I've tried kumihimo cording which does beautiful cords, but it's a bit tedious. Great for meditating.
I read that you could make simple lucets out of a plastic spoon by breaking off the two middle tines. I realized I had just the thing to practice on - a wooden shuttle.
This was my first practice piece with thick yarn. It was even easier than I thought and went fast. Now I really have to get a proper lucet.