Introduction: How to Make a Paracord Watch With Buckle

Picture of How to Make a Paracord Watch With Buckle

Throughout this Instructable I will show you how to make a paracord watch. Some people call them survival watches, ICE watches or tactical watches, whatever you call it, they are great items to have with you when exploring the outdoors.

If you enjoy my Instructables, perhaps browsing my personal online shop which offers beautiful handcrafted watches that are made out of wood, and other unique handcrafted wooden gifts.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

Here's what you'll need:

  • Lighter
  • Watch Face
  • Plastic Side Release Buckle. I get mine from Amazon Here
  • Tape Measure or Ruler
  • 12 Feet of 550 Paracord. You can also can get cord on Amazon Here. Or you can find Genuine Mil-c-5040h Type III 550 Cord on my personal website Here
  • Scissors

Step 2: Measure Your Wrist

Picture of Measure Your Wrist
  1. Wrap a string, cord, or small rope around your wrist. Make sure it is very snug. Not overly tight, but do not make it loose.
  2. Take a marker and draw a line across the two crossing cords/strings.
  3. I've darkened my lines in photoshop to demonstrate what it should look like in this step.
  4. Now measure from the first line to the second line.
In this example my wrist measure around 8 inches. So when I go to measure for my bracelet I'm going to add 1 inch to that measurement. This will be further explained in steps to come.

Step 3: Setting Up Your Buckles

Picture of Setting Up Your Buckles

First things first you're going to take your 12 feet of 550 Paracord and cut it directly in half so you have two 6 foot lengths of cord.

Take the two 6 foot lengths and fold them both in half. At the half-way point tie a cow-hitch knot onto the buckles.

Here's a quick and easy tutorial on how to tie a cow hitch: How to tie a cow hitch

Step 4: Starting the Straps

Picture of Starting the Straps

Take both buckles with respected paracord and feed the cord down through the pins on the watch face.

Make sure your buckles are setup the proper way. They should be arching downwards to fit your wrist properly. If they are upside down it won't work properly.

Step 5: Feed Working Cord Through Buckle

Picture of Feed Working Cord Through Buckle

Now you're going to take your loose ends (working ends) of the paracord and feed them back through the buckle on either side.

Make sure to keep the cord on the outside of the cow hitch like shown in Diagram1.

Step 6: Feeding Working Cord Back Through Watch Face

Picture of Feeding Working Cord Back Through Watch Face

Now continue the cords back through the watch face on both sides. Remember to come from top to bottom through the pin, and on the outside of the cord that is already fead through the watch like shown in Diagram 1.

Step 7: Starting Your Braids

Picture of Starting Your Braids

The numbers below match with the numbers in the photo.

  1. Take the left cord and carry it under the band to the right side.
  2. Now take your right cord and bring it underneath the cord you just brought over from the left.
  3. Continue with the same cord from step 3 and carry it over the band and up through the loop you created on the left side.
  4. When tightened it should look like this.

Step 8:

Picture of

The numbers below match with the numbers in the photo.

This step is the same as before, just opposite.

  1. Take the right cord and carry it under the band to the left side.
  2. Now take your left cord and bring it underneath the cord you just brought over from the right.
  3. Continue with the same cord from step 3 and carry it over the band and up through the loop you created on the right side.

Step 9: You Should Now Have This

Picture of You Should Now Have This

Your watch should now look like the photo in this step.

Step 10: Repeat Steps 7 and 8 to Get This.

Picture of Repeat Steps 7 and 8 to Get This.

Now you are going to repeat Steps 7 and 8 so you have what you see here in step 10.

Step 11: Cutting and Melting the Ends

Picture of Cutting and Melting the Ends
  1. Cut the ends close to the braids. Not too close you don't want it to pull through.
  2. Using your lighter, hold the flame on the frilled ends for about 3-5 seconds or until it's nice and molted. Then lick your finger and smush it down so it melts into the braids.
  3. Here's what it should look like.

Step 12: And You're Done!

Picture of And You're Done!

Check out my personal website for more tutorials and genuine mil-c-5040h Type III 550 Paracord here: ParaVival


Jessimer made it! (author)2017-04-11

Thank you for your easy to follow instructable. This is my first project with paracord and I think that it turned out pretty good.

