Introduction: Cross Knot Paracord Lanyard

Picture of Cross Knot Paracord Lanyard

This instructable will show how to make a paracord lanyard using the cross knot and snake knot. The lanyard can be used as a wallet chain, to secure a key chain, keyring, knife, multitool, flashlight, cell phone, camera, binoculars, compass, and other assorted pocketable gadgets, gear, and gizmos... More projects, links, knot references can be seen in my blog, Stormdrane's Blog.

The cross knot can also be found under different names from other online and book references, as: The Chinese Crown Knot, Chinese Cross, Japanese Crown Knot, Japanese Success Knot, Rustler's Knot, Friendship Knot, and knot #808 in 'The Ashley Book of Knots'.

You can use the loop end of the lanyard to attach it to your item and use the clip end to secure to a belt loop, bag, pack, etc... Or run a belt through the lanyard's loop and use the attachment to clip onto your gadget, gear, gizmo, etc... Longer versions could be used as a pet leash for your dog, cat, pot belly pig, iguana, ferret, or other assorted leashable rodents and varmints.

Step 1: Supplies

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For this project, you'll need 10 feet of paracord, scissors, swivel snap hook, and a lighter.  Optional supplies are hemostats, tape measure, and your own choice of attachments, like:  split ring, swivel clip, carabiner, snap shackle, etc... 

I used 10 feet of paracord to make a finished lanyard/wallet chain of about 2.5 feet in length.  You can use more or less to make one of your own preferred length.

There are many online sources for paracord, available in different lengths and color choices, and can sometimes be found at local sporting goods outlets and Army/Navy Surplus stores.  Various attachments can also be found online and at local retail establishments, and you may even scavenge them from keyrings/keychains, pet leashes, etc... that you already have.

Step 2: Step 2

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Find the center of your length of cord, form a bight, which will be the the loop end of your lanyard.

Step 3: Step 3

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To tie the cross knot you're going to bring the strand of cord on the right over the left strand, back under to the right, and back under again to the left, making an 'S' shape as shown.

Step 4: Step 4

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Now with the left strand, bring it up under the 'S' shape through the top loop as shown.

Step 5: Step 5

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Bring the strand back down over the first two parts of the 'S' shape and under the bottom as shown.

Step 6: Step 6

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Tighten up the knot by carefully pulling on each of the working ends and loop ends of the cord.  You can adjust the size of the lanyard's loop by working slack from the loop end to decrease it's size, or from the working ends to increase the loops size.  I've kept the loop at about 2 inches in length, so that a belt will fit through it, but you can make it larger or smaller to your preference.  You can also check that the working ends of the paracord are equal in length at this point, and work slack through the knot to even them up if needed.

*Note the other side of the knot, looks different with the 'cross' pattern, as shown.

Step 7: Step7

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Now you can tie the next knot in the lanyard, the same way as the first.  After tying the next knot, work the slack through the knot until you have about 1 inch of space between them, then tighten and continue with the next knot.  Note that the knots look different on each side, front/back, and that you tie the each facing the same way, or alternate them if you choose.

Continue making knots until you have about 1 foot of cord left with each end of the working strands.

Step 8: Step 8

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Now you will add your attachment, like the swivel snap hook shown, putting both strands through the swivel eye to begin tying the snake knot.

Step 9: Step 9

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Bring the right strand under the cords, then up over them as shown.

Step 10: Step 10

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Now take the left strand over across the other strands, back behind and under the cords, and up through the right strand loop, as shown.  Then tighten.

Step 11: Step 11

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Take the right strand under and behind the cords then bring it back through the tightened knot, along side itself as shown, and tighten.  This is where hemostats come in handy with tying this knot, working the cord through the previously tightened part of the knot.  It can be done without hemostats, but requires tightening/loosening of the knots with just your fingertips.

Step 12: Step 12

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Turn the lanyard over, so the other side of the knot is facing up.  The working strand now on the right side will be brought under the cords, back up and down through the parallel strands of the knot as shown, then tighten.  And continue this process, flipping the lanyard over, taking the right strand under and back up around and through the parallel cords, and tighten...  Continue until you run out of cord or reach the cross knot.

You'll now trim off any excess cord and quick melt the end of the strands to prevent fraying to finish.

