Things to make - Fob cord

Before about 1950 pocket watches were common. Most often the watch had a cord called a fob whose other end was attached somewhere to the clothing of the owner of the watch. Fobs were made in many ways. One homemade design was to weave the fob from a couple of contrasting colored shoe strings. That same design can be used to make a kind of handle for a key ring, a decoration for a coat zipper handle or whatever other use you desire.

Flat or round cord can be used. Using flat cord makes it a bit easier to learn the construction method. Once you get started, four steps are repeated over and over to weave the cord. With a flat cord, it's a little easier to see the pattern that's repeated. Two pieces of cord are used. If the two cords are very different in color, the look of the fob is better. For a large cord use shoe strings around 1/4 inch wide and 30 inches (give or take) long. For a zipper handle, a smaller width and shorter length cord would probably be better.

Cross the two cords at their middles and tie with a piece of string to hold them togeter. laces make a cross shape

Place the cords through the ring or onto whatever the fob will be attached. Think of the 4 cord ends as being labeled A, B, C and D. laces cross within ring

Step 1. Lay A across B. fold a lace end across next one


Step 2. Lay B over A and C. 3 link chain


Step 3. Lay C over B and D. 2nd end folded up


You have just performed 3 of the 4 steps that will be repeated over and over to make the fob. Notice that the first step involved laying the cord across one of the other cords. In steps 2 and 3, the cord being manipulated in laid across 2 cords. This will be the case each time these 3 steps are repeated.


In step 4, lay cord end D across C. Push the end of D under A. 4th end folded and tucked under


Pull each end to remove all the slack. A square pattern will form. neat checkerboard pattern


The process is now repeated but go in the opposite direction. Begin by folding D over and across A. This is effectively the same as step 1 but in the opposite direction. last used end is folded up


2 tone fob The 4 steps make a square pattern that is repeated over and over. Each time a new layer is made to increase the length of the fob. When the fob is of the desired length or you run out of cord, secure the lace ends so the fob will not unravel. Use a needle and thread to stitch the laces in place. Or just tie with loops of thread. A small dab of clear fingernail polish might be used to help keep the thread in place. Very chic. Well, it looks that way to me.

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