Parachute Clips

Here is a handy little gadget for keeping a parachute neatly folded just before it is loaded into your rocket. The plastic parachute material stays compressed and the wrapped lines stay in place and untangled. You may have tried rubber bands to do this before but they probably required both hands to remove them, could pull and unwrap the lines, and were easy to drop and lose in the grass. These clips only require one hand to hold and release the parachute, won’t tangle or unwrap the lines, and can easily be kept in or clipped onto your pocket.

These started out as a way of making small clamps by extending the gripping range of spring clothes pins. I intended to build up the tips so that they would press together but thought of using them for this purpose before finishing them. These can easily grip securely a folded parachute as large as 36 inches in diameter, made from a plastic “party” tablecloth.

As you can see in the photo these are cheap and easy to make. For each clip you need one well made spring clothes pin and 2 or 4 popsicle or craft sticks. Wood glue one stick to each side of the clothes pin, with the end of the stick just above the spring coil. If the sticks have some curve in them, glue them so that the tips come together. Use clamps to hold them in place to ensure a strong bond while the glue dries. I laminated on a second pair of sticks for strength because I was originally making these into clamps. When the glue is dry and hardened, lightly sand to remove any snags that could damage a parachute.

These are also useful in the workshop for holding small light-weight objects for painting or gluing. They could also be made into a lazy man’s chopsticks.


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