Picture of Paracord Bullwhip
Hello everybody!

I've been enjoying this site for long and have finally found enough time to write a first Instructable by myself.

I'll will share with you how to make a real paracord bullwhip.

It should not be that hard for those of you who know their way through ropes, knots and braiding.
I wouldn't recommend this as a beginner project though.
It involves careful and regular braiding of up to 12 strands a bit over 12 feet long, which can be a bit messy or frustrating if you're not familiar with manipulating such lengths of cord.
You will also need to know ( or be willing to learn) some 'advanced' knots to make it look nice, and I won't cover that lengthly point in this Instructable since there is already a lot of resources on that topic on the Net.
I however do plan on doing a few other Instructables on that topic if people are interested in it.

We will be making a 2.50m ( ~8.2ft) whip, from handle tip to fall, not including the cracker.

Take your time with this one, you'll get what you give.
It took me maybe a week or so worth of evenings to complete it.

The result was well worth it, this thing cracks loudly and easily as expected and it ended up being a very rewarding project.

I'd like to thank "Bullwhipcracker" for his nice info  about whip making that served as an inspiration for this project and saved me some headaches about figuring out the correct lengths for the different steps.
I was unable to find a homepage or anything that links directly to his work to give him proper credit though.

Now, let's get to the fun stuff :)

Here's a short vid showing that it's indeed the real deal.

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Qubik made it!7 months ago

Well first one, not the best, but gives skills for next and better. Thanx for instructable.

JohnS53 Qubik6 months ago

thanx again, made another. Shorter version as one friend asked..

ch5 (author)  Qubik7 months ago

Looks good to me. Now let's make some noise!

jcarter35 made it!6 months ago

Love this ible, thanks so much for writing it. It's definitely the best one I've found. I've made two whips and am working on a third now. My first whip is pictured. Right now, I'm working on a hybrid of your metal core / paracord belly with a leather outer plait. It's almost done, and I can't wait to show it off!

On a side note - I couldn't find any lamp chain, so I did the next best thing. I used a whole mess of .177 steel BB's and fed them one at a time into the gutted paracord (at about 6 BB's per inch). It took forever, but worked REALLY well. I might write up my own ible as an alternative starting method and reference yours for the main body of work.

I've also found what might be the best cracker material - Kevlar! I have a sample of some and pulled a few strands of out the weave. I then used your method to wind them into a cracker. It is holding up extremely well. and sounds great. The cracker pictured is Dacron or something, not Kevlar (which is yellow).

ch5 (author)  jcarter356 months ago
Nice job ! Glad to see that the ible met it's expected purpose.
I wrote it because "back then" I couldn't find any step by step ressource that one could follow without doing further research on the various aspects.

There might be an alternative to stuffing BB's into the cord that might be easier to obtain locally in sewing or craft shops: google "curtain weighted cord" or "sausage bead weighted cord". It's basically hollow cord with shot grains already put inside, and threaded on a smaller cord so they don't risk ending up packed at one side of the cord from repeated swinging around.

(Their legitimate use is being sewed at the bottom of curtains to ensure a nice fall. )
logan_campbell10 months ago
Thanks. Your ible was very helpful.
flattail made it!1 year ago

Thank you very much! I made one for one of my friends and it works great!

Here are some pictures of the finished product:

eisener1 year ago

just finished my second. started yesterday and only put around 5 and a half hours into it.


Your link for the star knot is no longer working. I think this may be the same one you were talking about:


Your whip looks nice, good instructable.

ch5 (author)  MadisonCountyParacordist1 year ago

Yes,thanks.Your link is indeed a mirror of the tutorial I was recommending.

kylet12 years ago
I made two whips and they came out good. If anyone is interested I'm selling them
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yamnitram4 years ago
Hey CH5,
brilliant set of instructions. Time estimate right on and what an excellent whip to end up with. The missus and I went into the back garden and were breaking the sound barrier within minutes. Excellent. Thank you
ch5 (author)  yamnitram4 years ago
Thanks for your comments :)
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Any pics ?
yamnitram ch54 years ago
Hi CH5
Here are a couple of photos.
Rather than a nail I used an old kite strut for the handle. I lengthened the first four strands to run the length of the handle as I thought it would hold together better. To finish off I screwed a round head brass head screw up the center of the rod. I am contemplating doing a knot on the end of the handle but having tied it in larger rope the thought of doing it in paracord is giving me the willies. Maybe I will just polish the screw head and call it a day as it does look nice and works very well.
thanks again
ch5 (author)  yamnitram3 years ago
Thanks :)
Seeing all those pictures makes me wish i had much more time to try out all those color variations.
essigurken3 years ago
Great design, excellent and clear instructable. I've been working on mine on and off for a while, and just finished it. Figured I'd share.