Step 13: Variations

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You can use other two strand knots instead of the cross knot for variations on this style of lanyard.  A few alternatives to try tying in a spaced out series or combination of them:  Matthew Walker knot, double wall knot, lanyard knot, double overhand knots, double figure 8 knots, etc...  The finishing knots around the attachment can also be different, as I've used the lanyard knot, sometimes just one or several in a row.

You can also use variations of the cross knot with paracord bracelets and watchbands.  Doubled version of the knot shown as a paracord bracelet and alternating with two pairs of strands for the paracord watchband.  Leftover pieces of paracord can be used for zipper pulls, key ring fobs, even paracord cross pendants...


MARCELOS13 made it! (author)2017-05-04

Gran Aporte!, Saludos desde el Delta del Paraná - Buenos Aires - Argentina

jdevisser made it! (author)2016-07-09

Had me confused a couple times, but with a little bit of tweaking, the next one will be better!

Alphapotato2015 (author)2016-05-29

Will the knot come undone easily if I apply weight or will it hold

With some types of cord that may be slippery, the knot may not hold, but with the paracord I've used, the knots stay in place and hold just fine.

Alphapotato2015 (author)2016-05-29

How much weight can it hold

Additional clips, carabiners, swivels, and snap hook attachments will also affect how much weight a lanyard might hold.

A single strand of paracord is rated at 550 lbs of tensile strength. Safe working loads on rope/cord/string/line usually are around 10% of a line's breaking point. Age, wear and tear can also affect a strings ability for strength and toughness. Knots can reduce a cord's strength as well.

There are many variables involved in determining how much weight any particular rope can hold, and braiding, weaving, knotting can increase the weight holding potential of a particular project. ;)

YDandAss (author)2016-01-25

Great instructable. I made one of these for my very first (OK, only so far) paracord project. It's simple enough for this beginner, yet very satisfying, as it looks great. Got it out of a book from Hobby Lobby or somewhere. Some of your variations are must-trys too.

Domsurfs (author)2015-11-21

Hey mate could you please tell me how you put a lanyard knot around the end near the clip.Thanks

Stormdrane (author)Domsurfs2015-11-21

I run the working ends through the clip then loosely tie a lanyard knot, then pull the rest of the lanyard up through the center of that knot. From there you tighten up the knot having the clip secure on one side and the lanyard on the other.

Some folks just tie the lanyard knot around those core strands after running them through the clip, but I'm a creature of habit and do it pulling the lanyard through the loose knot, but either way works. ;)

Domsurfs (author)Stormdrane2015-12-01

Thanks for your help your work is great

treymartin82 (author)2015-09-16

How is photo 30 done?

mthz1201 made it! (author)2015-09-01

خیلی زیبا بود دوست عزیز
مرسی از آموزشت

btaylor57 made it! (author)2015-06-18

I love it. Thanks I ran with it.

Naudie-Maudie (author)2015-03-19

Love this idea it looks so awesome

ak47freak (author)2015-02-01

very nice i need to find some of those " snap shackles"

jim.davidson.391 made it! (author)2014-09-21

Het Stormdrane. Great instructable - informative yet concise, and with good clear pics. Very easy to follow. I made this lanyard for my new knife, so I can attach it to my belt or jacket but still easily extend my arm fully. There are a few places where my knotting is a bit ropey (see what I did there? ;-) ), but I'm well happy with it for a first attempt. All I need now is practice.

Thanx Dude.


TheLeapingMonkey (author)2014-08-22

cool design, i use it with my school stuff!

Thomas_Murphy made it! (author)2014-06-20

Great Instructable!!! I made it this afternoon...

creone (author)2014-04-15

Thanks Stormdrane!

cristoph (author)2014-04-09

Could I use this to hang a hammock since the knots would help adjust the height

Stormdrane (author)cristoph2014-04-09

You could use it with a hammock as it would be secure when tied, but it's primarily a decorative knot, not really an adjustable one for that purpose, especially under tension.

rhaubejoi (author)2014-02-05

I made one 5 1/2 feet long with a carabiner to use in my pickup to hold cargo bags of groceries grouped together ( to keep them from sliding) or to keep the gas cans lined up by the tailgate ( also, slide factor). I made it in pink and black to keep my hubby from ''borrowing'' it for his truck, but I'm going to do one for him in black. Thanks so much for an awesome instructable. The instructions were clear and concise and the photos were perfect.

cristoph (author)2014-02-04

Cool knot and what knife is that in the 31st picture I like it

Rejy (author)2014-02-02

1KUSTOMLEATHER (author)2014-01-28

i made the chain-link only; but i kept having 1 end getting longer than other what did i do wrong thx.

