Set far apart from those plastic woven braids is Paracord Braiding which is done with a nylon all around utility cord commonly known as paracord 550.  It is a tough, long lasting cord developed by the military during WWII for U.S. paratroopers.  If you are just beginning with your first paracord-braiding project, you should try to make something somewhat easy until your confidence builds – and it will build fast after your first braiding project .

It would be best to start your braiding using items you can wrap the paracord around at each end to keep the weave as tight as possible.  There are jigs available at a variety of places or you can even make your own with nails tapped partially into a workbench or short 2×4 short enough that can fit in your lap.

Creating braids with more extensive weave patterns like a “cobra stitch” will take much more paracord, for a belt you would need 50 to 70 feet.  For smaller items like key chains or bracelets you will need about 15 feet.  You should almost always get more line than you initially think just to be safe by having enough.

So the first and best place to start with paracord braiding might be to start with a cobra stitch keychain.  You will be very impressed with your first braid.  The paracord cobra stitch keychains are very popular in high school and colleges with the school colors braided in.  They also are quick, easy to make and make great thoughtful gifts.  Things you’ll need – 1 Split ring, 36” of paracord (two colors if you like), and scissors.

Start:

  1. Fold the length of cord into two making the two loose ends reach the same length.
  2. Pass the loop (or middle of the two ends) through the split ring, and pull it through far enough to meet the two ends. Hold the split ring (or attach to a nail or lay on a flat surface) so that the middle loop and two ends are hanging down.  Adjust the loop to about 1 inch longer than the length of key chain you are trying to make.
  3. Separate each loose end of cording to either side of the center loop.
  4. Pick up the right side loose end cord and bring over the two center (loop) cords making a P or 4 shaped arc to the left side and then another P or 4 shape to the right side. (This righttoleft side bring should appear as a backwards looking P or a backwards looking 4, and step 6 below will have the cord drawn lefttoright and will look like a normal P or a normal 4)
  5. Grab the cord on the right and pass it down and into the loop on the right side, then around the back of the two loop strings and then up through the left side loop.  Pull the cords to make symmetric and then snuggle and work them to pull them tight together.
  6. Repeat step 4 but this time starting with the left side and do the same, repeating the step but in the opposite direction making a normal P or normal 4 shape.
  7. Repeat the actions of step 5 now, but grabbing the cord on the left and passing it down through the loop on the right side and up through the right side loop.
  8. Repeat these steps 4 – 7 progressing the weave to the length you decided (or about) in step 2 (length of keychain you are trying to make).
  9. Trim the two loose ends when finished weaving and seal each end with a flame coming close enough to each end held separately to fuse and stop any fraying.  The loop left exposed at the bottom of the weave is the end of the key chain.
  10. Attach your keys to the split ring and you are done.

So many things to make with different colors of this super cord, try these and amaze your friends and maybe you too…

A Keychain that make it easy to find in your pocket or purse weaved with a square flat pattern and especially with school colors.

A Necklace weaved in many ways including the double cobra weave that create personal and lasting gift ideas.

A Dog Collar that is comfortable for your dog, can be your favorite colors and is extremely strong even after many uses.

Endless varieties of paracord colors are obviously available, look around, learn and come back to these pages for new ideas.  We will add interesting topics all the time.