Paracord is an awesome cord to use for braiding! It’s tough, lightweight, washable and virtually indestructible! This tutorial will show you how to make a “manly” collar for your dog using the seesaw or zigzag knot
Tools & Supplies
You’ll need a few basic tools to make this project. A C-clamp, hemostat clamps, scissors, a lighter, a flexible measuring tape, a 3/4″ plastic snap and D-ring and paracord.
Getting Started With The Paracord
Parachute cord shrinks by 10% when it gets wet. If you don’t preshrink your cord before using it, the first time you walk your dog in the rain, your knotting work will get all lumpy and misshapen.
To preshrink the paracord, soak it in hot water for 5 minutes and then hang it to dry. I like to put bulk lots in a knotted pillowcase, toss in into the washing machine and then dry it in the dryer. This way I always have enough cord on hand when I want to make something.
First, you have to measure your dog’s neck. Choose a place on the neck where you would like the collar to sit & measure snugly with the flexible measuring tape. Then add an inch or two for the dog’s comfort.
To determine how much paracord you will need for your project, take the neck measurement and multiply by four. Jersey’s neck measurement was 18″ X 4 = 72″. So I will need TWO strands of paracord that are EACH 72″ long.
STEP 1 – Putting The Cords and D-ring on the Snap
Fold your cords in half and run each of them through the end of the snap that has the single slot. Now run the D-ring through the cords and place close to the snap. you will now run the loose ends of the cord through the loops of cord that are sticking out of bottom of the snap. Pull the cords tight so that the loops are tight.
STEP 2 – Clamping the Snap Down
Clamp the snap down onto a steady surface like a table. This will keep the snap steady and you will be able to put tension on the cords when you are knotting.
STEP 3 – The First Knot
To make the seesaw knot, we will be knotting alternating half-hitch knots. Take the first colour of cords, bring it behind the second set of cords and through the loop that you have just created. Gently tighten up your knot. Don’t tighten too much or your knot work will begin to twist.
STEP 4 – The Second Knot
You will now take the second colour of cords and make a half-hitch in the OPPOSITE direction.
STEP 5 – The Third Knot
Take the first colour of cord and make a knot in the same direction as you did with knot 1. Keep knotting in alternate directions until you make a knotted cord two inches less than your final measurement. Don’t forget to take the snap into account when taking your measurement. I stopped knotting at 16″
STEP 6 – Attaching the Loose Cords To The Snap
Run your loose cords through the double slotted end of the cord and leave a one inch length of cord from the end of your knotting work.
STEP 7 – Finishing The Cord Ends Part 1
Since we are making a dog collar, fastening the ends properly is paramount! The attachment has to be strong, sturdy and can’t come undone. Walking your dog and having the collar break is not cool.
Take two cords of different colours, run then around the front and through the top of the loop that you have created on the back side of the collar. The front of the collar will look like this;
Lay the cords that did not make the knot flat against the backside of the collar. Tighten the knot as much as it will go.
STEP 8 – Finishing The Cord Ends Part Two
This is where your hemostat clamp comes in handy. If you don’t have a hemostat, that’s okay. This knotting work isn’t really tight, so a pair of needle nose pliers will work just fine. Find where the turquoise cord passes under a blue cord. Pass the hemostat underneath the blue cord, grasp the turquoise cord with the hemostats and pull through. Repeat this with the blue cord. Do this “back knotting” one more time . Now stretch the collar out with your hands and trim the cords as close as you can to the collar.
STEP 9 – Melting The Cord Ends
*NOTE* hot plastic isn’t fun and can burn you pretty bad! Use caution when melting the cord ends!!
You will notice in this picture that the turquoise set of cords are melted and the blue cords are cut and ready to be melted. Take your lighter and place the flame as close as you can to the cut cords. You really need them to get nice and melty. When the cord ends turn brown and get bubbly, take the flat side of your scissors and press the hot cord onto the collar. You might have to have another pass with the lighter if the cords haven’t fused properly. When both ends are melted, they’ll look like this;
STEP 10 – Put It On Your Dog
I know that Jersey looks like a hostage victim, but doesn’t she look great? Enjoy your new collar! If it gets dirty or smelly, just toss it into the washing machine.