Great pictures and description, really helps make it easy. :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    A soldering iron or wood burning tool work well for melting paracord ends in place.


    9 years ago on Step 9

    Good 'ible - rather than using the lighter to seal the cord ends, why not use a hot knife? An old kitchen knife, heated up in a flame, is a great way to make a neat cut.

    1 reply

    i have a hot knife that is used to shape styrofoam with & i've found that it will cut the paracords okay, but it doesn't do a good job sealing the ends. maybe a hot pointy kitchen knife could do the trick, i'll have to try it sometime.