Introduction: Paracord Bracelet With a Side Release Buckle

Picture of Paracord Bracelet With a Side Release Buckle

This tutorial will show how to make a paracord bracelet with a side release buckle. This can be worn as jewelry, and unlike chain, it allows you to store several feet or rope on your person at all times. When made on a larger scale, this can also be used as a dog or cat collar.

A reliable online source of paracord is They carry a huge selection of cord in colors ranging from army green to rainbow.

More projects, links, and knot references can be viewed on my blog page, Stormdrane's Blog.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You'll need paracord, or equivalent 1/8" diameter cord, a tape measure or ruler, scissors, side release buckle, and a lighter (torch lighter works best). The amount of cord used can vary, but for this example we'll use 10 feet of paracord to start with. Actual amount of cord used for the bracelet is about 1 foot of cord for every 1 inch of knotted bracelet length. So if your wrist is 8 inches you'd use approximately 8 feet of cord.

Step 2: Measure Wrist

Picture of Measure Wrist

Wrap the paracord around you wrist and make a note of where the cord meets. Hold this point next to your ruler or tape measure and that's your wrist size.

Step 3: Find the Center of the Cord

Picture of Find the Center of the Cord

Hold the ends of the cord together and find the center of the loop. Take the center of the cord and pull it thru one end of the buckle (either side of the buckle, it doesn't matter). Now pull the cord ends thru the loop until it's tightened up and attached to the buckle.

Step 4: Finding the Bracelet Length

Picture of Finding the Bracelet Length

Take buckle apart and and pull the free ends of the cord thru the other part of the buckle, sliding it up towards the attached part. You're going to measure the distance between the two buckle ends for the bracelet size for your wrist. Add about 1 inch to your measured wrist length, this will make the finished bracelet a comfortable fit. You're measuring from the end of the female part of the buckle to the flat part of the male end of the buckle (the part with the prongs, they don't count for the measurement because the fit inside the female part of the buckle when the bracelet is closed).

Step 5: Start Making the Knots

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The knot used for the bracelet has a few different names, cobra stitch, Solomon bar, and Portuguese sinnet. Take the cord on the left side and place it under the center strands running between the buckle ends. Now take the cord on the right side under the left side cord, over the center strands, and thru the loop of the left side cord. Tighten up the cords so the half knot you just formed is next to the buckle. Now take the right side cord under the center strands. The left side cord goes under the right side cord, over the center strands and thru the loop of the right side cord. Tighten up the cords (not too tight, just until they meet the resistance of the knot) and now you have a completed knot. You will continue doing this alternating the left and right sides as you go. If you don't alternate, you'll quickly see a twisting of the knots, just undo the last knot and alternate it to correct.

Step 6: Continue Knotting

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Keep tying the knots until you have filled the space between the buckle ends. The knots should be uniform from one end to the other. Tie each knot with the same tension to keep the them all the same size.

Step 7: Trim the Excess Cord and Melt the Ends

Picture of Trim the Excess Cord and Melt the Ends

You can now use your scissors to trim off the extra cord close to the last knot that you tied. I trim one at a time and use my lighter to quickly melt the end I cut. Wait a second for the melted cord to cool just a bit and then use my thumb to press the melted end onto the surrounding cord so it hardens as it attaches. You must be careful with this step. The melted cord is extremely hot, and it's possible to get burned, so you might also try using a soldering iron or wood burning tool for the melting step if you wish. Or even use something like a butter knife, the side of your lighter, or the knurled section of a tool to flatten out the melted end of the cord to finish it.

An alternative to melting the ends, is to tuck/pull the ends under the last couple of knots (I have used hemostats to do this on the inside of the bracelet) then trim them to finish. It does work, and is just barely noticeable as the cords add a slight bulge at that end of the bracelet.

Step 8: You're Finished

Picture of You're Finished

If you did everything correctly, it should look something like this finished one. Once you know what you're doing you can vary the amount of cord used by making the knots tighter or looser and pushing the knots closer together as you go.

A tip for paracord bracelets: If the side release buckle is large enough, you can loop the paracord around them again before you start knotting, to fill in the extra room on the buckle.

The 1/2" side release buckles are a tight fit for this, but will work, and the 5/8" size are just right.

This leaves a two strand core for the bracelet when you start knotting.

Now, you could also have a four strand core by starting with a lark's head on the first buckle end, double wrap on the second buckle end (at your wrist size), run the cord back to and over the first buckle end, and then start knotting over the four strand core.

Or, for a six strand core, lark's head the first buckle, run the two strands around the second buckle (at your wrist size), back to and around the first buckle (now has four strands around), then back to and around the second buckle, and then start knotting around the six core strands.

