How to Wrap Your Steering Wheel

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Steering wheel (Photo: @melaniekim via Twenty20)
Even if you don’t drive with a steel grip, your steering wheel is still subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Not only are you constantly touching it, years of being exposed to UV rays can also have a corrosive impact. Odds are, your steering wheel will be one of the first parts of your car to show its age. It might even start to literally fall apart.
That being said, it’s hard to look past a peeling steering wheel in an otherwise well-maintained interior. If your steering wheel’s leather is peeling (or if it’s just seen better days) and you don’t want to splurge on a replacement, consider wrapping your wheel. Here’s what you need to know.

Purchase a premade wrap

Manufactured wraps (or wheel covers) are the easiest way to wrap a steering wheel.
Auto-part stores and online shops may have wraps that are designed to fit your specific vehicle’s steering wheel. These wraps typically come in a variety of colors and materials. Usually, it’s a matter of ordering a wheel cover (or buying it in-store) and stretching it over your steering wheel; however, each steering wheel cover will come with its own attachment instructions.
The downside of choosing a premade wrap is that there might be limited options when it comes to the colors or designs available for your specific vehicle model.

Wrap your steering wheel in paracord

Paracord is a great steering wheel wrap to use if the plastic on your wheel has been worn down to the point that it’s becoming slippery to the touch. In other words, paracord is great for improving the traction your hands get on your steering wheel.
To wrap your steering wheel, you’ll need at least 12 feet paracord (depending on the design you choose). Once you have your paracord at the ready, the first thing you need to do is tie a cow-hitch knot to anchor it to the wheel.
Next, create a series of overhand knots. This can take a bit of focus so you don’t lose track of the sections of the pattern you are working on. The basic process involves:
  • Creating a loop over the steering wheel
  • Moving the spool up through the loop
  • Pulling the cord through the loop
  • Tightening the knot
  • Creating a loop under the wheel
  • Pulling the spool down through the loop
  • Pulling the cord through the loop
  • Tightening the knot
Repeat this process until you cover the entire steering wheel. It might take some time to get the hang of it, but if you liked making bracelets at summer camp, you probably have a shoo-in.
After the steering wheel is covered, cut the excess cord and use a lighter to melt the raw ends to prevent them from fraying.
There you have it! You’ve got a handsome homemade wheel cover to impress your passengers.