In this quick overview I demonstrate how I made a paracord jump rope.
Making a jump rope our of paracord is a very practical project. A jump rope is mostly defined by length and making your own jump rope, you can control that! Indeed, the jump rope I made fits me perfectly and is a joy to use. I also made it quite decorative by using a variety of techniques I have featured on the site before. So this article will demonstrate the steps I took to make this fun item.
Naturally, being able to control the length of the jump rope is not the only benefit. It is also quite affordable and in my opinion of good quality (as good as you can make it). This project can range from beginner to advanced, depending on the techniques you decide to use.
So, let’s see how I make this style of jump ropes!
The supplies needed
To make the paracord jump rope you will need:
- paracord 550 (you will need 3 cords that are twisted for the main rope, cord for plaiting over the handles and cord for the decorative knots).
- a few smaller pieces of cord that we will place around the dowel rod to make it a bit bulkier and to make the handle round.
- a dowel rod that you can split in two. This will serve as the core of the jump rope. Mine was about 3/8 of an inch thick.
- a few scraps of leather that will go under the decorative knots to raise them up a bit (more on this later). I cut my leather out of an old belt.
- a few rubber bands for holding the plait (optional)
- two coins or conchos for the bottom of the handle.
- a mandrel and a lacing needle to tie your decorative knots.
- scissors and a lighter.
This list will make much more sense once you see the steps in making the actual jump rope. See below.
Making the jump rope, step by step
In this part of the tutorial I will list and demonstrate the techniques I used to make this jump rope. This video also provides some insight into the project.
Naturally if you have a better way of accomplishing a certain step, go for it. All in all, the most important thing is to get the feel for the basic concept, after which you can design your own version easily.
The first step is to cut the three cords needed for the main rope, which are then twisted into a thicker rope. Before cutting, try out the length and take about a foot or two more. You will need this extra cord to attach the rope to the handle.
The rope is then twisted. This is done using a rope twisting technique I presented in this tutorial. I start about a foot from the ends of the three cords, then twist until I reach a length about a foot from the ends on the other side. This means that basically the ends on both sides are not twisted all the way. I secure each end with a crown knot, but you can also just wrap them using a piece of rope.
Next I cut two pieces of a dowel rod. These will serve as the core for our jump rope. The length is your personal preference, in my case just under half a foot.
The three ends, along with a couple of other smaller pieces of cord are then placed around the dowel rod core and secured using a rubber band at the top and bottom.
Using a longer, gutted piece of paracord, I then wrap around this core. This is done tightly. This provides a round core for the handle. The rounder the core, the better looking the plait.
The handle is then plaited over. I used the 12 strand gaucho plait here, but it is quite a task. There are a bunch of handle covering designs in the paracord knots section of this site, as well as the paracord projects section. Choose one you like and go for it.
As you can see, I use an inner strand to secure the end of the plait. Do this tightly and then cut off the ends.
The plaited handle.
We then cut a few small strips of leather.
This leather is then placed at the end and the top of the handle to provide a collar onto which you tighten your decorative knot. This gives it more of an oval look. Use some duct tape to secure the leather.
The knot is then tightened around the “collar”. I used a couple of coins at the bottom of the handle to decorate it further.
Once you have done both handles, you have a jump rope you can be proud to use.
This project was really fun to do. I am sure though, that there are many questions that will arise after you have read all of this. Don’t hesitate asking, I try to help when I can!
Be sure to also see the video that shows the steps above: