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 the Supply Captain. They carry a huge selection of cord in colors ranging from army green to rainbow. For side release buckles I recommend Creative Designworks.

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

Step 1: Materials

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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.

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sixtrees5 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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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. http://www.instructables.com/id/In_and_out_Knot_and_loop_Bracelet/
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.
Zeke330i5 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. 
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MelissaP111 month ago
chloehall111 month ago

I've always wanted to know how to make this bracelet, know I do. I didn't know it was going to be so easy! Thanks.

My boyfriend used to make lots of bracelets and I know how passionate that could be. Keep you art alive! Cheers

davidwhitehouse made it!2 months ago
Thanks, just made this, looks awesome and i used a clip with a firesteel, striker and whistle on :)
AngelaH11 made it!3 months ago

Thanks! that was so helpful :) Now I just need more paracord...

Jlhmad6 months ago

Thanks for posting! I made it (don't have pictures at the moment) and think it is great. It is a survival bracelet, but not sure what it could be used for in a survival situation....

paracord is great for a lot of things shelter or improvised tool lashings can be tied into a harness for rapelling used for snares you can strip the shell and ise the small white cords to fish and much more
crogshockey5 months ago

You can use buckles off old bags/backpacks or dog/cat collars.

crogshockey5 months ago

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

tmichlovitch made it!5 months ago

Great project and simple to make. I had a lot of fun making it, thanks for the instructable.

mikauhsoj6 months ago
jarnney6 months ago

Took me a minute to get past steps 2 and 3. I didn't realize you weren't cutting until I saw the last pic then I understood. Very happy thank you!! I have an Army watch my wife got me when I left service and the Parcord watchband will be perfect for it!! Hoorah!!

techlover20156 months ago


LexiM7 months ago

I might make one like this.

sle5 made it!7 months ago
thanks for the ible!!!! it was fairly easy to follow. ill make a video of it next time!
grogan soldier made it!7 months ago
mine was loose just like I wanted, at first it was a little confusing but I figured it out quick enough. I love it.
Mr AbAk7 months ago

nice bracelet

Cool. You explained things very clearly..

CaraB28 months ago

Great instructions! Where do you all buy your paracord at? I buy my paracord at http://paracordyou.com, they have great prices.

davidbarcomb9 months ago

This is really cool. Thanks for sharing

jetamkadlec9 months ago
Perfect!! I've just made one!
mcrain1 made it!10 months ago

worked for me!

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jennifer.b.smith.980 made it!1 year ago

awesome instructions ty


nice, works well!

blue_phoenix made it!1 year ago

Definitely enjoyed making this one - melted a fluorescent green to a dark gray cord for some glow in the dark survival paracord fun!

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anasdad1 year ago

Nicely done!


anasdad1 year ago

Nicely done!


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!

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

painrude1 year ago

mann, where will I find a buckle in my area , #Zimbabwe

Stormdrane (author)  painrude1 year ago

You can use buckles off old bags/backpacks or dog/cat collars.

jellyrollmorton made it!1 year ago


ggallimore1 year ago

Great help thanks for this instruct able :)

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