The following are some simple instructions on creating a paracord bracelet using either one or two different colors of cord. These bracelets are worn for fashion and also serve a purpose in the outdoor industry. Once the bracelet is disassembled, you can use the twine for snares, traps, tie-downs, and even be used to create a make-shift tent (I've done all of them). When the strand is standing on its own it can handle up to 550 pounds of tensile strength. This is where the term "550 cord" or "550 cable" comes from. This particular set of instructions use buckle type fasteners. Once you figure the basic idea of this bracelet and weave you can find many different uses for it! Get creative!
Step 1: Supplies for Bi-tone Paracord Bracelet
1. Minimum 8 ft of paracord per bracelet *NOTE* Length may vary depending on width of wrist.
a. To make a rough measurement of the length needed, take a free end of paracord in one hand while extending your arm and draw it out while holding one end near your armpit. This is roughly 3ft. This should give you an idea of how much your cutting without using any type of measuring device. REMEMBER! It’s always better to have extra than not enough!
b. If TWO colors are being used, simply split the difference of cord used. For example, I have large wrists and I prefer the bracelet to be quite loose, so I will use about 10 feet of cord. So if I am using green and tan cord, I will use 5 feet of green cord and 5 feet of tan.
3. Scissors or Sharp Knife
4. Fastener of some sort
a. ParaCord fasteners can be found at most hobby stores
b. Leather Buttons
d. Various knots can be used, but require much more cord (monkey’s fist, ball knot, etc.)
This particular set of instructions is to give you the basic idea of how it's done. The principle of the weave can translate to anything.
Step 2: FUSE THE COLORS
Measure cord length according to user’s wrist and cut.
8 feet of cord is needed for a standard size bracelet and upward to 12 feet of total cord for larger bracelet. For your first bracelet, start with more than you think you may use. It’s better to have too much, than not enough. The excess can always be cut at the end.
Remember: Using one color is appropriate for a bracelet that has the intention to be pulled apart and used as a survival bracelet. Fusing two colors together looks cool, however it compromises the strength of the cord and is no longer able to withstand 550lbs of tensile strength so using it for anything other than a wrist decoration can be sketchy.
For one color bracelets, skip to the next step.
For two-tone bracelets, fuse end of cords together with lighter. Simply hold the two cut ends over the flame until they begin to smolder and melt. Either have a friend hold the lighter or set one end of the cable on the edge of the table so you have the use of both hands. Force the burnt ends together until it acts like it may drip. Twirling it may help, it really just depends on the colors and types of dye that is used, generally the darker colors take longer to warm up. By burning the dye in the cord it allows it to stick together. Use common sense here, you're playing with a lighter.
Let the cable cool down.
Step 3: Getting Started
Fold the paracord in half and take the two loose ends, pull through your fastener and center it (either over the two colors or in the middle of your one piece of cord). Pull the centered part of cord giving it some slack, then pull the two loose ends through slacked loop. Now take the other end of the clasp and pull the two loose ends of cord through the clasp.
a. If you’re using a different type of fastener you just simply need to center it. Play around with different ideas. When it’s done once, you’ll see that it can be done many different ways.
Step 4: Fasteners!
Slip the other end of your fastener onto the cord much like you did the first time. Clip them together and slide it over your wrist. This will allow you to size the bracelet for your needs. Just remember that once you start the ladder weave it will thicken up a little.
*Note- If using two colors, the button will be parallel to the fused point
Step 5: Hangin' Out
There should now be two loose strands hanging out at the end of one of your clasps. These two long pieces will be used to start your ladder weave.
Step 6: The Ladder Weave
Open up the bracelet and lay it flat. Note that you now have a left and right piece of cord
(Notice this is a knot that was started on the end of my pocket knife, the weave is all the same.)
Step 7: Righty
Take the cord on the right. Pass it behind the two stationary pieces of cord to your left. It then needs to lay over the left piece of cord. Bring the left cord under the right and pass it on top of the two stationary cords to your right. Make it pass through the gap that the right cord has now created. Pull tight. You now have a new left and right cord.
Step 8: Lefty
Now take the cord on the left. Pass it behind the two stationary pieces of cord to your right. It then needs to lay over the right piece of cord. Bring the right cord under the left and pass it on top of the two stationary pieces to your left. Make it pass through the gap that the left cord has now created. Pull tight. You now have a new left and right cord again.
Step 9: Almost There!
Repeat step 8 and 9 in that order until you've reached the bottom of cords of your fastener.
Once you reach the bottom pull the two loose ends as tight as you can.
Step 10: All Done
Cut the excess close to the bracelet.
Burn the open ends so that they will essentially fuse together. Be careful not to completely burn the dye otherwise it’ll look goofy and compromise your finished weave.