Introduction: How to Make a Paracord Pouch for Survival Tins

Picture of How to Make a Paracord Pouch for Survival Tins

Throughout this Instructable, I will be showing you guys how to make a Altoids Tins Pouch out of paracord. For many outdoors-man or survivalists, Altoids tins are the perfect containers for a small, pocket survival tin. I like using the pouch for my survival tin so I can pack more stuff into the tin and not worry about it popping open.

I also run a small online boutique called

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

If you want a one color pouch you can totally use two 20 foot lengths of cord that are the same color. Although if it was me I'd use one 40 foot length and make no cuts from beginning to end. ( :

Step 2: Measuring for Border of Pouch

Picture of Measuring for Border of Pouch
  • For the first step you are going to need your border cord. Grab the color cord you want to be the border.
  1. Fold your cord directly in half and make a loop like shown in diagram one.
  2. Place it on the side of your Altoids tin leave the loop exposed above the tin a little bit. Note: This loop is the loop which the carabiner clips to (as you can see in the picture in the introduction). You can make this as big as you want.
  3. Wrap the loose ends of paracord neatly around the tin. Left, bottom, and right side.
  4. It should look like this when you are done.

*To make it easier for you, you can use the marker and mark your paracord here.

Step 3: Starting Your Cobra Braid for Border

Picture of Starting Your Cobra Braid for Border

Body cords: The body cords are the cords below the marker line in part 1. They act as one and shouldnt be separated.
Left working cord: The left working cord is simply the cord that is currently to the left of your body cords.
Right working cord: The right working cord is simply the cord that is currently to the right of your body cords.

  1. Position your cord like shown in part 1. Notice where I marked my length with the marker. We will be working with the cord above the line created with the marker.
  2. Like shown in part 2, you're going to take the left working cord and thread it underneath the body cords.
  3. Now take your right working cord and thread it under the cord you just brought over from the left side, and continue it over the body cords.
  4. Now continue that same cord from part 3 up and through the loop as shown in part 4 of the picture.
  5. This diagram simply shows you what the first cobra braid should look like. Notice: I kept the marker line relatively close to the top of the braid. Make sure it's in the braid somewhere or you could mess up your measurement.

You can find the in-depth, more detailed version of this tutorial over on my blog:

Step 4: Completing Second Braid and Tightening Things Up

Picture of Completing Second Braid and Tightening Things Up
  1. Thread your new rightworking cord underneath your body cords.
  2. Thread your new left working cord underneath the cord you just brought over and continue it over the body cords.
  3. Continue the same cord from part 2 and bring it up through the loop like shown in part 3.
  • *****From here on out you are going to alternate steps 3 and 4 until you get to the end of your measured body cords. Remember to leave a good 1/2" to an 1" of that loop at the end exposed.

4. After every 5 or so braids you're going to want to tighten up your braids. This is a crucial step. Hold the body cords in one hand and push up on the braids you've made using your other hand. You'll notice they will slide up the body cords and tighten up.

Step 5: Finishing the Border

Picture of Finishing the Border
  1. Before cutting your working cords see if it fits around your Altoids tin properly. If you need a few more braids and left a big enough loop you can go ahead and braid a few more times.
  2. Cut the working cords off.
  3. Using a lighter, light the ends for 5-7 seconds until you get it nice an molten hot. Use your thumb and smoothen it out so it's wider than the hole it came through. See part 3 to get an idea of what you're looking for. ***Be Careful! If you want you can lick your thumb or wet it before doing this part.
  4. This is what you want to end up with when your border is done.

Step 6: Starting Your Horizontal Weaves.

Picture of Starting Your Horizontal Weaves.
  • For this step you're going to need your Altoids tin, your other color cord, and your Paracord Fid Needle, which you can find here on
  • Position your border around your Altoids tin with the loop at the top right (like shown in the diagram).

***When threading you'll notice two SLOTS you could thread your
needle through. This is shown in the center diagram using an "A" and "B". Besides this step you will ALWAYS thread through the A (OUTSIDE) slot. For this step it helps hide the knot better on the inside of the pouch.