If you're tying it the same way each time and one side is consistently coming out longer than the other, then figure out which side that is and measure that difference from the center of your cord at the start and that should help. ;)

3366carlos (author)2014-01-09


Reiff (author)2013-12-30

Good Instructables, and also it is very rare to come across an Instructables with pictures as good as these.

faded1945 (author)2013-08-03

Where can I get the black swivel clips?

Stormdrane (author)faded19452013-08-03

The black snap hook, shown in the instructable, was purchased fromCreative Designworks. :)

kbeedle (author)2013-05-16

This is cool!

Maggie1031 (author)2013-03-26

So Cool! I've wanted to learn how to tie various knots, but it's difficult to find instructions that are concise enough, and pictures clear enough for directions that I can follow. Is there a set of directions for making that cross out of the cross knots? I would love to have one.

Stormdrane (author)Maggie10312013-03-26

I've only posted the description in blog posts: Cross Knot Paracord Cross Pendant

xLightAcex (author)2013-03-25

I do say that i will use this knot many times and i like the design of this knot... great instructable ^__^

craftyv (author)2013-01-05

I made one out of black with a kahki/grey chain sinnet before the clip. It looked great and was very well received by my grandson for Christmas. Thanks a lot. Now on to the next project.

your_dragon113 (author)2012-12-22

...can you make it long? can make it as long, or short, as you need/want. I made one about 10 feet that I use to tether my dog with when we go camping...

craftyv (author)2012-12-07

I have found a set of fine point tweezers handy for pulling through tight spots. My Lanyard will go to my Grandson for Christmas. I love it . Thank's so much and a Happy Holiday season to you all.

MrsHill (author)2012-10-25

Took me a few minutes to figure out the knot. I'm VERY new to paracord projects. This instructable was very well made and easy to follow! I finished my 40" lanyard in about 45 minutes. Thank you for posting!

Twisthem488 (author)2012-08-23

How strong are these knots? I have a friend that make his own anchor system similar to this with paracord to easily hang his hammock at any length he needs. I believe he just used square knots every six inches but I enjoy using more finely crafted things when I can and this looks awesome for that sort of thing. Do you think these knots would handle the load of a hammock? Thanks for all the awesome things you post!

Stormdrane (author)Twisthem4882012-08-24

I've not personally used them with the weight exerted on them like a hammock would, but if using two strands with spaced square knots works, I imagine these would work as well used in the same manner. ;)

baba4 (author)2012-06-30

well done getting one i can`t

chipf (author)2012-02-01

Very clear and understandable instructable. Definately trying this one. Thank You

Kryptonite (author)2012-01-25

Ahh, the snake stitch is definitely one of the harder knots that you've documented. Your instructions are, as ever, incredibly clear though for any sort of length, the snake knot is quite tedious!

I'd just like to compliment your blog, your photography often looks professionally done!
Keep it up, I hope to see more stuff from you on here :D

atmooney (author)2012-01-24

STILL a big fan of your instructables Stormdrain! Keep it up! Also, some people asked where to get para cord. I get it at supply Many colors & lengths available, and priced right! And no, I don't work for them! LOL! -Al

grzoo (author)2011-12-14

it's very ornamental knot

gblack2 (author)2011-10-28

your paracord projects are some of the most ingenious i have seen, love 'em. where did you get clip in the top of the first photo?

Chissy (author)gblack22011-11-05

Try Tractor Supply, the prices may be better.

Stormdrane (author)gblack22011-10-28

If you're referring to the 'snap shackle', it was just a stainless steel version off of ebay. They can be found at boating/marine supply shops online. Prices vary, but usually around $10 each plus shipping on the low end, to some much more pricey versions, depending on materials, strength, and overall quality fit and finish.

Snap shackles are commonly used on sailboats with rigging, so the quality ones are needed to be strong and durable, but the cheaper versions are fine for lanyard/key chain uses. Materials they're usually made of are bronze, brass, stainless steel, and titanium, and come in various sizes.

black hole (author)2011-10-10

This knot would be good as the "chain" for a practice manriki gusari.

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More by Stormdrane:How to tie a two-strand wall knot sinnet paracord lanyardGlow-in-the-dark Powder & Epoxy Mod ProjectsA two-strand paracord lanyard knot
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