Teenage Boys Get Creative – Paracord Bracelets

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Paracord bracelets are even cooler than they look. They’re made of a long length of paracord- that you can quickly unravel if you find yourself lost in a deep, dark wood, and need some emergency cord that can hold hundreds of pounds of weight.

 

paracord bracelets

 

Did you know that the finer cords inside can be pulled out and used as sewing thread or fishing line? This kind of cool material is appealing to people like my step son, who are into survival-type materials. I asked Erik to show me how he makes his bracelets, and he did a ton of research before he started making them. His technique is shown below.

*Please note in the following steps that he uses a lighter. I’m providing this not so much as a tutorial for kids, but to feature his embracing creativity in a way that appeals to him.*

 

His materials include: plastic buckles, paracord, a Zippo lighter, a knife (because scissors are boring).

paracord_bracelet_materials

 

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First, he measures out 9′ of paracord and cuts it (with the cool knife.) Then he passes the flame sof the lighter back and forth over the end of the cord a few times. This burns away the inner fibers and melts the plastic of the cord onto itself so the ends don’t fray. He uses wet fingers to manipulate the end together while it’s still pretty hot- it looked slightly painful.

 

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Next, he passes the two ends through the bottom slot in the male end of the plastic buckle, pulls them through…..

 

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and passes them through the loop end of the cord…

 

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and pulls tight.

 

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Then he sticks the end through the female end of the plastic buckle, and pulls the buckle toward the other end of the buckle to approximate bracelet length.

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He wraps the bracelet around his wrist, adds on about 1/2″ and places the buckle end at that point. Next he starts the braiding process.

 

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Left cord goes up and under the two above.

 

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Right cord goes up, under left cord and over the two above.

 

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Then down through the loop on the left.

 

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This is the first knot.

 

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Next, he repeats the process, but starts on the right side. He takes the right cord up and under the top cords….

 

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Left cord goes up and under the right cord…

 

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Over the top cords, and through the loop on the right.

 

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Pull tight. He continues this process, tugging the knots down snugly as he works.

 

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When he’s knotted up the whole bracelet length, he cuts the ends and breaks out the old lighter again to melt and manipulate together these ends.

 

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He works the ends into the back of the bracelet as well, so it won’t unravel.

 

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The finished product is pretty cool. This one ended up being a little small for Fen, for whom it was intended, but Beckett rocked it for a while when we told him it was a superhero bracelet.

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6 Comments

  1. 01/14/2013 / 10:55 am

    Very cool!

    I used that braiding technique to make many macrame plant hangers back when I was a teen. We didn’t know how to do cool things like this. Or maybe I just wasn’t cool enough…. probably.

    • 01/14/2013 / 11:55 am

      Ha! Macrame grows up. Maybe I’ll ask him to make me a plant hanger.

  2. 01/15/2013 / 8:13 am

    Boy crafts using fire and knives. *sweet* I’ll show this to the teenager.

    • 01/16/2013 / 11:23 am

      That’s what I like to see! A mom who’s not afraid to encourage dangerous activities for their kids.

  3. 01/15/2013 / 9:30 pm

    That is so cool! My girls would love to make these. Can I buy a kit to make these from you? Please? Sign me up!

    • 01/16/2013 / 11:24 am

      Okay, I’m thinking I may have to just open an art supply store.

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