  1. Using your needle thread your cord through the bottom right corner like shown in part 1 of the diagram. Again: I threaded this first time only through the B, or inside slot.
  2. Take your needle off the cord and tie a knot on the inside of the pouch.
  3. Re-attach your needle and bring the cord across the Altoids tin and thread it through the opposite corner in an A slot around and back through the adjacent A slot. This is shown in detail in the center diagram.
  4. Carry your cord back across the Altoids tin and again thread it through the next A slot.

You can find the in-depth, more detailed version of this tutorial over on my blog:

Step 7: Continueing Your Horizontal Weave

Picture of Continueing Your Horizontal Weave
  1. This part shows you in detail which slots to go through. Again, your using the A slot (outside) like shown in the zoomed in area of part 1.
  2. Continue the pattern until you've weaved all the way to the top of the Altoids tin.

Step 8: Transfering Cord to Opposite Side

Picture of Transfering Cord to Opposite Side
  1. If you end up with no more A slots to come back through, simply carry your thread right over to the other side like shown in detail in part 1 of this diagram.
  2. Now you're going to thread your cord on the inside of the border to get your cord to the other side of the pouch to begin your horizontal weave on that side. This is shown in part 2 of this diagram in great detail.

Step 9: Side Two Horizontal Weaves

Picture of Side Two Horizontal Weaves
  1. Like the other side, thread through an A slot.
  2. Around and back through the adjacent A slot.
  3. Weave all the way down until you are out of A slots on the sides of the tin.

Step 10: Starting Your Vertical Weaves

Picture of Starting Your Vertical Weaves
  • On the previous step your cord ended up on the outside of the border. Simply weave your cord back through into the middle using an A slot.
  1. Once back on the inside start your vertical weave like shown in part 1 of the diagram. Remember...Over...Under...Over...Under.
  2. Once finished it will most likely look like this.
  3. Scrunch up or tighten your weave like shown here.
  4. Loop around that very top horizontal weave and weave back down towards the bottom of the pouch.

Step 11: Continueing Your Vertical Weaves

Picture of Continueing Your Vertical Weaves
  1. Just like your horizontal weaves you're going to come out through an A slot.
  2. Again like your horizontal weaves loop around and come back through the adjacent A slot.
  3. Continue to weave up and down until you run out of A slots.

Step 12: Transfering Cord to Opposite Side Smoothely

Picture of Transfering Cord to Opposite Side Smoothely
  • Now this could get overwhelming and looks intense. But stay focused and follow closely. By doing it this way we will keep our pattern consistent with the rest of the border, and also avoid having a rogue line going across your border by hiding the cord on the inside of the pouch while we transfer it over to the other side.
  1. The red arrow is a reference for part 2 and 3. Notice we are on the side that was just woven. In part 2 and 3 you will flip it over and work on the opposite side.
  2. It should look like this.
  3. Good luck. :):)
  4. Follow closely. Remember this is crucial for keeping your pattern consistent and hiding that cord on the inside of the pouch while transferring it to the other side.

Step 13: Starting Your Vertical Weaves on Opposite Side

Picture of Starting Your Vertical Weaves on Opposite Side
  1. You should now have something that looks like this.
  2. Like you've done on the other side, weave the cord through the horizontal cords. Remember to keep it nice and snug.
  3. Just like always, come out through an A slot.
  4. Around and back through an A slot.
  5. Continue across the whole pouch until out of A slots.

Step 14: Finalizing Your Pouch

Picture of Finalizing Your Pouch
  1. Once you thread your cord through the last A slot on the bottom of your pouch it should look like this.
  2. Cut the cord right up close to the pouch.
  3. Melt the cord with your lighter for approximately 5-7 seconds. You're looking for a molten hot look once it's hot enough. Take your thumb and smoothen it out so it's wider than the hole it came through. ***Be Careful! You may need to lick your thumb or wet it before doing this.
  4. It should look something like this.


zgordon2kx made it! (author)2014-02-10

Fun and easy to follow project! I went for the apocalyptic style, still perfecting the bio-hazard symbol I added though. Going to add this little first aid kit to my hiking gear!

