Introduction: Multi-Color Monkey Fist

Picture of Multi-Color Monkey Fist
This multi-colored monkey's fist I discovered while trying to find out a way to remove flaws in the original monkey's fist when making turns from one direction to the next. I realized by cutting the cord it enabled me to use different colors and take out the flaw. In the next step I added a diagram on how to create the original monkey's fist for those that may be attempting this for the first time and want to see the difference between mine and the original.

Step 1: The Original Monkey's Fist

Picture of The Original Monkey's Fist

here you can see an illustration of a monkey's fist done all with one string. It was used originally as a heaving line for sailors.
This one we will create is more for decorative purposes.

Step 2: Things You Need

Picture of Things You Need

Here, I have 3 pieces of para-cord, you may use rope or any knotting cord. Dice for the core of the monkey's fist. Pic or a pointed tool to help negotiate the material.

Step 3: Creating Your Monkey's Fist Tool

Picture of Creating Your Monkey's Fist Tool

This home made tool will aid you in tying a monkey's fist. It is easily made by cutting a wire clothes hanger with a pair of wire cutters and bending it into a "U" shape as shown in this picture.

Step 4: Begin Wrapping Cord

Picture of Begin Wrapping Cord

Now we can begin to start the monkeys fist. Start by holding a piece of cord as shown below as you begin to wrap the paracord around the tool you just made.

Step 5: 1st Wrap

Picture of 1st Wrap

Now you will make four complete turns making sure all sides have 4 strands before continuing to the next step.

Step 6: Starting the Second Wrap

Picture of Starting the Second Wrap

Now you will begin making the next wrap of color making your way around the gray with the orange as shown. Again making 4 complete rounds and making sure that each side have 4 strands showing.

Step 7: Second Wrap Completed

Picture of Second Wrap Completed

here you see the second layer taking shape after you have made your rounds.

Step 8: Final Wrap and Core Placement

Picture of Final Wrap and Core Placement

Now you will start with the final strands looping over and under the orange feeding the cord as you make 4 more rotations. before you completely finish the final strands slip in your core. This time I'm using dice as the core.

Step 9: Begin to Tighten

Picture of Begin to Tighten

In this step you will begin to tighten the cord. You will pull slack to work with and begin working the slack out of the line toward the other end of the blue cord. Remember, don't pull the cord too tight at first, your goal here is to only gradually snug up the cord one color at a time in a rotation while attempting to keep the other colors in mind by keeping the strands in shape and order. As you get the knot tighter, this is where the pic comes in handy, helping pull the cord. I know it sounds confusing and complicated, but the more of them you do the faster and better you get the hang of it. "ANY THING WORTH HAVING TAKES TIME TO ATTAIN".


Step 10: Snug As a Bug

Picture of Snug As a Bug

Now that you have the knot snug as I do here, you will start to cut and tuck .

Step 11: Cut and Tuck

Picture of Cut and Tuck

As illustrated, you can see that I have cut the blue cord and push the pic through on the opposite side to recess the cut end, to conceal it. HERE I USUALLY CUT ALL BUT THE LONGEST CORD AND USE IT TO TIE INTO A KNOT TO BE USED FOR A KEY CHAIN."

Finishing: you may also add a touch of glue at the recessed cuts to keep it from moving, I have experimented with wetting the cord and letting it dry which also seems to tighten the cord even more. If you use water don't use it after just applying the glue, it will create a white pasty color and ruin the hidden effect. You can use the water technique and after drying use the water. I have mad them without using glue or water and they seem to last without coming undone.


quixtom made it! (author)2017-01-23

Pretty easy to follow, tucking the ends was a challenge. Had to go with five wraps because of a 1" ball i used.

father0w1 made it! (author)2016-11-07

great instructions I used my hands instead of a jig awesome and simple instructions

ajnunez1271 made it! (author)2016-06-15

First time making anything out of paracord!! Not bad if I do say so myself :)

SethP12 made it! (author)2016-03-29

great tutorial. I'll make mine multi colored next time. had extra ( a lot ) and made a cobra handle for it!

billy joe 3333 (author)2015-07-15

how do u conceal where u cut the other strings

I almost ordered a rig to do this for me until I found this article. You just save me like eight bucks, thank you!!

CustodialCrayon (author)2014-07-31

Awesome tutorial, finally made my first monkey fist. Thanks!

GeoSlash99 (author)2013-08-30

I usually use about 5 feet for a normal, single strand monkey fist, but you didn't specify how much of each three colors you used! >.< Can you please let me know? Thanks, and aside from that, great tutorial!

funsize07 (author)2012-09-29

do you have to use a die or marble or something or can you do it without one?

