Instructables
Picture of Paracord Monkey Fist
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The Monkey Fist knot has a long history since 1800's, main purpose as a weight at the end of a rope or  just for decorative use.
The monkey fist was also used as a melee weapon among sailors  and gangs.

In this guide I will show how to make the Monkey Fist using a marble inside the knot.

The first few attempts could go wrong - this knot needs a LOT of patience so take your time and especially the final tightening part, do it slowly and you will get a cool Monkey  fist.

Everyone are welcomed to vist my blog for more paracord guides and projects: 
http://paracord-projects.blogspot.com/
 
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Step 1: Option 1, Monkey Fist guide

Picture of Option 1, Monkey Fist guide
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Step-1 Many objects could be used inside the knot preferably round or square, I chose to use a marble. The marble is light weight and you can get it in different sizes. It is possible to use metal balls but they are heavy and will  "upset" metal detectors. 
For this project you will need 4-5feet paracord , scissors, lighter, pointy object and a bit of  
patience.
In this guide I used a small marble so 3 times around every side is enough to cover the marble.

Step 2:

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Step 3:

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At this stage insert the marble into the center.

Step 4:

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Before you start the thightening process just count that you have even cord on every side.
In my example I should have 3 times marble cover on each side.

Step 5:

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This is the last step, from this point you will have to start  tightenings the cord. Just remember, do it slowly dont pull to hard on the first few tightenings. When the cord is getting hard to pull use the pointy object.

Sometimes its trail and error to find out  how many time we have to wrap the paracord around an object to get the right cover.
It can also depend on the thickness of the paracord.

Step 6:

At this step you have  few options to end the monkey fist, you can make a simple knot, snake knot, diamond knot or any other finishing method, you can find guide for Diamond knot and more at my blog: 
 http://paracord-projects.blogspot.com/

Congratulations on your first monkey fist.

Steps For Diamond Knot:
1. Create the diamond knot (see guide image).
2. Before tightening the knot slide in the 2 end cords. (see marked image).
3. Cut the 2 end cords close to the knot.
4. Lighter, water to dip your finger in (when fusing), pointy object to push warm cord into the knot.
Start by fusing together the 2 end cords, try doing it neat and carefully to get nice finishing. When both ends are fused warm them with the lighter and push them in the knot. Now you can attach a ring to it (or before) and pull the ring and the bottom 2 cords to get the final tightening.

 

Step 7: Option 2, Monkey Fist guide

In this guide I am  just  showing another way how to hold the cord between the fingers.
Try both ways and  you will find out which way is more comfortable for you. I find this method easier for bigger marbles.

I also recommend using some sort of pointy object I chose my nail punch.
Once the knot is finished the pointy object will aid you when pulling the cord to tighten the knot around the marble.

Step 8: "Easy Monkey Fist" guide

I was just thinking that not everyone finds it easy making the monkey fist knots between 2 fingers so I made this DIY aid I call it the "Easy Monkey Fist". All that is needed is to wrap the cord correctly in the monkey fist knot then take it off and tighten it.

It's made from scrap timber (L-shape screwed together) and 4" nails. I drilled nail sized diameter holes so the nails could be removed / pulled out easily.
The small gap on the base is for holding the start cord.
3 screws (optional) to fix it to a solid bas.
It is optional to drill a few more holes to fit different marble/small ball size.
 
I tried it myself a few times and it only took me a few minutes to make a perfect monkey's fist.

Just remember, do it slowly dont pull to hard on the first few tightenings.
 
In this guide I used a large marble so 6 times around was enough to cover it.
Also remember the bigger the core object is the more paracord you will need + extra cord for final finishing: snake knot, cobra knot etc'.

Step 10: Gift Exchange - Paracord

Picture of Gift Exchange - Paracord
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Here I made a few paracord knots for my Gift Exchange match nepheron.
From the left:
1. small monkey fist, marble as core combined with snake knot.
2. Snake knot  with diamond knot.
3. Square knot  with diamond knot.
4. Cobra and knig cobra knot with diamond knot.
5. Survival bracelet, cobra knot. I left the end cord loose so nepheron can adjust it to his wrist size.
6.Large monkey fist (big marble) and Giant monkey fist from 10mm paracord, golf ball as core. The baby in the image was not included....  ;-)
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can I use yarn for this? instead of paracord :)
you can, but it will require at least: double materials and ALOT more patience :) Good Luck!
Schmidty162 years ago
where do u get paracord at
in the us, hobby lobby or other craft store, bot you can find 550 on the Web for better quality and cheaper.
The wood plan is brilliant! If you don't have wood, with a little ingenuity ( which I'm sure you have ) you can use the same plans on other mat. such as plastic or even duct tape :)
cvezina11 month ago

I completed my best monkey fist knot yesterday using quarter-inch poly-fill rope (the cheap crap with the blue paper core) with a sand filled tennis ball in the knot. It turned out to be a little over half a meter long. When testing it, I smashed it against a two liter bottle of water, unopened, and it compressed the bottle so quickly that the cap split in two.

Thanks for the awesome tutorial! :D

Bobey5 months ago
Did not get it
Monkey Fist in action: Check out the movie Inception when the Eames character is skiing away from the badguys towards the end of the movie. There is about a one second shot where Eames throws a rope weighted at the end with a monkey fist and catches it between the branches of a tree thereby creating a taut line that the bad guys ski into. It could totally happen.

And btw, I always make my Monkey Fists without a core.

Do you have a tutorial on how to do a paracord monkey fist without a core? I'd love to try it!