AnthVale (author)zgordon2kx2014-02-11

Excellent @zgordon2kx!

rwells5 (author)2014-01-26

This was great. I just made mine in about 40 minutes. Here's a pic as well:

AnthVale (author)rwells52014-01-26

Wonderful @rwells5!

nidanterry (author)2014-01-17

Nice quick project for a cold evening.

AnthVale (author)nidanterry2014-01-17

That looks excellent nidanterry. Fantastic job! Thank you so much for sharing.

jessyratfink (author)2014-01-16

This is so well documented!

Also something I've never seen here before. Great job! :D

AnthVale (author)jessyratfink2014-01-16

Thank you !

iMediate (author)2016-10-30

This seems like a neat project and I'm thinking of making a phone pouch for as a gift for a friend. I'm new to paracord weaving and I would really like to use this idea to create the pouch! I would like to ask, though, how would I go about inserting my own design into the weave? More specifically, I would really like to insert the 'O' from the Ohio State University logo ( the middle of the front side of the pouch, but I have no idea how to. I'm thinking of using black paracord for the main body and red for the sides and the logo. Anyone has any tips or pointers? :)

PhuongN32 (author)2016-10-22

very useful- i loved


betaj made it! (author)2015-12-20

i think i tightened up the Solomon bar a bit too much which made it really difficult to get the fis through the loops. But i stick with it and two hours (and a couple of blisters on my hand) later it's ready.

Thanks a lot for the detailed instructions.

AnthVale (author)betaj2016-02-18

Betaj, Very nice! The thing is...When you make the outer Solomon bar tight like you did, the finished product actually comes out much nicer, with more, tighter web. Very nice job!

ClaytonP2 made it! (author)2015-12-26

Fun project. Really turned out nice and sturdy once everything was weaved and tucked away.

AnthVale (author)ClaytonP22016-02-18

Very nice ClaytonP2! I love seeing everyone's finished product. Very nice!

jmeyer28 made it! (author)2016-01-15

Love this thing. The one with the green was my first attempt without a fid. I wasnt pleased. So i found an ible on making a fid. The DIY fid to make the DIY paracord pouch to hold the DIY Altoids tacklebox, all from Instructables. Anyway, thanks for making this Instructable.

AnthVale (author)jmeyer282016-02-18

Excellent job,

Yea, doing this project without the fid is a little bit more difficult but definitely doable. They both came out awesome though nice job.

NitaBroadwell (author)2016-02-12

my first attempt but with buckle

AnthVale (author)NitaBroadwell2016-02-12

Wow that's an awesome idea with the buckle.

Looks awesome!


NitaBroadwell (author)AnthVale2016-02-12

Thanks! It was my first ever paracord project. I'm researching ideas to teach our Trail Life boys. Wanting something doable for a 10-14 year old and be practice for their outdoor adventures. But now I'm addicted to paracord and am starting a belt and who knows what else!

iMoni77 (author)2015-09-18

cool, I would have loved a flip over on top, gotta figure out how to...

bjkayani made it! (author)2015-09-04

Thanks for the awesome ible. I added a belt attachment. Didnt have good colors though

StrangeJames88 made it! (author)2015-08-06

Thanks for the tutorial. I tried with the solomon bar weave as you did, and just couldn't seem to get it loose enough to make the tin accessible. So I decided to use the Double Cobra Weave. Also I used 3/16" welding ring which is graded to about 200lbs. a great pouch to carry my id's when hiking

ngriffin2 made it! (author)2015-07-08

didn't turn out quite as nice but it's acceptable for the first go.

thecreator24 (author)2015-04-24

I modified it to fit my zippo windproof lighter and heres how it turned out

birdlover17 (author)2015-04-05

my dad's birthday is coming up so I decided to make this for him. thanks so much for a great instructable. this is how mine came out.

