Friday, April 27, 2007

This tutorial will show how to make a paracord watchband with a side release buckle using the alternate half-hitch. It can also be made without a watch for use as a paracord bracelet, or on a larger scale as a dog or cat collar. More projects, links, knot references can be seen on my blog page, Stormdrane's Blog.

Supplies needed: 10 feet of paracord, scissors, torch lighter, tape measure, a watch with the watchand pins, and a 5/8 inch side release buckle. The 5/8 inch curved buckles can be found at Creative Designworks or ITW Nexus brand ones on ebay, either will work fine. I use paracord with the 7 inner strands from the Supply Captain, but other similar types/diameter of cord will work as well.

Measure your wrist size by taking the end of the length of paracord and wrapping it around your wrist. Take note of where the end meets the other part of the paracord and lay it out along a tape measure to find your wrist measurement.

Attach the watch by sliding the two free ends of cord over the pins, under the watch, and back out over the other pins. Slide the watch to about what will be the halfway point between the two parts of the buckle once the other buckle is attached.

Loop onto the other part of the side release buckle, and loop it a second time so there are four loops filling the gap in the buckle. At this point you make sure the length is your wrist size and no more than a 1/2 inch more than your measured wrist size. The length tends to stretch out as you tie the half-hitches, so before you trim and melt the ends, try it on. You may have to untie it and reset the length making it longer or shorter depending on if it's too loose or tight.

Now you'll start tying the alternate half-hitches by taking the working ends of the paracord, start with the left piece. Take the left cord under the two center cords and then back thru the loop of the left cord and tighten.

Now take the right side cord going under the two center cords and back thru the right loop and tighten. Again with the left, under the two center cords and back thru the left loop, etc.. continuing alternating the left and right cords.

When you get about halfway, run the working ends of cord along side the center cords under the watch and slide the watch tight up against the finished portion before you continue the half-hitches on the other side of the watch.

Keep tying until you reach the other buckle, then you can trim off the excess cord with scissors. Take your torch lighter and melt the ends and press them so they attach to the surrounding cord. *Be careful not to burn yourself on the molten cord, you may use superglue instead of a lighter if you prefer.

You can make the alternate half-hitch without the watch for use as a paracord bracelet, and on a larger scale as a dog or cat collar. You may also use two colors of paracord. If using two colors, instead of one 10 foot piece of paracord, use 5 feet of each color and melt or sew the two ends together and go from there.