Etsy Journal

Explore ideas and inspiration for creative living

How to Make a Chic Cord Necklace That Changes Shapes

Surprise! Crafted from paracord and pliable wire, this bendable beauty can be fashioned into a range of eye-catching designs to match your outfit.

A model wearing a DIY paracord necklace bent in a circular shape.

Whether you’re heading to a dance party, date night, or dinner with friends, there’s one thing your outfit needs: A conversation-starting piece of jewelry. And this DIY paracord necklace doesn’t disappoint: With a clever hidden bit of bendy wire, it can transform from a circle one moment to a square the next. Magic!

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make your own. Use bright, bold colors, or keep it minimal (like we did) with classic black cord for a look that's structural and sleek. Ready to get started?

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour or less

Materials needed to create a DIY paracord necklace.


Step 1: Cut the paracord

Image of hands cutting cord next to measuring tape.

Cut a 50 inch length of paracord (36 inches is for the length of the necklace and 14 inches is for the bow). If you’d like a shorter necklace, subtract a few inches. Note: If you’re using end caps with lobster clasps, you won’t need the additional length for the bow.

Step 2: Remove filler cords

Image of a hand holding paracord with filler coming out.

Make sure both ends of your paracord are freshly cut. Next, remove the filler cords within by pulling them out of one end. Discard.

Step 3: Straighten the wire

Image of hands holding the spool and straightening the wire with nylon jaw pliers.

Unwind at least 6.5 inches of wire from the spool. To straighten the wire before cutting, run your nylon jaw pliers over the wire a few times.

Step 4: Cut and bend wire

Image of hands holding the spool and cutting the wire.

Use wire cutters to cut 6.5 inches of wire from the spool.

Image of hands bending the wire ends using flat-nosed pliers.

Next, use your flat-nosed pliers to bend the edges of wire onto itself, so each end is rounded and not sharp.

Step 5: Add wire to paracord

Image of hands adjusting the necklace at the center.
A second image of hands after straightening the necklace at the center.

Slip the piece of wire into the paracord until it’s positioned at the center of the cord. Now you’re ready to bend the wire into whichever shape you wish: triangle, rectangle, circle, or square. Or go rogue and make a squiggly line. It’s up to you!

Step 6: Seal paracord ends

Image of hands sealing necklace ends with a lighter.

Use a lighter to quickly burn the cut ends of the paracord. This will seal them and prevent fraying. Use caution when completing this step.

Step 7: Add jewelry caps

Image of hands adding caps to the ends of the necklace.

Use industrial-strength adhesive to glue the metal end caps over the paracord ends. This will give your necklace a more finished look.

Step 8: Make a bow (and take a bow)

Image of hand with three finished necklaces in different shapes.

Tie ends in a bow. Voila—your necklace is complete and ready to wear on your next night out.

Want the drama without the DIY? Shop these statement-making cord styles straight from talented jewelry sellers.

A collage of cord statement necklaces from Etsy. SHOP: (clockwise from top left): Macrame rope necklace from Knottinger, $25; ombre cord necklace from Shop Show and Tell, $35; cord climbing rope statement necklace from Mountain of Greatness, $71; black suede choker from La Boba, $30

Etsy Staff image
Etsy Staff

Etsy staff writers and contributing editors.

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