Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Theatre Tech Magnetic Survival Bracelet

I'm a sucker for simple solutions for even the most superficial problems, so when I saw this magnetic bracelet for holding screws and nails during projects, I was sold from the start. But I needed something before I had to go work at the Children's theatre the next night (summer jobs, guys). Plus, that bracelet looked heavy, slippery, and easily scratched up. So I made a quick raid through my craft box, and ended up with The Theatre Tech's Paracord Survival Bracelet.

Pretty sweet, right? And it's magnetic enough to hold even 3in  screws in place while you walk around. 

Here's what you'll need:

Paracord (Measure around your wrist in inches, taking into account the fit you want, and, for this project, add an inch. Cut a foot of paracord for each inch. Ex. If your wrist was 8 in in diameter, you should cut 9 feet of paracord) Pick a color that makes you happy!

A Side Release Buckle (Mine was cut off an old backpack, wider is better for this project)

8-10 STRONG Bar Magnets, about an inch long each.
And your tools:

Hot glue (optional, but recommended)

A pair of scissors

A lighter or match

Measuring tape or ribbon

Start your bracelet like you would any other paracord bracelet, with two big exceptions:
1. Remember, when you measure your wrist, before you start cutting your paracord, add one inch. This will give you enough material in the bracelet to cover the magnets, and still have it fit around your wrist.
2. Lay your paracord flat on the table, instead of suspending it. This will make adding the magnets infinitely easier.
Stop once you have tied the first knot of Step 3 of this tutorial, or, if you're a paracord veteran who doesn't need it, once you've tied the first know between the buckles.
 Here's the tutorial I used:

Once you've got it started, take your first bar magnet. You want to push it between the two strings in the center of your bracelet that you're tying knots around. You can hot glue it in place, if that makes it easier to hold. Then, continue knots over both strings and the magnet. The strings should end up on either side of the bar magnet, with the knots holding the whole thing together.

When it looks like you've only got one knot left on a magnet, slide in the next magnet right below it, and keep tying. Don't worry if you run out of space for magnets. Just continue tying over the string until you reach the end, then finish like any other paracord bracelet.

If you want, you can also add a magnet to back of the buckle like I did, but, at least for me, it was more of a hindrance than a help. The paracord keeps the magnets from getting scratched, but it's not thick enough to negate the magnetic effect. It's heavy, but not too heavy. And it's definitely been helpful for keeping screws on hand when I need them, while not letting me take them home in my pocket. It's definitely an accessory I'll keep on wrist when I need it.