tatebullrider (author)2015-01-23

Amazing job. Plan on making one right after posting this comment lol. Keep up the good work. :)

aenten made it! (author)2015-01-22

used one length of 40 ft paracord. came out fantastically!

ba55foreva made it! (author)2015-01-01

just made this but not with altoids tin but my smartphone. not as neat as yours and a tad tight but first project using paracord using another technique other than the cobra!

the pouch on the right :) i also done some lighter wraps this evening.

builder6100 (author)2014-11-20

This looks like an excellent tutorial and will be trying to make it after hunting this weekend. I'll hopefully post a picture if it turns out alright!

kylejay.macon (author)2014-11-18

What alternative could I use for the paracord did needle?

I will be using something similar but was made to relace a baseball glove that came in a kit. hopefully you have one of these

SparkySolar made it! (author)2014-10-18

I loved this project so much I am trying a belt. This was my first attempt around an altoid box. I was way too tense, it came out too tight.


Its a dog poop bag dispenser lol

RumbleAMS (author)2014-10-11

Fun project! The estimates for cord length seem way too much. The side cobra stitch took less than 15 feet. I'm making four of these, one for each family member.

Great instructable. Thank you!

fcalheiros (author)2014-10-02

nice and beautiful work...

mweaver8 (author)2014-09-05

Just letting you know, I think some of the links to your pictures are broken.

TomC1 made it! (author)2014-08-13

Handphone Punch

usernamealreadyinuse_ (author)2014-07-21

I loved this instructable! I made it to fit my phone, with just remaining chunks of paracord that I had sitting around. Definitely was fun, though I messed up the first few times. Definitely wouldn't mind making a few more of these someday(:

bozo36 (author)2014-07-10

Paravival, your instructable on the parachord case, is the best instructional I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and Art. YES ...there are genuine folks still left on this planet, and You are one of them. 07102014 bozo36

rgupta3 (author)2014-06-22

I have made this.
it was fun

joker31698 (author)2014-03-27

Great Instructable, I am using it as a base, since I took it a few steps further, for a droid pouch I am making. When I am done, I will post a picture for you of it and the test one that ended up being used for my son's Ipod.

AnthVale (author)joker316982014-03-27

I look forward to seeing your creation. Thanks for your kind words.


joker31698 (author)AnthVale2014-06-14

I did finish it awhile, just didn't take pictures until recently. The one on the left was a prototype that I made for a iPod.

mobiansstech (author)2014-05-19

Excellent Job... so thoughtful

rronald_25 (author)2014-05-17

Nice, would like to make this for my note3 with griffin survivor case, but im afraid it wont be stiff enough to ensure the phone goes in & out the pouch easily

papa_bill made it! (author)2014-04-06

What did I do wrong? Did I make the knots too tight?

AnthVale (author)papa_bill2014-04-07


Step 3 and 4 is where you made a mistake.

You should do step 3, then 4, then repeat. So 3,4,3,4,3,4. You are repeating step 3 over and over and it is simply spiraling your braid. Looks cool though! I make leashes like this.


gothic_penguin (author)2014-04-05

great project for a night in, made on to fit my phone

gross067 made it! (author)2014-03-30

Just finished the Third one. My buddy is taking his family (wife and three kids) on a sailing trip around the world for 3 years and I thought that I would make each of the kids a little survival kit. I found your pouch and thought it perfect for them to hang their kits from their bunks on the boat! The first one turned out the best (pink one), of course, but I'll be making more for sure! Thanks for the great instructable, I think these gifts will be very well received!

AnthVale (author)gross0672014-03-31

Excellent job gross067!!

Perfect gift for those kids!


CurtWG made it! (author)2014-03-30

Finally got around to doing this. The tin holds the air dams for my riding glasses so now the Spyder key and the dams will stay together. Thanks again for a well written project.

About This Instructable




Bio: I went to school for Architectural Engineering for two years and ended up getting a degree in culinary arts (long story). I have great passion ... More »
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