This gives extra cord in case you need it for whatever, but it also makes the paracord bracelets thicker and more rounded, which I personally didn't care for and that's why I stick with the two strand core. YMMV

Step 9: Other Variations

Picture of Other Variations

Once you have the hang of the basic bracelet/collar, you can add another layer of cobra stitches overlapping the first set of knots, called a king cobra stitch/doubled Solomon bar/doubled Portuguese sinnet. The amount of cord used for a king cobra is about twice as much as for the regular stitch. Both the 1/16" and 3/32" sizes work well for the bracelets and can be used alone or combined with paracord.

Glow-in-the-dark paracord is available now, found from various online vendors and on ebay, but I've not used any myself, so I couldn't say if it's any good or not, or how long it glows.


sixtrees (author)2009-11-14

Great job,  you inspired me to make one of my own. I didn't have a snap buckle though, so I modified mine.

fiftyoneman (author)sixtrees2009-12-20

 This looks great - do you have an instructable on how you did it? I can't work it out from the photos.

sixtrees (author)fiftyoneman2009-12-26

OK, I don't think I need to post a full instructable for my bracelet because I just combined two posted instructables. But I will tell you what I did.
Measure your paracord according to stormdraines version, but add 1 foot. Tie the knot that is in this version.
So I started it like kcardwel's but instead of tieing it to furniture and using a seperate piece of cord, I braided it like stormdraine. The end part was a little tricky. I braided it to the end until there was only enough room to fit the two loose ends of cord through the loop. I had one slightly longer end so I used that one to form the loop for the  big knot, I think I tied a knot so the loop was in place. I then loosely wrapped the ends around the loop 3 times and then fed the cord through those loops (like a noose). I then pulled them tight and ran them down under the braids of the bracelet.  
Hope this helps :)

onlyHischild (author)sixtrees2017-11-23

Gotcha!!! Thanks.

onlyHischild (author)sixtrees2017-11-23

A little late, sixtrees, but could you explain the steps of your modification for not having a buckle?

JeiaN (author)sixtrees2017-03-15

How did you do that loop?!?!?!?

darman12 (author)sixtrees2013-08-20

I love the loop, how did you do it?

Matthew23 (author)darman122016-04-18

I've got a 15$ Paracord bracelet for free HERE.

BigAndRed (author)Matthew232016-04-28

only for USA, the rest of the world dosn't exist.

BoJ7 (author)BigAndRed2016-05-15

The rest of WHAT?!

-Tim in USA

BigAndRed (author)BoJ72016-05-15

refer to coment above
I've got a 15$ Paracord bracelet for free HERE.)
When you click onto link and fill in address, there is only USA in countries list, therefore my coment. This is typical of companies in Usa not sending out to the rest of the world.

awsome pie (author)sixtrees2009-12-20

Wow that bracelet looks awesome u should make an instructable for that if you haven't already tell me when you do.

Zeke330i (author)2009-11-22

 Thanks for the great Instructable! I've been looking for a new collar for my Mastiff, Zeke, for a while now and thought the King Cobra stitch would look pretty good. I used 45' of Bright Red (wife's idea) 550 Paracord and a 3/4" side release buckle, both from Supply Captain (thanks for the link). I also re-appropriated a "D" ring from an old collar so I could hook a leash to him for walks. Using some extra 550, I made a few Chain Sinnet bracelets based on the instructions from your blog. Great stuff, thanks for posting. 

faye.white.395 (author)Zeke330i2016-11-20

Love the idea for a dog collar! Thanks.?

DanT130 (author)2018-01-13

would a 3/8 buckle work for this project

Stormdrane (author)DanT1302018-01-13

Yes, a 3/8" buckle will work with this project.

ChristinaR91 (author)2017-12-12

My 12 year old son is making this for his Dad and friends for Christmas this year. Thanks for the tutorial, he was able to follow along and is pleased with the results!

onlyHischild (author)2017-11-23

I'd love to know the buckle brand. GOOD buckles are hard to find.

Stormdrane (author)onlyHischild2017-11-23

The ITW Nexus buckles (various sizes/models) are my favorite, but they're quite a bit more expensive than the many cheaper imported versions, which work well enough for most folks, so it comes down to what you want to spend. Some folks only want actual mil-spec paracord instead of the cheaper quality commercial paracord, and they don't mind spending twice as much for it, again it just comes down to your choice. ;)

knj5306 made it! (author)2016-09-07

I mixed this Instructable with your two color lanyard Instructable for the lanyard below. Buckeye for scale. I've got to make 50 of these for my daughter's swim team, and this knot is a bit easier for me to do. Thanks!

