How to Make Paracord Headphones

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Introduction:

Paracord headphones aren't just any ordinary headphones. They are a combination of wire, paracord, and headphone speakers attached together, taking your regular headphones from boring to fabulous. In a few (sometimes tedious) steps, you will be able to construct your own pair of paracord headphones. While working on this project, we ran into some issues that you will hopefully be able to avoid. It was a lot harder to take the headphones apart than we initially thought it would be; what we thought would be a ten-minute process turned out to be a thirty-minute process. It was also difficult attaching the wire/paracord combination into the speakers of the headphones at first. However, after some pulling and prodding, we were finally able to fit the wire/paracord in the speakers. This was our personal experience with the project; hopefully your project will go much smoother after reading our tips. Good luck, and we hope you enjoy this project!

Time Commitment:

Our headphones took around two hours, including all the time figuring out how to attach the headband to the earpieces and the knot tying.

Materials Needed:

  • Cheap pair of headphones
  • Paracord: Total of around 15 feet, depending on the size of your head (14 for small-16 for large)
  • Wire: A simple wire hanger works well
  • Safety Pins: Two 1" pins
  • Matches or a lighter (to melt the ends of the paracord off to keep them from fraying)
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Tape: Scotch or Electrical

Supplies:

Step 1: Taking the Headphones Apart

As we mentioned in the introduction, taking the headphones apart was much more difficult than we anticipated. However, with the use of scissors and our own strength, we were able to finally take them apart.

  1. If there is a cushion or layer of protection on your pair of headphones, remove it by cutting it off with scissors. This allows you to see the plastic part of the headphones more clearly.
  2. For our specific pair of headphones, there were little tabs on the side, allowing the user to make the headphones smaller or bigger. Before removing the main headband part of the headphones, we had to remove these two tabs using scissors. It would've probably been easier to use a screwdriver because they were screwed into the headphones, but we didn't have one so we had to improvise.
  3. Next we removed the black plastic headband part of the headphones by cutting the sides of it with scissors. It was difficult to cut this part off only using scissors, but we eventually got it to work. We recommend that you use a stronger tool to remove this part because that will make it much easier to get off.
  4. Finally, we removed the pieces of the headphones that were still attached to the speakers with scissors and by snapping them off. This was one of the more difficult parts of the process because it took a little while to get these tiny pieces out of the speakers.

Step 2: Cutting and Bending the Wire

To make a stiff, but bendable headband, we used a simple wire hanger that was cut to the proper length. Any fairly stiff wire will work, just make sure it will hold a shape easily and not flex at all when you pick it up. To start the headband, untwist the hanger and straighten it out. Measure the length of the crown of your head where the headband will be, then double that length. You can use a piece of paracord to do this and just hold it to the wire to show where to cut. Cut the wire and, using the pliers, bend the wire into a loop like the picture shows. The wire ends are on the side to create a more seamless loop.

Step 3: Coring the Paracord to Cover the Wire

To core paracord, cut off one of the melted ends of a piece of paracord. You will see the colorful outer layer and a group of inner white strings. Using your nails or the pliers, grip the inner strings and pull the outer layer down to expose a section of white a little longer than the total length of the wire you cut. Cut the white inner cords and pull the now coreless paracord tight and cut it off. It will be a sleeve to cover the wire loop for comfort and aesthetics.

Step 4: Encasing the Wire in Paracord

The next step is to slide the coreless paracord over the wire like a sleeve, completely covering it. Pull the paracord tight and trim the ends to be about 1/4" longer than the wire on each end. Scrunch the paracord up to expose the ends of the wire. Using some slim tape (not duct tape) wrap the joint to hold the wire ends together. We used clear Scotch Tape, but electrical tape would probably be much better. Slide the paracord back over the joint and make the juncture of the two ends NOT right over the taped wire. Using a lighter or a match, carefully melt the ends of the paracord together. You can just use tape if you wish, but the melted ends will look better when you are done.

Step 5: Attaching the Headband to the Headphones and Anchoring the Paracord

To attach the wire and paracord to the headphones, the wire that connects the two earpieces must be wrapped around one of the headband wires. To do this, simply spread apart the headband wires and wrap the earpiece and its wire through the middle as many times as is necessary to get the wire tight. (The image is of the earpiece wire wrapped around the headband wire with the paracord wrap covering it.) After this is done tightly, use one of the safety pins to anchor the two paracords used in braiding the headband by sticking the pin through the edge of the cord on the headband. Now take the headband and push it into the slot in the headphones until it will not go any further. Pull gently on the earpiece wire to keep it tight, and you are ready to begin braiding the headband.

Step 6: Tying the Paracord

Now that the paracord is anchored and the headband is attached to the first earpiece, the tying may commence. The knot-work we used was the Blaze Bar knot method. Other paracord weaves or knot-works can be used but they must be able to weave around the two headband wires. Make sure all your knots are nice and tight before making the next one, trying to tighten them later will not work.

1. To tie the Blaze Bar, take the left cord (blue in this example) and lace it over the left wire, under the right wire and over the tail of the right cord (red and black here). Now, take the right cord and run it over the right wire and over the blue cord and under the left wire, then over the tail of the blue cord.

2. When you have tightened the cords, the knots should look like the picture above.

3. Take the blue cord and lace it under the right wire, over the left wire, and under the tail of the red cord. Pass the red cord under the left wire, under the blue cord in the middle, over the right wire, and tuck it under the tail of the blue cord.

4. Tighten the knots.

Repeat sub-steps 1-4 until the band is almost tied, leaving one inch of space for the safety pin to attach.

Step 7: Attaching the Paracord and Headband to the Second Earpiece

Do one last knot, leaving about an inch of space from the end of the headband. Take the other safety pin and secure the loose ends of the paracord to the headband as before. Take the headband and push it into the slot in the other earpiece and the wire should tighten and hold it together.

Step 8: Melting the Paracord

Make sure to go back over the headband and carefully melt all fraying ends of the paracord, otherwise they will totally unravel.

CAUTION: The paracord is very hot and sticky for a minute after melting. Do not touch it or you may get burned!

Step 9: Conclusion

Congratulations, you just finished your very own paracord headphones! Plug them in and crank up the music!

Note: Making your own pair of paracord headphones can be time-consuming, and everything may not always go as planned. It's important to be patient when you're working on this project because you might have to adapt your materials to make the project work better for you. We had some missteps and obstacles while we were working on this project, but it turned out great in the end. We hope you enjoyed learning how to make paracord headphones!

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