JohannDB (author)2017-03-15

I like the weave pattern, but how would I make it using two different colors? I want to make one using the colors for the cancers that have affected my family. Pink and dark blue.

MitchT4 made it! (author)2016-12-10

Thanks for the easy to follow instructable. I made it with an adjustable velcro closure. Looks great with my trail watch.

Worldfree4 (author)2016-07-10

SimonF28 made it! (author)2016-07-06

Your instructions were very clear and helpful. Thanks

Kajnjaps made it! (author)2016-06-10

Had to restart a few times to get the size right, but it worked out pretty well in the end :-D

AnthVale (author)Kajnjaps2016-06-10

Very nice Kajnjaps!

mighty1ro made it! (author)2016-02-19

just started working on it, thank you for this! ☺

AnthVale (author)mighty1ro2016-02-19

awesome! Let me know how it turns out.

ccarr17 made it! (author)2016-01-08

I think I did pretty well :)

JulioA6 made it! (author)2015-12-04

I made it, but i have to improve,my paracord

theCelticFriar made it! (author)2015-11-14

Made this a while back and just now getting around to posting. This was my first go at braiding anything and working with paracord. Obviously your instructions were on point because I loved the way it turned out. My photo shows a lot of sawdust in the cracks of the braid but I figure that just adds to the charm. :)

Thanks for the Instructable! This was very helpful to me as a guy with big wrists and no watch band would work with my step/pulse tracker.

chellebust made it! (author)2015-10-03

First time trying paracord. Quite happy with the result :)

theCelticFriar (author)2015-07-19

I literally just finished mine a few minutes ago; I messed up on soe of the braids but all in all I'm pleased!

McCreightmb made it! (author)2015-07-09

I just made this! I was a little short bc I had left over paracord but the end result still works great. Just a little loose. but I know how to fix that next time :)

wojtek1103 made it! (author)2015-05-30

Really nice idea!

bardbard (author)wojtek11032015-05-30

y did u not use paracord

wojtek1103 (author)bardbard2015-05-30

I was curious if anyone would notice. :D I wanted to use paracord but I have ordered one with wrong diameter. :P So I bought braided line in nearest DIY store and I used it. ;) It works nicely as well. ;)

bardbard (author)2015-05-25

were did u get your watch face at

TheGeek1984 made it! (author)2015-05-02

Finally got around to replacing my watch band.

mceo1 made it! (author)2015-02-25

awesome! I made this with a clasp that has a whistle on it!

Jared101 (author)2014-12-30

Nicely done

pyrocop1 (author)2014-12-22

Tip: when buying a buckle buy the curved ones, they are much more comfortable than the straight buckle.

pyrocop1 (author)pyrocop12014-12-22

also the 5/8" or 3/4" buckle works nicely on the watch with all the extra cord going to the buckle.

babybayrs (author)2014-12-20

Great photo illustrations!

mkaplan4 (author)2014-12-19

Well I made it and I love it! I tossed the old leather Swiss Army band and used your instructions and I think it came out awesome!
I picked up the clips at Walmart as well as the Paracord.

mkaplan4 (author)2014-12-19

This is cool. I have an older Swiss Army watch that this would be perfect for! I hate the leather watch band and never wear it... Thanks!

Straklin (author)2014-12-18

Cool instructable! I asked for Para_cord for Christmas. I cant wait to try this! Thanks.

行走的兔子 (author)2014-12-18

thanks for all your's amazing.

Captain MacTavish (author)2014-12-18

Hey, more paracord for a survival use, the better!!

peppypickle (author)2014-12-18

wow, I've got to try this, thanks for all your photos and step-by-step instructions. I can't believe this takes twelve feet of paracord!

AnthVale (author)peppypickle2014-12-18

Well it's possible to get 12 feet into the band if you do it a certain way (not explained in this Instructable). But the 12 feet is just so you have enough left over so you can have room for error or so you don't end up not having enough cord. You actually only end up with about 10 feet. BUT it also depends on your wrist size. A size 6-7 wrist would be more like 7-8 ft. of cord. But since my wrist is about a 7.5", I end up with about 10.


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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