Dana LaBerge (author)knj53062017-07-18

It's so wrong how you have a buckeye for scale on a bracelet in basically Michigan colors lol

pmorse1 (author)2017-07-09

Thank goodness for the normal average craft project! I make these bracelets for needy children overseas and always like to see new ideas that I can use. Thanks for adding to my creativity!

ElectroFrank (author)2017-07-09

It is wonderful to have a length of cord available for emergencies. But when the day comes that you need it urgently, won't this take a very long time to undo all the knots ?

So is there a quick unravelling version of the paracord bracelet ?

Stormdrane (author)ElectroFrank2017-07-09

It can take time to untie/unravel a knotted paracord bracelet, and the cord will probably be kinked up, and may be dirty/worn and weakened depending on how hold it is and how often it has been carried, but can still be useful if needed.

There are many different possible designs for paracord bracelets, some use patterns than can come undone quickly, like a chain sinnet.

Considering that many paracord bracelet designs use around 10 feet of cord, some more, some less, if someone has an urgent speedy emergency need for that small amount of cordage, then their problem probably is beyond a basic utility need that length of cord might assist with... ;)

Tomas Jansen (author)2017-02-27

I have just started doing paracord projects & your website is

awesome. Things are clear & tell me just what I need to know. I am
enjoying this very much!

BenjaminR88 (author)2017-02-19

I made this at McDonalds while I ate.

Falafel and the Bee (author)2017-01-22

Great job with this Instructable! Really well done. I have wanted to make one of these bracelets for so long, and I finally did it today!

Thank you:)

phill the chanel (author)2017-01-04

i made a belt

faye.white.395 made it! (author)2016-11-20

Thank you so much! I couldn't follow a video but your instructions made it so easy to make my own.??

Amnisorbs made it! (author)2016-11-19

I was also inspired to make one. I also didn't have the snap clip so improvised with a small karabina which worked well. Great activity to do with the scouts.

c0r3 made it! (author)2016-10-06

I've done a couple before using this instructable - thank you!

Jonnvoll made it! (author)2016-08-28

Was looking for paracord projects for my scout group and decided to make one of these for myself as I had both paracord and buckles lying around.

2Horserider2 (author)2016-07-31

i made 2 of these at camp and i am in love with them

BrendanB23 made it! (author)2016-07-28

THanks for the tutorial it was really simple to follow.

AllisonF15 made it! (author)2016-06-06

this was my 1st try and I think it came out pretty good. I already knew how to do the knots, but the clasps, measurements, etc. I had no clue about. Thank you so much for your awesome instructions! Now I'm going to start getting creative since I've got this part down! Thanks again! ??✌?️?

ohnonottwins made it! (author)2016-05-17

Thanks for this.

Mine came out well for the first attempt, after I figured out the second knot. Just trying to get a neat finish on the ends; should be good after some practice.

Pameleana (author)2016-04-07

Great idea!!

tkashop (author)2016-02-29

My friend is making such things:

brod0331 made it! (author)2016-02-16

put a twist on my version

armin 7 made it! (author)2016-02-12

nice job bro.

u971 made it! (author)2016-01-29

The ones i made following your instructions.thanks again!

u971 (author)2016-01-28

Thanks for the instructions used this over some i had with a kit that were useless.

UlupiT (author)2016-01-20

super idea!! gotta try it.

Dave max (author)2016-01-19

Great tutorial,but i would love to have some extra fitings like a compass and fire starter like this one here .I loved your tutorial its very handy and looks exactly like dis!

mcarew2 made it! (author)2016-01-08

makes a great extension for my keys ?

Stormdrane (author)mcarew22016-01-08

Certainly, it looks good! :)

ETERNUR made it! (author)2015-12-29

I see this is an old Instructable, however I just recently found out about Paracord & so decided to give it a go. I followed your instructable. I had leftover paracord at the end of the bracelet so decided to continue over the top & see how far back it would go. I used ~2.5m of paracord & managed to do a bracelet for my wrist (~7 inches) plus half way back again. I didn't have any buckles on hand, so decided to just use a random scrap of leather & some press studs to clasp it for this practice run.

NOTE: for anyone else using 1 piece of paracord, I found that putting some tape on one of the ends helped me remember which end I was going over top with (as it's always the same).

couponchief (author)2015-12-26

Nice idea, thanks for writing this up.

zachaquack1987 made it! (author)2015-09-08

Nice presentation. Very easy to follow. Here's the result.

thats cool.

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More by Stormdrane:How to tie a two-strand wall knot sinnet paracord lanyardGlow-in-the-dark Powder & Epoxy Mod ProjectsA two-strand paracord lanyard knot
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