I didn't have much luck with the knot you used to secure the cracker, so I made up my own. pictures and video below.

Picture 007.jpgPicture 014.jpgPicture 015.jpgPicture 008.jpgPicture 013.jpg
ch5 (author)  essigurken3 years ago
Awesome ! thanks for sharing the pictures :)
Spy_644 years ago
Hey, I completed another! (c;
Spy_644 years ago
I finally made my second whip. Black and pink. Took about a week to make. I used mosquito cord for the crkacker... best thing I have found yet, works amazingly. Also, instead of using duct tape for wrapping the core, I used light automotive shrink tubing. I was hesitant at first, but it made the whip less rigid and really gave it more crack. This whip ended up being 10ft. from handle to cracker.
ch5 (author)  Spy_644 years ago
Sweet :)
I guess you only used one ping doubled strand to achieve this pattern ?
( I'm stressing that so people could have various recipies for differnt patterns from the comments )

Nicely done!
good stuff... here are pictures of a few whips I have made, and by the way I'm only 16 so I'm sorry if the picrtures don't look very "professional" XD

The 100 % complete ones are shown in close ups, the 8ft blue one is gutted paracord with simple round diamond and tripled 4 strand plaiting on the handle, the black one is a 10 ft 8 plait "Indy" Bullwhip made of... the DIYer's best friend Duct Tape
PIC_1100.JPGgo.JPGgo5.JPGgo3.JPGgo2.JPGgo 4.JPGPIC_1099.JPG
ch5 (author)  WataAtaCrackahJack4 years ago
These look nice !
I was wondering: how good does the duct tape one perform?
What did you use on the inside ?
It looks great.Did you fold the tape strips lengthwise to get a thinner non-sticky band ?
Spy_644 years ago
I have found that mosquito cord works exceptionally well for a cracker. Light weight, super strong, flexible and small diameter (1/16"). Its sheathed with nylon like paracord but has a twisted pair of very tough nylon string in the core.
Spy_644 years ago
After many many hours over several weeks of evenings, I have complete my own using these instructions. I have made a few changes including larger lamp chain... which I think ultimately is the cause of mine being a bit shorter; from the tip of the handle to the tip of the fall it is 7ft. 3in. to the tip of the cracker it is 8ft. 3in. Lookng at your star knot and handle compaired o mine, I believe the spike I used for the handle was a bit larger, but it tapers nicely to the whip. I had to use more material in the plaiting for some reason I cannot explain and still ended up too short on the plaiting. Also, I think I pulled the plaiting too tight, as my whip is very rigid and in some spots was not able to hide the drop strands very well because I could not slide the bottom strands up enough to hide them. I thought the red stripe would make the whip stand out a bit more. Like yours, I fastened the star knot with a Mathew Walker knot, but I crowned the star knot to fill the hole in the end and have three passes through the rabbit holes. I put a turks head on to mark the top of the handle. Unfortunately, I did not know how to hide the ends to the Matthew Walker or the Turks head nicely, so there is a small dot where I melted the ends where each string came out. Also, I cut the ends off short and melted them to the half hitch knots where the fall attaches because I got ahead of the instructions, where you left the ends just cut short, but it ended up looking fairly nice regardless. I didn't have any medium diameter string, so I made the cracker out of some of the guts from the cord and it worked extremely well. This whip cracks incredibly loud and easy. All in all, I am very happy with the results of my first attempt. I think my next will go faster and a bit smoother. There are a few things I may put my own twist on with the next one. One of the bigger changes I may make next time is using shrink tubing in place of duct tape. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise on this project, I enjoyed doing this immensely. (c;
ch5 (author)  Spy_644 years ago
Hi, your whip looks very nice :)
I featured your comment so everybody can see the results near the top of the page. I also planned on using multiple color strands, but didn't have long enough strands of matching colors at the time.
How many orange strands did you use ? My guess from the pattern would be one ?
Very nicely done, and thanks for your support :)
wangerton4 years ago
so I'm layin on the couch snappin my paracord bullwhip around the room like I tend to do when I decided to revisit your instructable.
After perusing the comments for quite some time I realized no-one has actually posted a pic of a bullwhip they made using your directions.
So here is some photographic whippage for your ogle-ing pleasure. It aint perfect but neither am I. Your instructable was excellent, well written, easy to follow, at least if a dullard like myself could do it, well, you know.