First of all: EPIC MOVIE
Second of All: I think they look different when they don't have a core... Idk
mishmash251 year ago
I'M FROM WALES IN THE UK AND I HAVE ONLY JUST BEGUN TO USE PARACORD, I AM LOVING THIS NEW PROJECT AND I HAVE MADE A FEW PARACORD OBJECTS KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND THANKS FOR THE TIPS. PAINTEDLADY25@BTINTERNET.COM
will 3.7 feet work?
"For this project you will need 4-5 feet of paracord"

It will work but you will have nothing left on the loose end to attach the fist to anything else.
TP-LINK1 year ago
love it.....try,,,,,,,,
triumphman3 years ago
If the ball or marble shows through after tightening, do I need to make the wraps 4 strands instead of two ? Sounds logical, yes
There is a video on you tube that tells you a very helpful piece of advice, heres the URL. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X95RKTxIHFY I think you will recognize what you are doing wrong when he mentions it.


watch the whole vid. athough two wraps may not be enough :/
triumphman3 years ago
Oops, forgot to ask, what is the size of the boards, how far apart are the nails, what size nails, just so I can obtain some accuracy! Thanks again!
I made a monkey fist before and i don't think it really matters how far apart they are.
koby_elian2 years ago
it is like the same way they used to make volleyballs, sort of...
jc883 years ago
Does anyone know how to adapt one of these for a cub scout neckerchief slide? I would assume you add a short tube in the middle.
trazodone3 years ago
This is really cool. I made mine without a marble or a center and it came out perfect!
hmmm... never tried it with out a core
triumphman3 years ago
Very nice!
tkäkelä3 years ago
I keep messing up the whole knot because I cannot figure where the loose end here goes, the one which is now topmost on vertical axis. The next picture is a bit obscure since we cannot see how it turns "inside" the knot - which way it comes out?
What size paracord did you use for the demostration pictures?
Thanks for your guide... I used the Hot Glue gun to stick the rope not to scatter apart
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lyonpridej3 years ago
The monkey fist is my favorite knot & the easiest I've ever done! I've NEVER been able to tie knots-my dad taught knot tying, my 3 boys are in Boy Scouts, I was a Cub Scout Leader. I've had people try to teach me over & over. I don't know if it's being left-handed or if my brain just isn't wired right, but if I could even make heads or tails out of what they were showing me, I coudn't remember long enough to do it a 2nd time. I always loved the look of the monkey fist & was thoroughly intimidated to even try it for years, since I can barely get past a square knot. Then I saw an instructable & thought I'd give it a try. Imagine my surprise & delight when within an hour. I had completed my 1st monkey fist just by looking at the photo & instructions over & over! My next one went even faster & by the time I made the 3rd one I didn't even need instructions to follow!WOW! My favorite is the stretch paracord(?) I got at the surplus store, because it's very forgiving & you can stretch it as tight as you need but go back & loosen it if you need to. Instead of a marbe in the center, I bought a bag of jingle bells at the craft store & I use a pair of pliers to crimp the metal hanger loop down to make it round. I made about 2 doz. jingle monkey fists for my boys to take to Trapper's Rendevous in Kansas to trade. I also used them as pulls on my ceiling fan (see photo) & made some for my nephew to play with - but I never knew how to end them neatly.
I love this instructable, especially the cool way to end the knots & the contraption you built to make them! I can't wait to try some of these! Thanks!
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NutandBolt (author)  lyonpridej3 years ago
I am very happy you liked my Ible. Well done with your monkey fist.
When I learned how to make the monkey fist knot I looked at many web sites and didn’t really find a good guide. That is why I tried to make a very clear and easy to follow steps.
Thanks again for your kind comment.
You get  Monkey Fist MASTER Patch from me.
Thank you, my 1st patch!
I am now on my 12th lanyard.
However, I was finding that melting the ends of the chord with a lighter was a little unsightly so I experimented with other things.
UHU glue (Methylacetate) gives a neat finish. It is also good for finishing the braiding. I give a squeeze around the final row of braiding.
I found UHU to be perfect because unlike superglue, it can be seperated if you need to use the chord in an emergency but it holds it well enough so the braiding doesn't come apart. It also finished the ends of the chord neatly. As it is also highly flammable, in a survival situation, you could use it as kindling to start a fire. Just cut a centimetre or so off the ends of the chord.
I have been trying for years to tie one of these knots from various book references all to no avail.
Thanks to NutandBolt's 'able I have now made a perfect monkeyfist lanyard for my leatherman after only the 3rd attempt. My marble needed 5 turns and I started with 3 and then 4 otherwise it would have been first time!

Many thanks NutandBolt. I have a feeling my family and friends will be getting monkeyfist keyfobs from now on.

I am one happy monkey!
tmurray13693 years ago
Can you do an instructional on how to do the Snake knot with diamond knot that looks really cool.
Plo Koon3 years ago
I don't have any stupid paracord!! ARRRRRRGGGGHHH!!
I would love to share your project and website with my Natural Crafts hand make group. Thanks for such great detail. I rate this one with a high grade.
seddine3 years ago
dude ur amazing thnx :)
Great instructable.  About how much cord is used to make the average Monkey Fist knot keychain shown?
NutandBolt (author)  instructablesam4 years ago
Thank you, You will need about 4feet for the small marble (as in the guide 3 times around each side) that will leave enough cord for some decorative finish. For the big marbles you will need twice the amount (6 times around).
Hey I'm looking to replace my current keychain for one with a bit more utility to it. Can any of these keychains be taken apart quickly to get a hold of the paracord?
theperson23 years ago
someone should try a rubberband ball as the core
big-jamie3 years ago
using a tennis ball or rubber ball would make a great throw-ey toy for a dog, if you make a handle like the picture with the baby =)
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