Introduction: Paracord Laptop Harness
I noticed there wasn't really a design for a paracord laptop harness/carrier made out of just paracord that didn't involve simply weaving it, so I decided to remedy this with the paracord contest as a motivator.
So please, do vote for me!
When starting this project, I had several criteria I wanted to hit, and after three other prototypes, this one succeeds.
1) 100% paracord
2) Symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing
3) Successfully holds the darn laptop where it's supposed to be!
4) Is easy to remove the laptop from and easy to put it back in
(Auxillary benefit was that it also happened to leave my stickers visible, because they're awesome.)
Step 1: Materials Needed
You won't need much for this project. I used about 44 feet of paracord, though you will probably need more if your laptop is bigger. I used my 10" Acer netbook. If you don't already have this much paracord lying around, its cheap enough to buy. If you're the sort of person who likes paracord and has plenty, then its free.
Scissors are for cutting paracord.
Lighter is for burning the ends (do be careful)
Gaffer's Tape is optional, but I find it useful and it leaves no residue on either the paracord or the laptop. If you don't have gaffer's tape, any sort of tape will do.
Step 2: Prep
Cut four lengths of paracord to the same length. These strands will form the body of the harness. Mine were 8' long, but you might want to add an extra foot or three if your laptop is bigger than a 10" netbook.
Not pictured is another pair of strands about 6' long each for the handles. Set those aside as you won't need them for a while.
I recommend burning the ends to prevent fraying while you're working.
Step 3: Pair 'em Off and Round 'em Up!
Pair off your body strands and find the center. Tape it off and keep the two pairs separate from each other.
While you're here, break off a few pieces of tape and have them handy nearby on the edge of a table or something.
Step 4: Set Up Your Handles
Center the taped pieces at the top of your laptop, one on each side, and tape them down about as long as you want your handles to be. Err on the side of slightly shorter and make sure you do the same to the other side.
Step 5: Cross Knotting
Do a cross knot where your paracord strands reach the edge of the laptop
Instructions for a cross knot can be found online, though I walk through them in picture form here. Apologies for slight blurriness.
While you're at it, get used to the cross knot. You'll be doing plenty of them. For now, however, just do this with all 4 pairs of your working strands. Make sure you keep them facing front if aesthetics are important to you.
Step 6: Setting Up the Sides
On each side, braid the strands loosely together to create a slight side to the harness. No need to pull it too tight and, actually, I recommend that you don't do so.
If you don't feel like doing it, you can just loop the strands around each other.
Once you're done with that, put a cross knot on each pair of strands. Do this to both sides of the harness. Symmetry is your friend, as is even spacing.
Step 7: More Cross Knots!
On each pair of strands, do yet another cross knot about half an inch from the bottom of your laptop when the strands are pulled at about a 45 degree angle away from the sides. If that doesn't make sense, just look at the pictures.
Step 8: Over and Under
Cross each pair under the laptop to the other side, weaving the strands between each other. Do this for all four pairs so that it's symmetrical.
The second picture just gives the general shape of what it's going to end up as.
Step 9: The Last Set of Cross Knots, I Swear
Take each pair of strands and do another set of cross knots. These are the last set, I promise you. Once those are done and evenly spaced, cross the strands in the same over-under pattern. Do this for both sides of the laptop.
Step 10: Cobra Stitch
Take each pair of strands and loop them over the strands that you taped down to the laptop (if you opted to use tape)
Once you loop them over, start a cobra stitch down where you just came from and go until you like the length. Do this to both sides.
Before your cobra stitch gets too far, make sure you pull the strands taut until you're tugging at the handle-tape a bit. This will keep the laptop much snugger in the harness and keep it safe.
Step 11: Trim and Burn!
I recommend very much that you take the harness OFF of the laptop to trim and burn the ends from the cobra stitch. Afterwards you can put it back on and appreciate it a moment or two.
And I shouldn't need to remind you that fire is dangerous as is molten paracord. Don't get either on you.
Step 12: Handles!
Take those strands (mine were 6' and gave me about 7" of handle each) you set aside waaaay back at the beginning back out! Its time to put some handles on this sucker. Take the tape off the center of the strands from before and start your cobra stitch wherever you'd like your handle to begin.
When your handles are as long as you'd like it to be, trim and burn the ends.
Step 13: Finished!
First Prize in the