ch5 (author)  wangerton4 years ago
Hi, thanks for posting some pics, as you mentionned it I didn't get that much graphic feedback on this instructable, it's nice to see some.
Also thanks for your support, doing this instructable took some work, and i'm glad people find it clear enough to follow.
I hope you have fun with your hand made supersonic toy :)

runowicz5 years ago
hey! great instructable - i've made a whip of my own in a few hours :) could you please come up with a formula to calculate particular lengths of paracord for different whip lengths? is it just proportions i'm looking for or is there more to it? all the best, tomek
ch5 (author)  runowicz5 years ago
That's the question I most get since I published this instructable.
But unfortunately, I don't know of any ratio for this.
Especially since many things might make it may vary such as :your plaiting style , the initial materials, the thickness of your differents layers...
I think using simple ratios based on this example should be close to what you'd need, but i'd recommend extanding them a bit , just in case.
That's the only whip I've made so far so I lack data to make the estimates more accurate, but if you happen to try it with other lengths, I'd be interested in the outcome ( lengths you used, length reached, leftovers..)

I'm glad you like it, thanks for your support ;)
( You're from Poland ?Right? )

runowicz ch55 years ago
Thanks for responding. In fact I've made the one to your measurements for my kid (who is really into indiana jones at the mo) but had so much fun doing it, that i'd love to make another, possibly longer. The question is not so much about the length of the plating but about the guts. Logically the guts determine the length of the plating, so I can figure them out. It is just a question of dropping the thickness at the right points. How did you come up with the lengths? Did you just eyeball it? And, yes, I'm very much from Poland (Warsaw at the mo) :) All The Best, tomek
ch5 (author)  runowicz5 years ago
The exact place where the whip gets thinner isn't really critical.
Even I didn't 100% follow the exact measurements I give here.
To make it neat , if the whip is 5 sections long,thinning every 1/5 will probably work fine for the guts, maybe with the end segment slightly longer than the others.
You might also want to add additionnal sections ( and a corresponding number of pair of strands to the plaits) to the whip If you want to make it longer.

Since they're 3 layers, when making each one, drop thicknes 1/3 way of the underlying layer to get an even progression.

I made a ( crappy ^^' ) diagram to better explain it below:
Black bars are the gut sections, blue is the first layer, red is the second one.
vertical green marks show points where the whip loses thickness, note that they end up evenely spaced.

I hope this helps.
( I was born in Warsaw btw ;) )

runowicz ch55 years ago
thanks a lot :) now i have enough info to figure it out :) (as for you being born in warszawa, well .. it's a small world already, and it's getting smaller by the minute :) regards, tomek
salomon19965 years ago
hello again! :) this instructable is AWESOME! well, i finished my whip, but the only problem is i cant get the star not on the end of the handle, any tips? i will post some pics soon. THANKS!!
ch5 (author)  salomon19965 years ago
I answered that earlier in the comments already: Once you've tied the knot on the table, it will very loosely fit around the nails head. What makes it hold is the very tight matthew walker's knot tied with the remaining strands around the base of the handle. Then just cut the ends of the remaining strands so a few millmeters are left, melt them, and smear around the knot's end like an O-ring. Also, when beginning the knot , i dont melt 6 strands together like on the suggested website but rather cross 3 middled strands "over/under" like In the following. It helps saving some space.( you could also thread them through each orher like in step 15,pic 3 to save some more and make the tying easaier.)
salomon1996 ch55 years ago
well, i tied my star knot, but i didn't do what the picture above suggests(at that time i had no idea what you were talking about in the other comment) and when i make my mathew walker knot, it just slides right off, it was tight too. any suggestion?(sorry if i am getting annoying with all my questions)
here are some PICS!
ch5 (author)  salomon19965 years ago
It looks nice in beige too :) I think that from the pics I understand what's going on: The melted part on your knot seems to take up a lot of space from inside the knot, and therefore you're just putting the knot close to the nail tip before tying it, leaving all the strain on the matthew walker. It should look more like the following illustration ( fear the epic paint skillz ^^ ) Using one of the 2 techniques I mentionned for beggining the knot will probably help a lot. The nail's head is supposed to be stuck inside the knot after it is tied and dressed. It will fit loosely. I hope this helps.
star knot.bmp
salomon1996 ch55 years ago
that helps a lot! thank you! i will remake the star knot, hopefully, and see if that works.
Great instructable! You beat me to it! I have made several whips of paracord, but lack the documentation for a full on instructable as of yet. The most recent I made was a snake whip with plastic coated steel cable as the core. Keep up the good work. You have my vote and 5 stars!
ch5 (author)  hailtothkngbby5 years ago
Thanks for your support!
Your whip sounds great ^^
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