How To Make A Paracord Bracelet In Two Easy Steps
Simple Instructions To Make A Paracord Bracelet
Learn how to make a paracord bracelet in simple steps with this easy picture tutorial. You'll be making your first bracelet in minutes.
Knowing how to make a paracord bracelet is common knowledge to every soldier, hiker, backpacker, camper or anyone who spends time outdoors; they know that having extra cord handy is at the top of the list, and the practice is common among this crowd. The uses for this extra cord can be many, and not having it when you need it most can be critical in some situations. Of course you can always simply wind up a section of cord and pack it away in case it's needed, but why not spend a few minutes learning how to make a paracord bracelet and some other useful items out of that same cord?
Most people who want to learn how to make a paracord bracelet simply like the way paracord bracelets and strands look... they ARE cool. Using a variety of colors and lengths you can get really creative... with buckle, colored strands and more. And there's really no limit to the things you can make and do with it once you have the really simple process down. There are only two steps to know in order to make your own paracord bracelet, which we'll cover in very simple detail to make it fun and easy to learn.
When my family is camping or backpacking we always take extra cordage and practice making different lengths or types of strands. Things we've made include key fobs, pack straps, knife lanyards, belts... on and on. This is the beginning of a lot of fun, so let's dig in an learn how to make a paracord bracelet the easy way.
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Rope & Paracord Can Save Your Life
How To Make A Paracord Bracelet - The Basics
There are many instances where having a length or rope or paracord could prove useful or even life saving, which is where the idea to make these bracelets came from. Nearly every hiker I know makes it a point to carry extra paracord in their packs or in the form of bracelets or other woven items. And you may know from my other articles that I think it's important to always fit family time into our daily lives and to find creative ways to do more together. This is another great opportunity to do something fun and creative with your family, teaching your kids (and yourself) a valuable skill. Whether at home or sitting in your camp, you can spend time together and make a paracord bracelet and other paracord items. The only limit is your imagination.
With that said let's get to it. To learn how to make a paracord bracelet you'll need to first get some quality paracord. Paracord is short for the parachute cord that was popularized when it began being used in U.S. military parachutes. The term you'll most often hear when discussing paracord bracelets is 550 cord, the term used in the military that refers to the cord used in parachutes and which is rated to hold up to 550 lbs per strand (there are plenty of second rate knock-offs that WILL NOT hold 550 lbs of weight per strand). Here's a spec sheet from Wikipedia that lists the ratings for various sizes of paracord as used by the military, and an image that shows what "real" 550 paracord should look like (it's a single cord made up of 7 individual cords inside, and each of those 7 is made up of 3 individual strands):
Why do you care? If you will never rely on your cord (or braided products) for weight bearing, then it won't matter. But if you're thinking of using these for your camping or backpacking outings then you should take the extra effort and have the peace of mind in knowing that your cord can hold your weight should the need ever arise. Beware, there are a LOT of sellers claiming their product is 550 Paracord and unfortunately a lot of it is not.
How To Make a Paracord Bracelet - Step 1 - Step By Step Instructions For Cool Survival Bracelets
To begin you will first determine what you're going to be making. In our example we're learning how to make a Paracord Bracelet so we know what length of paracord that we'll need to start with. If you're making something else then you'll have to experiment a little to get the proper lengths. Fortunately, paracord is relatively cheap so if you know you're going to be experimenting or teaching others then buy the cheapest paracord you can find, and only use the real 550 cord for the final product.
Note: When cutting paracord it will unravel and the cover will slip from the internal strands, so once you cut the cord have a lighter handy to "singe" the cut ends, which melts the inner and outer pieces together on the tips. Be careful, though, the melted nylon stays hot for a bit!
For our example paracord bracelet you'll cut two lengths of cord- one 8 foot length (red cord in our example) and one 2 foot length (black cord in our example), then lay them out as pictured above. The 8 foot section will stretch out in front of you left to right, and the 2 foot section is folded in half and laid flat on top of the longer section.
What we're going to be doing is creating a Cobra Knot repeatedly to create the visual design, and in effect "store" the cord for easy carry. That is, rather than carrying a wadded up section of paracord you simply carry it on your wrist. The original idea was that if you ever need cord you could simply undo the bracelet (or other object you've made) and have the cord ready to go.
To make a Paracord Bracelet using a Cobra Knot you'll be repeating reversing moves; there are essentially just two movements, one from left and one from right, so once you have them down the process is really simple. We're using red and black cord in our example for better visibility. So here we go.
With the cord laid out in front of you as shown above, grasp the longer section (red) on the right side and lay it on TOP of the small section (black) of cord as shown, creating a "Z" (hopefully your Z looks better than mine!).
Now grasp the left side of the longer strand and thread the end over and through the first loop (bottom left) of the "Z" and UNDER the small strand then back out through the second loop of the "Z" (top right).
Now simply pull on both ends of the longer strand to gently tighten the knot up. Early on you'll have to adjust the knot and cord as you go to keep them nicely aligned. This is how it should look at the end of this first step. Yours should be a little more snug than the picture shows.
Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for loads of paracord patterns and ideas. You can see my Board here: Paracord Bracelet HQ
Survival Bracelets Are Great For Fundraisers
You can make these to sell as a side business (lots of people do), or to make and sell for your group or organization. They're particularly great for school and church fundraisers because local residents are happy to pay $5 - $10 for these to show their support, and you can get the group members to make these pretty quick and easy once they have the technique down. If using as a school fundraiser simply order the cord in the school's colors and you're all set! Make a paracord bracelet today!
