Well, I’ve finally found a crafty hobby that has a large following of boys and men: Paracord Survival Bracelets!   When I decided to teach myself some of the basic paracord bracelet weaving techniques, I discovered dozens of tutorials made by men!  Now that I’ve made a few, I’m obsessed as well.  They are manly friendship bracelets.  Seriously, I looked into why the military might use them, and why they were being sold in my local Boy Scout shops, and I learned a bit about their history.  Paracord is extremely durable and strong cording, but it is also very lightweight.  It is always good to have a length of rope on you in case of an emergency, so paracord bracelets were a way for the military to easily carry several yards of strong cording with them.  There are dozens of different patterns and knotting techniques that you can use to make these bracelets, and I ended up making 3 different bracelets for the Frog.  I made them in his team colors, so that they would match his other swim league swag.
My Mom Made That: Paracord Survival Bracelets in Child's Team Colors

Before this, I had never made any paracord bracelets, but I’ve done a lot of You Tube viewing and read up on different techniques.  I was able to learn how to make the bracelets and do 3 different styles in one evening.  They are quick and fun projects!  To make all 3 of Paracord Bracelets in the picture above, you need about 5 feet of cord in each of your child’s team colors per bracelet, a bracelet buckle per bracelet, a pair of sharp scissors, and a Bic lighter.

To start all 3 of these bracelets, I had to learn how to use a Bic lighter.  (Yup, I hadn’t ever used one before!)  You need a lighter (or a candle would do) in order to join the two pieces of cord together.  In my case, I had to join the red and the black cord together, like this:

My Mom Made That: Paracord Survival Bracelet, why you need a Bic Lighter

To learn how to join the paracord together, and to make sure that I was attaching the buckles together correctly, I found a terrific video by Beadoholique.  There are lots and lots of You Tube videos for paracord weaving out there, but I found that this particular video was explained in a way that made sense to me and was at the right pace.

The most common paracord bracelet pattern, I learned from that video is called the Double cobra, and it looks like this as you are weaving it:

My Mom Made That: Paracord Survival Bracelet Double Cobra Detail

 

This pattern is actually made by making a series of square knots across the center part of the bracelet.  Once you get the idea, it goes very fast.  In fact, I took it apart as the first time through it was a bit too loose for Frog’s wrist.  I did the entire bracelet again in about 5 minutes.

After I finished the first one, I moved onto the second bracelet.  I then found a video for something called the Solomon’s Heart pattern which is a simple variation of the Double Cobra.  If you look closely at the picture, you’ll notice that the pattern looks a bit like black and red hearts.   My Mom Made That: Paracord Survival Bracelet Solomon's Heart

The last bracelet is my favorite.  I saw it on a couple of YouTube videos, but I couldn’t make sense of the instructions.  I’ve decided that men and women approach these projects very differently.  I finally found a super video that required some modification in order for the buckles to work.  The snake knot is basically wrapping one piece of cord around the entire bracelet and then tucking it in the other one, like this:

My Mom Made That: Paracord Sample of Snake Knot

When it’s done it will look like this:

My Mom Made That: Paracord Survival Bracelet Snake's Knot

When you finish all 3 of the bracelet types, you also need to use the Bic Lighter at the end of the weaving, as melting the ends helped prevent the bracelet from unwinding accidentally.  When you reach the bottom of the bracelet, and are near the buckle, you will trim your cord to about 1/4″ and then melt the stump and press it into the rest of the cord.  Be careful it’s hot!

My Mom Made That: Paracord Finishing Bracelet

I had such a good time with these 3 bracelets, so I think I may try my hand at a few more patterns.  However, for now they are a great project for Frog to wear to his summer swim meets!

My Mom Made That: Summer Swim Leauge Button

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