Paracord lanyard is a tool for the travelers with which they can secure their essential items required for their journey. It’s a handy tool for keeping cards, knives, keys or can be used in case of emergency wounds. Paracord is a nylon rope that was used in American parachutes during WW2 for suspension. Then the soldiers realized its great potential for further usage. Paracord can take 550 pounds of weight. Whereas there are many different materials for making lanyards, paracord is the most effective one in terms of endurance, durability, and security.
Paracord lanyard knot is not anything specific but can be made using different techniques, styles, braids, and designs. The knot is the most important factor in a paracord lanyard since it decides the usage of the thing. The paracord lanyard instructions, the knots, the benefits of using it and the different kinds of this lanyard are all described in details in the paragraphs to come.
How to make a paracord lanyard?
There are several ways of making a paracord lanyard. The most widely used among them is the “king cobra” design. The method is described in details in the following sections.
Things You’ll Need
Only having a paracord isn’t enough for making a lanyard. These are the things that are necessary to make a paracord lanyard.
- 550 paracord of 12 feet
- Metal clip
- Rubber band
- Snap hook
Steps You Need to Follow
After getting the materials from surplus, outdoor or camping stores, it’s time to start braiding the lanyard. The paracord lanyard instructions will be discussed in details in the following sections.
Get the paracord ready
Always remember to take a good amount of paracord. A typical lanyard usually needs 6-13 feet of paracord. It’s always safe to keep an excess of paracord lest you should run out of material. Next, follow these steps:
- Fold the entire paracord in half
- Use a rubber band for tying the top of the fold for marking the center of the paracord
Tie the knot
For tying a lanyard knot, you will need a piece of paper that will hold things up for you so you can have your both hands free to tie the knot.
- Take the piece of paper and vertically put two holes in it with inches apart
- The looped end of the paracord should be on the left side of the paper and the loose ends on the right
- Insert the paracord through the bottom hole of the paper and pull until the looped end and the paper is flush against each other
- Take the paracord that you’ve inserted from behind the paper and make a loop near the area of the paper hole
- Take the paracord that you’ve inserted through the top hole and keep it under the loop. Place the paracord in the middle of the loop
- Place the upper cord under the tail cord of the bottom loop
- The top cord now looks like a “pupil” and the loop looks like an “eyeball”
- Place the free end of the paracord down through the eyeball’s right side and under the pupil and again up through the eyeball’s left side
- Tighten the knot a little by pulling both ends of the cords
- Bring the paracord that comes from the bottom of the knot to the knot’s right side through the top hole where the other cords are coming from. Under it, there’ll be all the upper cords. You have a free end coming through the “eyeball” center
- Now bring the other free end around the knot’s left side through the bottom hole to make it come through the “eyeball” of the knot
- While holding the loop on the other side of the paper, tear the paper off
- Pull both free ends of the cords while you hold the looped cord
- The knot’s looped side needs to have a loop of two inches. This is the center of the paracord
Simplify the knot if the lanyard knot is too complex for you
The lanyard knot is overwhelming and complicated for the beginners. There’s an easier method of making a knot- the overhand knot. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating an overhand knot:
- Make a loop using both ends of the rope
- Tuck the rope’s end into the loop. You can now place the loop wherever you like in the rope
- Pull the knot tight by grabbing the ends of the rope
You have the knot ready. Now what? Here’s how you braid it
Braiding is where a paracord becomes different than other. Braiding also decides the endurance and durability of a paracord lanyard. The step by step guide for braiding is described in the next section.
Connect your paracord to a carabiner
- Attach the paracord with a metal ring or a carabiner
- Feed both ends of the paracord through the ring’s loop
- Keep pulling the ends until the loop is 5 inches away from the clip’s base
Create the Cobra Stitch
After following the previous steps and the loop is set at 5 inches down from the clip’s base, these are the steps to make a cobra stitch:
- Fold the left hand to the right, over and across the two cords in the center
- Pass the right-hand paracord on top of the left-hand paracord’s tail, then lead it under the two cords in the center and up through the left-hand paracord’s loop
- Pull all the loose ends firmly
- For the next knot, follow the same direction except do it reversely. You start with the right-hand cord and then go to the left
- The next knot will again start from the alternate direction from the previous one
- Keep up with the process until there are 11 knots on both side of the lanyard
- When you think the piece is done, cut off the extra parts and melt the loose ends
Create the King Cobra Stitch
King cobra stitch method follows the same route as the cobra stitch. But it’s done over an existing cobra stitch. Following this method will make the lanyard thicker.