How To Make a Paracord Bracelet - Step 2
Reversing The Process, The Steps In This Technique Are The Same
Now, moving on to step 2 of learning how to make a Paracord Bracelet. Grasp the longer section of the cord (red) on the left side and lay it on TOP of the small section of cord as shown below, creating an "S". The first step outlined earlier involved laying the cord out in a Z shape. This time lay it across in an "S" shape... these two steps will be used throughout the entire process regardless of what you're making. Z, S, Z, S, Z, S...
Now we'll reverse the procedure from step one and grasp the right side of the longer strand and thread the end over and through the first loop (bottom right) of the "S" and UNDER the small strand (black) then back out through the second loop of the "S" (top left), as shown below.
Once again you will gently pull both ends of the long strand (red) to tighten the knot. When you are done it should look like the two images below.
That is essentially ALL there is to braiding with paracord. You will repeat those two steps as many times as needed, again depending on what you're making and how long you want it to be. When you finish braiding and have reached the length you want, tie a simple knot in the bottom of the short strand (black cord in our example). This knot will let you fasten the bracelet around your wrist, hooking it into the loop at the top, and will also serve to stop the braid from unraveling in other projects. It's easier than you thought to make a Paracord Bracelet isn't it?
Once you completed the bracelet and are happy with it, cut off the excess cord and using a lighter singe the ends so they don't fray. Some people leave the strands and using a very small needle nose pliers or other tool work the excess back up into the woven bracelet for a much nicer and more finished look. Either way will work fine for the purposes of a survival paracord bracelet. You can also add any hardware you want to before you start braiding by simply looping the short strand through the object. For example, we attached a braided segment on a camping knife as seen below.
Now you have learned how to make a Paracord Bracelet and can hone your skills and do even more, use different color paracord, expand your skills using different knots and weaves... there's no limit to the great things you can create and the fun you can have.
Paracord Bracelet HQ
At Paracord Bracelet HQ I have some other great articles you should check out (see below). One is about the many different types of paracord bracelet patterns, and also adding buckles and splicing different colors together. The other articles are about paracord projects and the best friendship bracelet patterns. Have a look, I'm sure you'll enjoy them, too.
For anyone looking to make some really cool friendship bracelets you'll find this article of the most popular patterns helpful. There are videos and plenty of links to sources for more information.
There are so many different paracord bracelet patterns that you can use for bracelets, but also even more that are great for lanyards, key fobs, etc... This is the top rated article on patterns and designs, so have a look.
If you're looking to make something other than a paracord bracelet then you're going to love this articles which provides some great ideas, from necklaces to knife covers and more.
Do You Prefer A Bracelet With Buckles - Or the more simple style as outlined in this article
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I will be updating this soon to include step by step instructions and photos for adding buckles to the bracelets, but I wondered how you felt about them. And do you prefer plastic or metal buckles?
Any other thoughts, please share them. Many thanks!
Do you like the traditional knot and loop bracelets, or buckled?
Making A Paracord Bracelet With Buckles - If you like the side relase buckles then you'll enjoy this method.
This is the same steps we discussed above, but of course when you do them a lot you can get quicker and so there's no need to oversimplify with S's and Z's... you can also see here how easy it is to add a buckle. I'll upload some photos soon showing how to make a paracord bracelet with buckles.
Paracord In Almost Every Color Combination You Could Want
Perfect way to make a paracord bracelet fundraiser
When you're ready to purchase your paracord (for yourself, or a school or church fundraiser), check out the MANY color choices offered by this Amazon vendor. All paracord from "Our School Spirit" is manufactured in the USA and is packaged with the "Our School Spirit" brand.
Great for paracord bracelets, pet collars, camping equipment. Also check out their 3/8" buckles in a variety of colors.
"Our School Spirit" is owned and operated by a combat disabled veteran.
Paracord From "Our School Spirit"
How To Make A Monkey Fist - Another cool technique that you can use to make awesome paracord gear
There are so many things that you can do with braided cord once you've learned how to make a Paracord Bracelet, and one of them that I like is making a Monkey Fist. While it is different than the braiding we used above, its still a simple process you can master in no time. Especially great for women, a braided Monkey Fist is, by day, just an add-on for your keys or flashlight that you carry in your purse. By night it can be a potent self defense tool. With the built in steel ball is packs a punch! At the very least it's a great conversation piece and again, something creative to do with your family.
Here's a great instructional video outlining how to make these Monkey Fists using the same cord we've used to make our bracelets.
Make A Key Fob Using A Slant-Wrapped Endless Falls Knot
This is another REALLY cool way to use paracord. These key fobs are so fun to make, and look awesome... give them a try with these instructions!
Expanding Your Skills With the Cobra Knot - These detailed instructions will get you beyond the basics.
Here's a good tutorial which shows you how to expand on the Cobra Knot (referred to in the video as the Solomon Bar - they're the same knot). The technique he uses in the video to attach the brass (or hardware) can also be used when you make a Paracord Bracelet like we're demonstrating above. You would simply loop the small black segment of cord from our example above around whatever fastener you want to use on the bracelet, whether it be a metal clasp or plastic buckle. Once you know how to braid these you can get really creative and make some nice gear, but I would urge you to get the basics down (master how to make a Paracord Bracelet) first so you don't get overwhelmed and quit! Have fun!
Learning How To Make a Basic Paracord Bracelet Is The First Step
Take it to the next level with these awesome books at Amazon
J.D. Lenzen, the author of these two books, is considered by many to be the authority on braiding with paracord. That's him in a couple of the videos above. He's helped fuel and lead the paracord phenomenon with his near wizardly skills with the knot. Check out these books at Amazon and read what other reviewers are saying... these are THE "go to" books for learning all there is to know about tying paracord knots and the multitude of patterns.
This Is THE Guide To Own
Are You Going To Make A Paracord Bracelet
Are you going to make one of these now? Or have you already made them before, or perhaps you're just surfing... let me know.
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