Paracord bracelet with a side release buckle


Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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 the 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

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

You can now use your scissors to trim off the extra cord closely to the last knot 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 buldge at that end of the bracelet.

Step 8: 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 can use more cord.

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 second buckle end(at your wrist size), run cord back to and over the first buckle end, then start knotting over the four strand core.

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

Once you have the hang of the basic bracelet/collar, you can add another layer of cobra stitches overlapping 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, etc...
sixtrees4 years ago

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

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darman12 sixtrees8 months ago
I love the loop, how did you do it?
 This looks great - do you have an instructable on how you did it? I can't work it out from the photos.
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 :)

Wow that bracelet looks awesome u should make an instructable for that if you haven't already tell me when you do.
Zeke330i4 years ago
 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. 
Survival Dog Collar1 002.jpgSurvival Dog Collar1 003.jpgSurvival Dog Collar1 008.jpgSurvival Dog Collar1 010.jpgSurvival Dog Collar 005.jpgIMG_1610.jpg
sheepbars4 days ago

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

sheepbars4 days ago

I would like to say thank you for making a very good Instructable and it was just nice and easy to use. I have just one question, my bracelet keeps twisting like it is winding up and if you could tell me what I am doing wrong that would be nice? Thank you in advance.

JKMax9 days ago

I just made this, and it was easy. I did a few modifications though. I wound about 25-30 feet of 12 lb test fishing line around the inner cords, and then put two small fishing hooks inside a small strip of aluminum foil, which can be used to lure the fish with it's reflecting capabilities. The fishing hook package has a small piece of electrical tape around it and I attached it towards the buckle area. It is a tiny bit larger than the rest of the bracelet, but since the buckle is underneath your arm, it doesn't show. Now if you have to use it for actual have your hooks and line. You could also put a couple of split shots (weights) in there, but being mostly lead, I think I will put those inside the ends of my new paracord shoe laces! Just thought of something could attach a bobber to the bracelet as a charm!! Just kidding.

When I think back to the first time I was on Instructables, I think it was when I found this via Google search. I thank you for that :)

I would like to say thank you for making a very good Instructable and it was just nice and easy to use. I have just one question, my bracelet keeps twisting like it is winding up and if you could tell me what I am doing wrong that would be nice? Thank you in advance.

LynnAnderson made it!2 months ago

Love it, Thank you :)

gazumpglue2 months ago

Thank you for the time and effort you've put into these tutorials.

gazumpglue2 months ago

very nice work

Psychoclown972 months ago

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!

chimplost3 months ago

I love making these I am thinking about starting a business

but I need some tips

XaqFixx3 months ago

Just purchased a kit with TERRIBLE instructions, you 'ible was a life saver!

ok, I looked at your other instructable on how to do that one with the watchband, and i was wondering if that would work with the watchband to.
Stormdrane (author)  That Survival Freak4 months ago
Yes, you can remove one watchpin to gain access to the back of the watch for swapping out batteries on several different type paracord watchbands, or even switch watches if they are similar in size/construction to fit the spacing of your watchband knot work. ;)
steveazhocar4 months ago
Great tutorial! I especially like the other bracelet variations. Thanks for spreading your knowledge!
steveazhocar4 months ago
Great tutorial! I especially like the other bracelet variations. Thanks for spreading your knowledge!
LionVengance5 months ago
Theclayton5 months ago
Great tutorial! I especially like the other bracelet variations. Thanks for spreading your knowledge! Paracord bracelet instructions
Rdenn991 year ago
Maybe I've missed it in your comments below, but could you show us how you made the 2 color braclets... The pic above shows it in black and brown.
Stormdrane (author)  Rdenn991 year ago
Sew, melt, or glue your two paracord colors together, then tie following the instructable, with the connected section in the center of the bracelet and knotted over.  If you were using 10 feet of a single color, you'd use two 5 foot long sections for a two color version. ;)
so for a child size if their wrist is 5.5" i need about 6 feet of cord, total, even if only one color?
Stormdrane (author)  skizyx986 months ago
That would be around what you may use for that size bracelet, but depending on how you tie the bracelet(tight or loose, the buckle you use, diameter of cord), you may use less or more than that.

I usually overestimate what I need, because I can always use leftover excess cord for other things, zipper pulls and such, but having too short a strand of cord to finish a project doesn't leave you with many options to finish it.

Once you've tied several, you can narrow down exactly what you need based on your own tying style, and that helps eliminate waste. ;)
thank you! i ended up using around 6' i think. using a buckle closure. we'll see how it fits my nephew, i'll keep ya posted! have you shown instructions with the loop/knot closure method? i'd be interested in seeing that option also. makes it easier if you don't want to purchase buckles. thanks again! simple to follow!
Stormdrane (author)  skizyx986 months ago
I've not done an instructable with the knot/loop closure. Here's another knot tyer's tutorial for tying one with knot/loop or sewn on BDU button closer options. ;)
thank you, again!
Stormdrane (author)  Rdenn991 year ago
For a doubled Solomon bar/Portuguese sinnet/cobra stitch, you just tie the same knotting pattern over the first bracelet as a core. See my comment of this instructable from 'Mar 16, 2007' for a few photo links of the process.
jarrettgreen7 months ago
What size buckle did you use?
Stormdrane (author)  jarrettgreen7 months ago
The buckle used in the instructable was a 1/2" curved/contoured side release buckle, but you can use various sizes, colors, styles that are currently available nowadays... ;)
Thanks for the quick reply! Started looking around and realized there were a TON of choices.
cpowell177 months ago
I want to make a dog collar for our large breed dogs...90# yellow lab & rottweiler mix. Will the burnt end hold for large dogs or is there a different technique to use for them??

Thanks for the help :~)
It might be a good idea to melt the two ends together. Using tweezers, forceps, or pliers... Burn the ends, and while still hot and soft press together and flat...
Stormdrane (author)  cpowell177 months ago
You can pull/tuck the end strands back into a bracelet or collar, using a lacing needle or a pair of hemostats. Work the end strands alongside the core strands, under a few knots, then trim and tuck to finish. 

Tucking and hiding the end strands can be done with many different variations of knot projects, as an alternative to melting, gluing, or sewing to secure and finish.  ;)
cpowell177 months ago
Thanks, Stormdrane :~) I appreciate your help!!
bfarnell7 months ago
Bracelet and lanyard done. Great instructions! Cheers.
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clickworried7 months ago
Thank you for the time and effort you've put into these tutorials.

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