- Continue the same technique as the cobra stitching but start with making the first loop with the cord that just went under a loop
- The king cobra stitches require you to push the knots up with the fingers so they can be even
- All the sides of the king cobra stitch will eventually end up matching the spaces between the actual cobra stitches
Paracord lanyard snake knot
Snake knot is another popular method used on the lanyards. Generally, two colors are used for this kind of knot, and the knot is used mostly to hang a knife on its loop. Here’s the procedure for making a snake knot:
- Get two 6 feet of paracords for a 6 inches long lanyard
- Melt the paracords’ ends
- Perform a double overhand knot
- Make a loop with the left paracord and keep the right one behind the loop
- Move the right paracord to the front and insert it through the loop
- Bring the paracord going through the loop behind and to the left of the first loop. Take it up, over, down and then through the loop
- Pull the whole thing tightly. Keep this part close to the double overhand knot
- Loosen the right-hand stitch and let the other paracord go through that stitch. Take it back, up, over and through the loose stitch. Tighten it
- Flip the whole thing over and follow the previous steps
- Always flip the paracord over each time after pulling it through a stitch
- Repeat the whole thing until you’ve got your desired size
- Cut, burn and melt like the previous methods that are discussed, and you have your paracord lanyard snake knot
Get rid of the loose ends
There will always be loose ends after making a paracord lanyard. These loose ends will only render all the knots and the braiding useless. So you must assure you get rid of the loose ends to finally have for yourself an effective lanyard. Only after making sure the loose ends of the paracord are secured, you can use the lanyard.
- After being over with the stitching, cut off the cord’s loose ends
- Leave ¼-inch space on the clipped ends and melt each clipped end individually with a lighter
- Use the lower part of the flame so you don’t burn the paracord but melt it
- Push the melted part with the metal part of the lighter
- Eventually, the melted paracord will cool down and connect with the rest of the lanyard
Enjoying the versatility of paracord lanyards
Not only paracord lanyards come in handy while traveling, touring, trekking or mountaineering but they also can be used in making regular stuff. You can make your own paracord lanyard necklace, belts, and bracelets. Whereas it might appear complicated at first to create your own belt or bracelet, it would come easy after you’ve done the whole process once. Here the making of bracelet and belt will be discussed step by step.
Make a bracelet that matches with your outfit
Bracelets are probably the easiest handmade stuff that most of us know how to make. However, a patterned bracelet like a paracord lanyard bracelet might need a little more effort than any regular bracelets. However, the end result will always leave the user satisfied. In the following sections, the necessary materials and the steps to make a paracord bracelet are described in details.
These are the materials that go into the making of a paracord bracelet:
- Different colored paracords
- Buckle for bracelet
- Scissors or knife
Steps to follow
The steps towards making a successful paracord bracelet:
- Take two paracords, melt their edges and join them together
- Thread the paracords through the bracelet buckle’s one end and tighten
- Thread the loose edges of the paracords through the remaining buckle
- Set the paracord’s length between the two buckles depending on the measurement of your wrist
- Position the bracelet as such that the two edges that come through the adjustable buckle come out facing you (and not down)
- Imagine one of the paracords is black and the other is orange
- Make a loop using the orange cord over and behind the bracelet and then through itself
- Pull and tighten the first knot
- Make the same knot with the black one
- Repeat the process
- At the end of the bracelet, use Diamond knot- thread the opposite ends through the opposite loop- to finish the braid
- Make a noose using the black cord
- Place the orange cord over the black, move it behind to thread through the black noose and tighten
- Cut the heads of the cords and melt the edges
Another model of this bracelet is without the buckle. For this, you will need to make a noose on an end and a king knot on the other end to attach that noose.
Make a belt that suits your outfit
For making a belt using paracord comes in handy but for the beginners, it is a very careful and extensive process that requires concentration and practice. The materials and the steps are described in details in the following sections.
