Paracord is an excellent material to make dog leashes from. It is light weight, durable and can be washed if it gets dirty. This tutorial will show you how to make a paracord dog leash using the four strand flat braid technique.
Tools and Supplies
You will need paracord, two hemostat clamps, a wood burning tool, a C-clamp, four rubber bands, and a dog leash snap.
Getting Started With The Paracord
BEFORE you start braiding, the paracord must be preshrunk. If you don’t preshrink your paracord, the first time your leash gets wet, the braid work will get all misshapen and lumpy. I like to preshrink my paracord in batches so that I always have plenty on hand for whenever I want to make a new project.
To preshrink the paracord, soak it in hot water for 10 minutes and hang it to air dry. you can also put the paracord in a knotted pillow case, wash in the washer then place it in the dryer.
To determine how much paracord you will need for this leash, break down the project into inches and multiply by four. I am making a 5 foot leash with a six inch allowance for the handle, so my project is 66 inches long. 66 X 4 = 264 inches. So I will need TWO paracord strands that are EACH 264 inches long.
Thread the two sets of paracord strands through the eyelet of the snap and arrange them in equal lengths.
To keep the cords from tangling when you are braiding, it is useful to make braiding bundles of the paracord. Starting from the END of the cords, wind the cord in a figure eight pattern around your thumb and pinky like this;
Secure the bundles loosely with a rubber band. Everytime you need more cord to braid with, pull a little bit of cord out of the bundle.
STEP 1 – Braiding Move One
For ease of demonstration, I fused paracord of different colours together.
Cross PINK over TAN. TURQUOISE lays to the left of TAN and BLUE lays to the right of PINK
STEP 2- Braiding Move Two
Now Cross TURQUOISE over TAN
STEP 3 – Braiding Move Three
Cross BLUE under PINK and over TURQUOISE
You have now created the building blocks of the four strand flat braid. To continue braiding, repeat the above steps as illustrated below
STEP 4 – Making The Handle Loop
Continue braiding until you have made 66 inches of braid. To secure the cord ends, clamp them with a hemostat clamp. Now measure 60 inches and fold the remaining six inches back onto the leash. To secure the handle to the leash you will have to backbraid it onto the braid.
STEP 5 – Back Braid Move One
Find a place on the braid where the TAN cord runs through, poke a hemostat clamp through, grasp the loose end of the TAN cord, clamp the hemostat closed and pull through.
STEP 6 – Back Braid Move Two
Find a place on the braid where the TURQUOISE cord runs through, poke a hemostat clamp through, grasp the loose end of the TURQUOISE cord, clamp the hemostat closed and pull through.
STEP 7 – Back Braid Move Three
You can now release the hemostat that was securing the loose cords together. Find a place on the braid where the BLUE cord runs through, poke a hemostat clamp through, grasp the loose end of the BLUE cord, clamp the hemostat closed and pull through.
STEP 8 – Back Braid Move Four
Find a place on the braid where the PINK cord runs through, poke a hemostat clamp through, grasp the loose end of the PINK cord, clamp the hemostat closed and pull through.
Repeat the back braiding process a few times more until the handle is securely attached to the leash.
STEP 9 – Finishing The Handle Loop
You now have the loose ends that must be finished. Cut the cords off, fairly close to the braid, as illustrated below
The ends can now be melted with the wood burning tool that has been preheated. Run the hot wood burning tool in a sweeping motion over the cord ends until they are melted against the same coloured cord lying below it.
The finished melted ends will look like this;