Instructables

Paracord Bracelet with Monkey Fist Button

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I saw the paracord bracelet by Stormdrane a couple of months ago, and had to make some; one night, while insomniacking, I was inspired, and had an epiphany: why not make a paracord bracelet, using a Monkey fist and loop as a closure, instead of a buckle or button?
So, here we go: a paracord bracelet with a Monkey Fist knot acting as the button.
 
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
-Approximately 7 to 8 feet of gutted paracord; more depending on your wrist size. I measured the ratio of cord to weave once, and promptly forgot it.
-A pair of scissors or sharp Swiss Army knife.
-A lighter to melt fraying ends.
-A marlin spike or similar pokey object, used when dressing the monkey fist knot; it should be as tight as possible.
-A skully bead, available at craft stores near you; all kinds are available online, too.
-Time: 2 hours for first attempt

Step 2: The Skully Button

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The hardest part of the project, after procuring the skull beads, will be the monkey fist. It was intended for use as a weight on a heaving line, in order to get larger, non-throwable hawsers from ship to jetty. I think it is a nice looking knot, and also resembles a head with a turban on it.
Take the inner strands out of the paracord, as this reduces the bulky look

Step 3: Wraps and fraps

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Hopefully these pics and diagrams will help; if not, there are lots of good knot-tying sites online.
Begin with your single, long piece of paracord; while tying the Fist, try and get it as close to the center of the piece of cord as possible; this will save a lot of cursing and swearing later on when dressing / tightening the knot.

Using the fingers, make 3 turns around the hand; as part of Mountain Ops training, we called these verticals 'wraps'

Step 4: Fraps

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Start the turns passing outside the middle of the first three turns; these horizontals we called 'fraps'. I do believe this terminology is particular to military mountain ops.

Step 5: Fraps continued...

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Complete the three horizontal fraps...
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ndally4 hours ago
I widen the bead hole with a drill. Clear monkey ball diagrams. I've wanted to learn this for a while, but the first tutorial I looked at was not digestable.
clax12273 years ago
why does it need to be gutted? I mean I've done plenty of bracelet's with the core in.
It doesn't need to be gutted, some people probably just find it easier or think it looks better.

As you can hopefully tell from this picture, I did not gut mine.
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jon3laze made it!5 months ago

I made this about 6 years ago, didn't have the skull bead so I used the end of a screw on gauge.

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kwebber3211 year ago
where did you get the big roll of paracord? and how much did it cost?

you can get them on ebay and most 100 feet rolls cost around $10.00

mistahkool1 year ago
cool project! thanks!
mistahkool1 year ago
cool project! thanks!
fatboy071 year ago
very nice! I wish I can have one, :D
jrv4111 year ago
Another buckle alternative, I too don't care for bulky buckle. http://www.instructables.com/id/Replace-bulky-buckle-on-paracord-bracelet/
datamonk2 years ago
Strangely enough, I just found a site that sells nothing but 550 paracord AND skull beads. Is there a particular symbolism with the survival bracelet, the monkey fist and the skull bead? :)

http://www.paracordmaster.com/index.php/beads.html
no, but paracord crafts are often paired with skull beads as decoration in lanyards and all sorts of things. as for why paracord and skull beads are used together, i have no idea.
15zhangfra2 years ago
i haven't yet been able to make a monkeys fist knot as nice as i would like it to be, so instead i used a knife lanyard knot which is much easier to tie and has a nice pattern in it like a turks head (not as good as one though) and is fairly large.
I'm doing alright until this step, then my knot gets really messed up, any tips?
Unless you put something inside the knot to create some bulk, the knot is going to be a little messed up and not as nice as some of the larger monkey fists you will see. The whole idea to using this knot is to secure the bracelet.
go to this link: http://www.animatedknots.com/monkeysfist/index.php?Categ=decorative&LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com
Very Detailed Instructions! Great site that I immediately bookmarked after seeing just this page.
I did too :D
datamonk2 years ago
Awesome instructable, Tommi! I'm now on my fourth run through, almost ready to teach it to my kids.
where did you get the bead from
EGT19843 years ago
I think this is the hardest part, I always loose the right spot and the bracelet is too small.
nail face3 years ago
if anyone is confused about the weave, you can go here for another tutorial http://theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=55
shilohjim6 years ago
Great idea to use a button knot instead of a bought fastener. I have to wonder though, why not start with the loop and end with the monkey fist? BTW nice graphics showing the monkey fist tying.
Tommi Potx (author)  shilohjim6 years ago
It had never actually occurred to me to start with the loop. I don't think The monkey fist would tie well, as you need two running ends to tie it.

Just a note, you don't need two running ends to tie a monkey fist.  You can tie a knot in the end of a rope, and then build a monkey fist around it.

However, I agree with another poster that they're very difficult to size out and get located right.  Every time I've done a rope project with a monkey fist, it was always easiest to tie that first, then do the rest of the tying.
it's a good thing you didn't - anyone who's tied a monkey fist should know that they're a *pain* to try to get in some sort of exact position...

For extra weight (or size), you can also put a wooden bead or a steel ball in the monkey fist before tightening...
Syncubus srilyk5 years ago
While I agree they can be fidgety to tie, in a specific location, I think it would be a slightly neater look for both the bracelet and the monkey fist. Start with a small turks-head knot or something in the center of your cord, bring the ends up, just as you did before for the loop, do the ladder weave back down, then tie your monkey fist knot around the turks head (using the turks head for the traditional 'filling' for the moneys fist. Also, beautiful pictures on this instructable! I can tell you took your time making it. Thank you for it!
snickarn883 years ago
thanks for the instructable! really nice to learn how to tie a cobra bracelet whitout buckle etc. as fastener. I tried to do it with two colors. was a bit tricky to get the colors symmetric in the monkey fist, but I'm still pleased with the end result.

Have a happy new year!
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embercity3 years ago
is there a way to make multiple colors?
There's a multi-color monkey fist at this instructable.. I think you should be able to simply use a couple different strands to create the bracelet (rather than trimming them all down into the Monkey's fist). It's a thought anyway!
http://www.instructables.com/id/Multi-Color-Monkey-Fist/
chemman5 years ago
Sorry, but as anyone who has ever been in boy scouts knows "fraps" is a common lashing term.
Yup, it's how to secure a square lashing
My first attempt, after several reties of the monkey fist. Suggestion: find the centre of your cord, then "backtrack" 10 inches along the cord you're NOT using to make the monkey fist, and start the button knot there. I managed to get myself two almost even ends to use for the bracelet itself!

My first success from an Instructable - great work, people!
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thanks for the tip, it really helped me, usually i have to work the long end of the cord back through the knot to make the ends even.
Do you have to have the skull bead? cause i don't really want a skull bead on my bracelet. all i want is para cord
no the skull bead is just to add decoration and hold the loop tighter
ok thanks!
 Yeah, the ladder weaving has brought me to a slight halt.
the ladder weaving is done by leaving two strands in the center as a core and the other two do the weaving.

the weaving is accomplished by taking one side strand and placing it over the two center strands leaving a gap. the second side strand goes over the first side strand, behind the two core strands, and out from behind through the gap that was left by the first strand. pull the two outer strands to tighten.

by the way: if you use the same side strand you get a flat weave, and if you alternate strands then the braid twists into a double helix shape.

hope that helps
LOL, WHO IS ON FIRST?. NOW IM REALLY CONFUSED ON THE "LADDER WEAVE".
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