I have no idea what happened, but somehow my iPhone charger became horribly frayed. First it was just a tiny fracture in the plastic casing, then before I knew it, the whole thing had cracked and twisted. When the wires began to bend and break I figured I’d better repair the frayed cord before it broke completely.
For some reason, my dad had taught me to do this when I was young. Not much later, I was taught how to bind two electrical wires together by my grandpa when we built a robot for our fun project when I stayed at his house one summer. But luckily, no soldering gun is used for this. Nor, unfortunately, is the soldering song we composed to the tune of Gary, Indiana (The Music Man). Strange skills for an eight-year-old girl to have, but they’ve come in very handy now.
I started by trimming back the broken casing. I used the clippers from my manicure set to do so, though I know there are tools for such a thing. I cut so that there was a solid ring around the cord. And cracks running the length of the cord could pull over time and leave a much long split.
I started wrapping the electrical tape so that half the tape was over the plastic casing and half was over the frayed cord. From there, I wound at a slight angle until I’d covered the frayed cord. I then continued wrapping the plastic casing on the opposite side so that the damaged area was completely enclosed. When finished, I cut the tape and pressed it firmly in place. And that is how you repair a frayed cord! Not too bad right?
And while it didn’t look too bad because I’d used a white electrical tape, I wanted something that looked better than “not too bad.” So I figured out a simple way to beautify frayed cords.
First I needed to find something I could use as a cover. After browsing the Walmart shelves, I found a set of four dyed hemp cords that suited my needs perfectly. It’s strong, it’s cheap, I loved the colors, and it’s thicker than embroidery threads so it goes a lot faster. I wrapped this cord and still have enough to wrap another, which I’m definitely considering.
I started at the opposite end wanting to end over the spot I’d just repaired. I left at least two inches of a tail which I wrapped over the top of. Once I’d covered about a inch wrapping was no longer easy, so I let the rest of the cord hand and twisted it to continue covering the cord. I kept a lot of tension in the cord because I knew a bit of looseness could work its way up or down the cord and cause a lot of problems in the future.
Two inches before I was ready to change colors I set the next color thread parallel to the cord and wrapped over them both. When I got to the spot I wanted to change colors, I wrapped the new color thread in the same direction, over the top of the old thread. I wrapped in the same spot twice where I switched to ensure that the previous thread and the cord were completely covered and secured.
An important note: Once you begin, you can’t simply set it down. You either have to finish it to the end or use something to clamp the thread tightly to the cord. I learned this the hard way. When my husband came home from work, I set it down to give him a hug. When I picked it back up, I found I’d lost the tension in an inch or more of cord and had to unwind it and start over. So when I had to set it down to fix dinner, I used a bobby pin to fasten the thread to the cord.
When I got close to the end, I laid a needle with about the same diameter as the thread parallel to the cord and wrapped over it. I had to try this several times because the needle kept slipping out, but I found the best way to go is to start wrapping the needle at the half way point. Then, when you’ve wrapped over it several times, you can pull the needle back so that just the tip sticks out.
When you’ve wound it all the way to the top, push the needle through. Now I’ll admit this is not an easy feat because of the amount of tension the cord has placed on the needle. To get mine out, I pressed the top all the way down with the flat of a knife, then I used pliers to pull it out the end. Once I did, I was more than pleased with the result!
This simple wrap can be done on any kind of cord, frayed or otherwise. And trust me, I wanted to wrap everything once I’d seen how well this turned out! If you’re wrapping longer and thicker cords, I’d suggest using something larger than a fine hemp cord, like yard or rope. If you’re wrapping thinner cords, like those of headphones (which I’m seriously tempted to try, it’s supposed to keep them from tangling) you’ll want a thinner, more flexible thread, like embroidery floss.
Got a charger or cord that’s hanging on by a thread? Check out this simple, easy way to repair and beautify frayed cords.
I hope you enjoy!