The things you need to check before you make a belt using the procedure:
- Make sure to measure your weight first
- For a 32 inches waist, you’ll need 50 feet of paracord (if you’re using the 550)
- Confirm that you have your belt buckle, scissors/knife and lighter
Steps to follow
Following these steps will ensure you to have a great and self-made belt using the paracord:
- Start with melting the edges of the paracord so they don’t get untangled
- Thread one edge of the paracord through the belt buckle
- Make 4 loops around the buckle and arrange the cords parallel to one another
- Knot the end of the cord so it gets stuck with the buckle
- Make a loop of finger-length with the rest of cord and tie it through the four cords on the belt buckle. It will be likely to look like a noose
- The continuing end of the cord needs to be on the top and the other end on the bottom
- Spread two (that are next to the noose) of the four cords attached to the buckle
- Use a pencil to pull the free cord from the loop
- Pull the cord until it becomes the same length as the first loop. The second noose is ready
- Repeat the process to work with the rest of the buckle loops. The product now looks like a hand with four fingers
- You’ll finally have four slack loops. Now make a noose through these 4 loops like in the beginning and make sure you make it tight
- Start tightening the “finger” loops from left to right. When you pull the second loop, the first one will tighten and when you pull the third, the second will tighten, etc.
- Pulling the last loop will make it look like second loop’s mirror image
- Pull the bottom part of the second noose to fix the last “finger” loop
- Repeat the whole process
- At the end of the process, there would be four final “finger” loops. Thread the loops through the other part of the bucket
- The untied free paracord end should not go through the bucket. Make a noose with it
- The four finger loops need threading with that noose
- Thread the free paracord end through this last noose to tighten
- Cut the free cord 2-3 inches from the place it’s tightened, melt and burn the edges with cuts
Finally, you have a beautiful belt using the paracord lanyard.
A few variations to consider
Paracord lanyards don’t have to conform to one single norm to be good. There are always scopes for variations and experimentations. The possible variations of these lanyards are briefly discussed in the following sections.
As the name suggests, there would be more than one color in multi-colored lanyards. You can weave green and black in a king cobra stitch to get a variation. Here’s how to make it:
- Take 7 feet of green and black paracord each
- Make cobra stitches with the black paracord. Follow the steps in this article
- Cut the heads and melt the loose ends
- Take the green cord and do the king cobra stitches over the cobra stitch
The double-loop lanyard has loops on both ends. Many prefer it over the regular design specifically because of its bearing ability, ease of use and security it provides. It also gives comfort to the user since users tend to get indecisive about whether to use the loop for attaching the lanyard or the tools (keys, knives, etc.).
This extra-long lanyard comes in handy for attaching things with vests or bags. Making a longer lanyard means giving extra effort but it’s really useful when you want to attach something but a typical-sized lanyard doesn’t cover the distance. You can attach a multi-tool on one end of it and attach the other end with a clip on your vest. It’s also more secure and there’s no risk of losing it.
Lumpy style for carabiners
This lanyard knotting uses a full-size carabiner instead of a ring and is safer than a usual lanyard. This style takes in the king cobra stitch as its method. Some people combine two colors for giving the lanyard an exquisite pattern. Carabiners provide useful protection in trekking. Using this method might take up one foot of extra cord than the usual lanyard.
Other uses of paracord lanyards
Lanyards are a very flexible thing to use in accordance to one’s own liking. Many even use it for the sole purpose of tackling emergency situations like treating a wound. But its primary use is to hold small items and tools. However, that can also be done using either of the following methods:
- Attach the metal clip/loop with a belt loop and use the other end to hold tools
- Use the belt to go through the loop and the clip side to hold keys
To use the loop end for holding keys is as simple as using the clip for it. Just slide the keys onto the end where the loop is and then insert the other end of the lanyard through the loop, and the keys are locked.
As it has been already mentioned in the article that there are myriads of possibilities with a paracord lanyard, the benefits of it can always be extended. You can always use the technique you’ve learned to make your own custom made pouches, handles, necklaces, bags, etc. These lanyards have become quite popular due to its lightweight material and the usages it provides in both fashion and survival.
There are not many tools that offer so many conveniences. And if you learn to knot the paracord, you’d also feel confident in yourself when you’re on trekking or on a tour. Your handmade lanyard itself can save you from the turmoil in the wilderness.