Camp! That magical place filled with silly songs, new friends, canoeing, swimming, and of course, crafts! Camp wouldn’t be the same without a keepsake craft or two to take home. A great camp craft, like these Paracord Zipper Pulls, is one that can be made with a few simple supplies and some basic instructions that kids can repeat on their own. The colorful Paracord pulls look great on backpacks and dufflels, and keep zippers from jangling.
It only takes a few minutes to learn the 2 basic knots used in this zipper pull craft. Once campers get the hang of the knots, they can make 3–4 pulls in a 15 minute craft session.
Supplies for Paracord Zipper Pulls:
- 550 Paracord (2ft length for each)
- Scissors (sharp enough to cut Paracord)
- Grill lighter or other flame (adult helpers only)
Paracord Zipper Pull Instructions:
- Take one 2 ft paracord piece and fold in half, lining up ends. Hold paracord between thumb and fingers, approximately 3 inches from closed end, making a loop with loose ends of cord away from body.
- a) Take right side loose end and loop around to right, crossing cord over top of loop and holding under thumb.
b) Loop left end to left, crossing cord behind loop and holding with fingers.
Hint: kids may find “bunny ears” a good visualization for these steps.
c) Thread top loose end (left side) through left loop toward back. Thread bottom loose end (right side) up through right loop to top. Gently pull loose ends to tighten knot, using fingers and thumb to hold knot in place while tightening.
- Use cobra knots to create end of zipper pull. Tilt the keychain to look at the top of the knot in step 2. For each of the knots in this step, begin the knot using the loose strand that points backwards (away from body).
a) Loop rear‐facing loose end around and over the top of the zipper pull, holding in place with thumb.
b) Wrap remaining loose end forward around first and back to rear, then bring end forward through loop made in (a). Pull ends to tighten securely.
c) Repeat cobra knot (always beginning with rear‐pointing strand) until 2 knots are formed on each side of zipper pull.
- Cut one excess paracord strand close to the knots, leaving approximately 1⁄16 inch of strand. Have an adult use a flame to melt the end of the paracord and use the side of the lighter to press the end into the knot, which will prevent fraying and unraveling. Repeat with remaining paracord end.
Safety Note: Do not use fingers to press melted Paracord ends. Melted plastic is hot, and will burn fingers. Seriously, use the lighter base. Fingers are important, and so are fingerprints.
It only takes a few seconds to cool down, then the zipper pulls are ready to add to a regular zipper. In one craft session, kids can make a handful of brightly colored pulls that they can use for their camp luggage, school backpacks, or sports bags.
For more camping activities and camp‐friendly crafts visit my Camping Activities Posts, which include free printables, family fun ideas, and crafty project ideas.
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