This Christmas I had a lot of people I wanted to give gifts to. Being a college student with a very tight budget I decided my best option would be to make homemade gifts. After a quick inventory through my closet, a bit of brainstorming, and some trial and error this is what I came up with.
Since Christmas I've had a few requests to make more and I finally decided to make an Instructable for it.
The rings are super satisfying to click and play with. As a fidget toy, it's nice that it's always on your hand. When you're doing homework and finally figure out an answer there's no toy to set down. Your hands are just free to start writing again (you'll understand if you decide to make one). I would seriously love to find a way to implement a counter to see how many times I've clicked the button. It's a lot. Like sore-fingers a lot.
Step 1: Materials
To make a fidget you'll need:
- A tactile push button switch
- They're pretty cheap on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/CO-RODE-Tact-Button-Switch-...
- Epoxy glue
- And some paracord
You'll also need scissors and a lighter.
Step 2: Size the Paracord
Cut a strand of paracord to be about a centimeter longer than the circumference of your finger.
Step 3: Make a Point on One End of the Strand
Use a lighter to heat up one end of the paracord. Once it's melted a tiny bit, roll it against a hard surface or wait a second and pinch it with your fingers (careful it's hot!) to form a point on one side of the piece of paracord.
It has to be a point and not a lump so that it'll be able to fit inside of the other side of the strand.
Step 4: Remove Some of the Inner Yarn
On the other side of the strand pull about a centimeter of the inner strings out and cut them with sharp scissors.
Step 5: Enlarge and Then Melt It That Way
Use a headphone jack or something similar to open up the paracord's outer mesh. Then use the lighter to quickly burn the ends a little to prevent fraying on the next step.
If you melt the end for too long then the hole won't be large enough for the other end of the ring to fit in.
(If you accidentally do hold it in the fire for too long then try using the headphone jack again to open it back up)
Step 6: Turn It Into a Ring
Put the pointed end inside the other
Step 7: Fuse the Ends Together
This step is a little tricky. Melt a small part of where the ends meet and then use the metal part of your lighter to brush the larger side of the melted paracord to the pointed end side. Doing it this way makes the ring look more even.
Repeat this around the whole connection and try to make it smooth because points and edges can be felt when the ring is worn.
Step 8: Prepare the Button
Bend two legs of the button to be straight down and then point inward a little above 90 degrees.
Step 9: Attach Button to Ring
Push the bent legs into the paracord on the exact opposite side of the fuse. Then flip the ring over and bend the other legs down and into the paracord also. Once both sides of legs are in then squeeze the legs together so they stay on better and look nicer.
Step 10: Adding Glue
Mix a small amount of epoxy with a toothpick and then use the toothpick to carefully put a little epoxy against all the legs and insides of the button's black housing. Then let it set and your ring is finished!
Step 11: Final Thoughts
I tried another design where I soldered the legs together around the paracord but this didn't work well because when you pressed the button it hurt your finger. I liked the idea because you could pull the ring around the paracord. Unfortunately at the price of basically not being able to press the button though.
When I made these for Christmas I only had orange paracord... Everyone loved them but it stands out to wear around every day. The black paracord makes a much nicer looking ring for wearing out in public but orange is my favorite color so I usually wear it anyways!