TripWir3 (author)funsize072012-09-29

You don't have to, however it would require large rope or cord. Traditionally, the monkey fist was tied without any center at the end of a rope aboard a ship to cast line from ship to ship or shore.

slaveboy2000 (author)2012-06-05

do you lose the die?

jbmcck (author)slaveboy20002012-08-24

Yes the dice stays inside as a core!

BLUEBLOBS2 (author)2012-05-26

This looks AMAZING!

applesaucemodifier (author)2012-05-15

This is brilliant! I once made a monkey fist with a bowling ball in the center and I used a jig made out of 2 by 4's, it never occurred to me to scale it down for small fists.

Stryker Perry 13 (author)2011-10-14

great instuctions i made this i call it a monkeys fist holing a cobra

Thats amazing, it looks awesome.

Grifter (author)2008-09-04

Cool. I'm a fan of the coat hanger fist maker (C.H.F.M.). pronounced: Chuffum

bizshop (author)Grifter2011-01-23

Please post how to make a CHFM

sokamiwohali (author)bizshop2011-11-17

Refer to step 3... :)

Sting2373 (author)2011-09-04

I have one of these I bought while living close to Ft. Campbell Ky. I have never been in the army and was always curious how they were made. Thanks for this...I do have some cord so I might just try it myself.

mary candy (author)2011-07-03

I'm going to make a new one for me :)

imthatguy1125 (author)2010-02-28

 Heres mine I made with a golf ball in the middle

What kind of rope did you use on this fist?

clothline, nylon I think

bamakatt (author)2011-06-23

Holy Moly!! After literally yeeears of trying to make a good looking Monkey's Fist out of paracord I FINALLY succeeded last week. Then got bored and went on to trying variations with other material. I have some real cool Type 1 military accessory cord with a diameter of 1/16" (we used to call it "dummy cord"). It was driving me BATTY trying to keep the wraps straight, especially once I added the steelie to the middle with my fat fingers (this stuff is so thin each side of the fist has SIX strands around a peewee size steelie). I was just about to resign myself to ANOTHER decade of trying to solve the problem till I saw this jig you made from an old hanger. THANK YOU!!! Worked like a charm and the finished product looks fan-freakin'-tastic. Only problem is now all my friends want me to make one for THEM

chuckr44 (author)2008-08-22

Very nice. To practice making my first monkey fist I used string. Wow it came out small. No wonder they use paracord or larger cord.

dragonsniper (author)chuckr442011-06-14

how small was it lol

splazem (author)2011-06-11

It looks great! I like all of the colors.

reddevved (author)2011-06-11

People used to tell me the fist was the hardest knot to tie but it is actually not that hard.

MECHOL (author)2011-05-01

Thanks for the toy cat

reejac (author)2011-04-19

i made better

ccobra (author)2011-04-16

well done well done '-' '-' '-' '-' '-' '-' '-' '-' '-'!

Darthscout (author)2010-07-14

How Much Paracord ar you using for the monkey fist???????

ac7ss (author)2010-05-19

I love making them as key-fobs (I use a 54cal lead shot in the core) Great idea with the wire tool. I will have to make one of those. (All this time I have been using my fingers.)

Avocet Jules (author)2010-04-05

Wow!  This looks great!!  I can't wait to have a go myself!!  Thanks for the tips and the clear instructions!

big-jamie (author)2010-02-07

 is there any reason you use dice instead of a sphere ?

dombeef (author)big-jamie2010-03-18

 It looks cleaner and it is easter to use(In my opinion)

doughnutguy1 (author)dombeef2010-03-30

CHICKEN is better

dombeef (author)doughnutguy12010-04-04

And also i spelled easier wrong

ROBO-MAN007 (author)2009-11-20

 NICE !!!! :)

brendasplace (author)2009-06-14

Yours is so perfect and mine is so ugly. I think I need a little practice

AznPanda (author)2009-04-26

wow fantastic pictures when i get rope ima do this :D

joye18 (author)2008-09-02

Very impressive. Great Pictures.

Lorem (author)2008-08-26

Very nice tutorial, thank you....

TripWir3 (author)2008-08-25

I added pictures and steps.

TripWir3 (author)2008-08-22

I actually intend on taking better pictures and adding a few steps to better explain the process.

Kiteman (author)2008-08-22

Nice - this would make a good light-pull or jacket toggle. Or even a replacement button on a duffel coat!

gmjhowe (author)2008-08-22

Wow, that actually explains it very well, the pictures help the most. well done

About This Instructable




Bio: mentally elevated :)
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