How to create a Custom Braided Keychain
With the right materials and the right knots, you can make just about anything that’s going to be pulled on both durable and attractive. You can make braided keychains, dog leads and even sunglass cords. They’ll last a long time and they’re an attractive way to create a custom piece for yourself or a friend. Here are a few tips and suggestions to make your own custom braided keychains and accessories.
* Cord. The amount of cord you need depends on what you are making. For a keychain you’ll need about twenty inches of medium thickness cord. If you’re using a basic braid, you’ll need three strands of this cord in your choice of colour and material. Leather is strong and supple but it’s also expensive. Nylon cord is extremely durable and weather friendly. You can also buy hemp or cotton cord.
* Key ring if you’re making a keychain, or a fastener (aka a snap) if you're making a dog lead. And if you’re making a sunglass cord then you’ll need two eye glass holders, which you can find at a bead or craft store.
Step #1 Decide what you’re going to make and the colours you’d like to use. Choose your cord and your implements.
Step #2 We’re going to stick with a basic braid; however, there are many knots you can use to vary the design of your custom piece. A standard braid has three cords and you systematically place the outside cord over the one in the middle. Switching from the left side to the right side you continue to fold the cords over one another until you’ve used up the length of your cord.
Of course before you begin braiding you’ll want to tie a knot in one end of your cords. A basic overhand knot should do the trick. Now start braiding.
Step #3 Make your way along the braid and tighten the cords as you fold them over one another.
If you're making a keychain, as you near one end you’re going to want to simply place your key ring in the fold so it gets wrapped up too. This will hold your key ring in the braid.
Once you’ve reached a desired length for your keychain, probably around eight inches, you’ll untie your original knot and tie it together with the loose end of your braid, thus creating a loop. Tighten the knot and trim the cords so they’re all even length. You can now add keys to the key ring and use it.
If you’re creating a dog lead you’ll essentially do the same process; however, in order to attach the fastener to the braid you’re going to want to find the midpoint of your cords and fold them over the loop in your fastener. Now you’ll have six cords dangling from the fastener. Grab the two outside cords on your right, fold them over the cords in the middle, then grab the two cords on your left and fold them over the cords in the middle.
Repeat this process until you reach the end of your cord. Tie a knot in the end. To make a handle you can fold the cord over so you have a good-sized loop, and use duct tape to adhere the two braids together. You can also sew them together if you want a more polished look.
To make a sunglass holder, simply create a long braid and braid the two eyeglass holders into the ends of your braid. Tie a knot to keep it from unravelling and you’re ready to go.
Braiding is an easy knot to use to make a variety of custom accessories. The real creativity comes in choosing your materials. Have fun braiding!