Say you just dropped one of your only mugs and the handle broke off, or maybe you just despise your dull mug handle. What can you do to fix this? That's simple, you can make your very own handle out of one of the most usable items out there, Paracord!
Paracord is a versatile item that you see people making nearly anything with it. Some people make bracelets, others make lanyards, and some people even make wallets out of it. Paracord is the duct tape of rope!
Here we will outline the steps required to make a replacement handle and attach it to your broken mug.
Here is what you need to make your new handle. What you will need to make your new handle:
- A broken mug
- You can break your own mug as well if you want to replace the handle (Be careful to not damage the rest of the mug if you decide to do this)
- 20 - 30 ft of 550 paracord
- Use more or less depending on your mug size, but remember, more is better as you will remove the extra cord and can't easily add cord
- A sharp pocket knife will work just as well. Mostly any cutting utensil will get the job done
- You can also use matches. Just anything to melt the paracord
- Sanding paper
- You can use any grit, I used 150 grit because it was on hand
- You can use any kind, but electrical tape is the easiest to use from my experience
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Step 1: Sanding the Sharp Edges
First thing you need to do is make sure that your mug doesn't have any sharp edges on it. You don't want those edges cutting the paracord. Using any grit sanding paper, round off all of the sharp edges. This should only take a few minutes.
Note: If there are any large chunks of handle left, make sure to remove it mostly with a hammer. You can't have to large of chunks as it'll disrupt the paracord wrap. Be careful doing this so you don't break your mug further.
Step 2: Create the Paracord Handle
After you no longer have any sharp edges, you need to make the initial handle.
- You need to find the center of your paracord and make a loop as seen in the first picture.
- Then using your tape, tape the cord to the mug with the end of the loop at the bottom and free strings at the top.
- Then feed the loose ends through the loop at the bottom to make the skeleton of your handle
Note: Make sure you make the loop close to the same size as your broken handle. This loop will be the same size as your handle so you need to make sure you have a comfortable handle.
Step 3: Braiding the Handle
The easiest way to begin your braid is to flip your mug over so the loose ends are now at the top.
- Take the loose end to the left of the loop and thread it under the loop over to the right side to make a loop on the left like shown in picture 1
- Take your right cord and bring it under the cord you just brought over from the left, then bring it over the handle and through the loop you created in picture 2
- Tighten the knot you just made
- Now take the right cord and thread it under your handle to the left creating a loop on the right
- Take your left cord and thread it under the cord you just brought over and then bring it over your handle and through the loop created by the right cord in picture 4
- Make sure to tighten this again
Note: Make sure these are tight as your handle will be more rigid the tighter the braids are
Step 4: Finishing the Braid
- Repeat step 3 until you reach the top of the mug.
- Note: I found that flipping the mug over once you get near the top makes it easier to braid. Just remember which end is which when you do this.
- Once you reach the top of the mug, you need to put an overhand knot into each loose end
- Note: Make sure when you tighten these knots, tighten them towards the braid to lock the braid down
Step 5: Begin the Wrap
Once you have finished braiding your handle you need to begin the wrap. This part is crucial as this attaches your handle to the mug.
- First thing you need to do is bring your loose ends to the bottom of the mug and remove the bottom piece of tape like in picture 1
- Next you need to feed your cord through up through the bottom of the handle loop like in picture 2
- After you have fed this through, you need to begin wrapping your mug. Make sure to keep the cord tight
- Note: Make sure the two loose ends aren't twisted up with each other. You can wrap the mug either clockwise or counterclockwise, it doesn't matter
- Continue wrapping until you reach the top of your handle, make sure you remove the other piece of tape.
Step 6: Finish the Wrap
Once you finish wrapping your mug, you need to tie it off to make sure it doesn't come undone. Make sure you keep the cord tight throughout these steps
- Bring the loose ends up through the center of the handle at the top of the beginning loop like in pictures 1 and 2
- Note: Some pliers can help you get these fed through the small gap you have but aren't necessary
- Once the loose are pulled through and everything is tight, bring both ends through the handle
- Bring the right end over the top of the left and tie an overhand knot and tighten it close to the handle like in pictures 3, 4, and 5
- Note: For people with prior knowledge, you are going to make a square knot here
- Next, bring the left end over the right and tie another overhand knot and pull it tight as shown in pictures 6 and 7
Step 7: Removing the Extra Cord
Now you have a completed excess handle, except you have a good amount of excess cord and you're worried that square knot you made might come undone. Here is how you go about finishing your cord ends
- On each loose end of the cord, tie an overhand knot in them and pull them tight to the square knot like in pictures 1 and 2
- Now use your scissors or knife and cut the excess off, but leave a small portion sticking out like in picture 4
- Next, melt those ends with your lighter.
- Note: Be careful not to burn yourself or any other part of the cord besides the ends. If you melt and end up severing the cord, you will need to begin again with more cord
Step 8: Enjoy a Nice Cup of Joe
Now you have a new handle for that broken mug of yours! You should get up and make yourself some coffee and test your handle out.
You shouldn't have any problems holding that cup from now on. You even get a built in insulator to keep your hand from the hot sides.