Learn how to make a paracord keychain. 550 cord keychains are great for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Below I will show you how to make your own 550 cord keychain. Feel free to browse our selection of genuine MIL–5040H Type III 550 Paracord to use for your bracelet.
What you’ll need:
1. 550 Paracord
3. Tape Measure/Ruler
6. Keychain “O” Ring
7. Binder Clip (Optional)
Step 1: Starting With A Basic Cow Hitch
In this step, we will start by creating a simple cow hitch. Start by folding your cord in half.
1. In part one of the diagram you will take the midway point of your folded cord and place it through your “O” ring.
2. Now take the loose ends of the cord and place it through the midway point like shown in part 2 of the diagram.
3. Pull tight and you now have your cow hitch. Make sure the two ends are equal lengths. If not, simply adjust accordingly.
Step 2: Prepping Your Inner Cords
The numbers correspond to the parts in the diagram. Follow closely, because the pictures greatly help the description.
1. Place your loose ends through the bottom of the carabiner and give yourself about 4 inches from the “O” ring to the carabiner.
2. Fold the cord over and bring it so it meets up with the “O” ring.
3. Attach the paper clip to hold the cord in place right up against the cow hitch.
4. Fold the cord back up and bring it towards the carabiner.
Step 3: Starting Your First Cobra Braid
1. Take your left loose cord and make a loop like shown in part 1 of the diagram. Then bring the cord underneath all the other cords and onto the right side of everything.
2. Bring the right loose cord under the cord you had just brought over.
3. Continue that cord over the inner cords and through the loop created in part 1 of the diagram.
4. Tighten everything and get adjusted appropriately so the braid is nice and tight and up against the bottom of the carabiner.
Step 4: Completing Your Second Cobra Braid
1. Take your right loose cord and bring it underneath your inner cords (the cords you’re braiding around).
2. Bring your left cord underneath the cord you just brought over from the right.
3. Continue the left loose cord over the inner cords and up through the loop created in part 2 of the diagram.
4. Tighten accordingly.
Step 5: Tightening Your Braids
1. Hold the body of the keychain (or even the “O” ring) with one hand and take your other hand and push up on the braids using your thumb.
2. This should tighten up everything and allow for more cord to be used in your keychain.
3. More cord = better survival tool.
4. You can do this periodically during your braiding process.
Step 6: Completing Your Third Braid
This step is practically the same as step 5 only reversed.
1. Take your left loose cord and bring it under your inner cords (the cords you’re braiding around).
2. Now take your right loose cord and bring it under the cord you just brought over from the left.
3. Continue this cord over the inner cords and up through the loop created in step 1.
Step 7: Cutting And Lighting The First Remaining Loose End
Alternating, continue the braids all the way to the “O” ring. The numbers in the diagram correspond to the number in the description. There’s multiple ways to finish off your paracord gear. This way is simple, and effective, if done correctly. You are looking for a “Mushroom Head” shape on the end of the cord. This shape will LOCK in the cord from slipping through.
1. Your keychain should look like this.
2. Cut the remaining cord off with your scissors. Leave about an 1/8 of an inch.
3. It should look like this, once cut.
4. Using your lighter, light the end of the cord for 4-5 seconds. Once done lighting, lick your thumb and use it to smoothe over the melting cord to form your “mushroom head”, which will lock in the cord from slipping out from the braid. This is a vital part and, if done correctly, will keep your keychain from falling apart during use.
Step 8: What The “Mushroom Head” Should Look Like
The mushroom head is a little confusing. Hopefully this helps.
1. Notice in this part of the diagram the melted part of the loose end is overlapping the braid and locking itself in place.
2. If you were to take it out the “mushroom head” would look like this. It’s shape enables it stay locked into the braids and keeps the keychain from coming undone.
Step 9: Tightening The Last Braid Before Cutting/Burning Last Part
This step is to ensure your loose ends do not slip out when using your keychain.
1. Use your thumb to smoothen over the molten cord and form a “Mushroom Head” shape with the end of your cord. This will insure your loose end stays locked in, and will not come undone.
2. Pull your remaining loose end tightly. This should tighten up the braid around the “Mushroom Head” you made while burning the other loose end.
Step 10: Cutting And Lighting The Last Loose End
1. Cut the loose end, leaving about 1/8 of an inch.
2. It should look like this.
3. Light the loose end for 4-5 seconds and then using your thumb smooth the molting cord over the braids forming your “Mushroom Head”.
Check out our entire selection of paracord kits here to get you started.