Did you miss me yesterday? Well, I’m telling you the lazy days of summer are not LOL! OK, I have to be honest, they are a bit lazy because I have had time to whip up these beauties using my hubby’s stash of parachute cord:
The best thing is that my kids love making these too! I’ll be showing you a paracord bracelet with a feminine twist later this week, maybe even tomorrow if I have my act together;) Paracord is very easy to work with, it is strong which means our paracord creations can be undone in a survival situation and you have several feet of rope at your disposal and the cord is durable, it won’t fray if you burn the ends and it has a bit of “slip” to it so it is great to learn knot tying and macrame techniques. It is also easier to handle then braiding cord for young jewelry makers. Also, it is rugged and manly, boys won’t mind a “survival” bracelet, key-chain or zipper pull! Now that I have sold you on the power or paracord here is a quick tutorial to show you how to make a paracord ball key-chain:
When you are buying paracord don’t go to the craft store unless you want to get ripped off. Go to a military supply store where it is much cheaper (100 feet for about $7 vs. Joann 16 feet for $2.49) Joann also sells the little balls we just made for $3 each. Aren’t you glad you saw this before you bought one;)
So if you want to make a necklace leave an 8″ tail when you make your ball. After the ball is made hold the cord around your neck to determine the length you want and cut both ends to length. Burn one end (remember this is a adult only job and use the blue part of the lighter flame so you don’t discolor the cord) and quickly attach a small ribbon end. I am really excited because I have a use for all of the small ribbon ends I have leftover from the Blue Moon multipacks I buy, I always use up the larger ones but not the little ones, yay!
Attaching the clasp is another adult job, not that is is dangerous but if you are anything like me you will be using language you do not want your children to hear when attaching the small barrel clasps and split rings. Why barrel clasps and split rings then, you ask? Here’s why, A split ring is like a jump ring on steroids, it has two wraps of wire (like a teeny key ring) so there is no open area or weak spot. If I used a jump ring on the ribbon end chances are the thin metal loop would wiggle it’s way through the split in the ring. Also where the split ring attaches to the swivel loop on the barrel clasp you want the thickness of the 2 wraps to keep that from slipping off as well. Why a barrel clasp? Well, honestly I don’t care for them very much but I always seem to have a ton of them, they come in jewelry grab bags and finding kits and I am pretty sure they breed and multiply in my storage box when I am not looking. Also the barrel clasp is very small, easy to close and plain so good for these unisex necklaces. I highly recommend investing in a pair of split ring pliers if you plan on using split rings very often, or if you need to open key rings a lot to save wear and tear on your fingernails. I bought mine at Joann with a coupon, it was the bead buddy brand and it was only $10 regular price. No need to spend a ton. They are worth their weight in rescued fingernails! 😀
So here is the way I attached the clap to the necklace, sorry about the above tangent…
- Burn ends of cord and attach ribbon ends with nylon jaw pliers.
- Attach split rings to each ribbon end.
- Open loops on barrel clasp by twisting with small pliers (the same way you open a jumpring) and attach to the split ring, close the loops and make sure they are secure.
I explain how to attach the ball to a key ring in the video. To finish the key ring trim the cord 1/4″ from knot, burn ends and press into knot to secure by melting. If you notice some of the white core of the cord showing you can touch it up with a permanent marker. Classy.
I think I will get some white and dark green cord and make 2 toned necklaces in girl scout colors and school colors too. I love the look of the neon cord too, a very “in” trend in jewelry and fashion this year not to mention that nautical inspired jewelry is very hot right now, I think I need to find some anchor clasps and charms! Oh the possibilities of paracord!
Let me know if you have any questions and til next time happy crafting!