Picture of Poseable Army Men
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The original poseable paracord army men!

I grew up playing with little plastic green army men. They were okay, but they couldn't really do much. They were either shooting guns, throwing grenades, or using binoculars. That was about it.

So I made some poseable paracord army men, and these guys can do all sorts of cool stuff. They're not just limited to war-type activities anymore; they can dance, scrapbook, chase butterflies... anything is possible.

If you make one of these, post a photo of it in the comments and I'll give you a code for a free pro membership to the site. I've got a bunch . . . but when they're gone, they're gone!

Step 1: Get started

Picture of Get started
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You will need some paracord and some thin wire. I used "bell wire" which I believe was 22 or 24 gauge.

Cut two strands of paracord, one about 44" and the other about 20". Remove the inner paracord strands. Cut two matching lengths of wire and insert them into the hollow pieces of paracord.

To keep the paracord from fraying, you can fuse the ends with a lighter as shown in the third photo.
ericmee1 month ago
What color paracord did you use?
seamster (author)  ericmee1 month ago

It was called "army green."

vandim199 made it!2 months ago

Mine isn't as smooth and clean as yours, but it's something (added my monkey fist to it)

craftycollegemom made it!2 months ago

I made a rock star using the innards I am giving this kid a Mohawk! thanks for the steps!

thatskinnerboy made it!2 months ago
taenastephens made it!3 months ago

I think it came out pretty darn well considering I have never made anything from paracord before.

seamster (author)  taenastephens3 months ago

Very nice! Love the camo!

I decided to make it into a ninja, I made the swords out of wire and the nunchucks out of a nail I cut wrapped in hollow 550 connected with the insides.
seamster (author)  wesley.leblanc.74 months ago

Hey, this is awesome. Well done!

How do you do the arms and legs, the picture isn't very descriptive...

nick.brown.395 made it!10 months ago

this was a very easy project after i got the hang of what to do. it is also very important to make sure you head is in the very middle of the paracord

And the legs and arms are kinda confusing, how do you wrap them? Is it braiding?

Nevermind, I was just confused for a while.

This is amazing! By the way, where can you find paracord in the US?
michael.p.simpson made it!1 year ago

This one is my little ninja lol

seamster (author)  michael.p.simpson1 year ago

Cool, thanks for sharing the photo!

wbannister1 year ago
my attempt, only had pink at the moment but getting some more cord soon!
seamster (author)  wbannister1 year ago

Awesome! like the pink--it looks very nice!

It's actually time for me to make a few more of these. My kids have lost all the original ones I made.

Thanks for the photos!

wbannister1 year ago
going to make one today :) love them!!! I've only got pink paracord at the moment, can u reccomend a place to get paracord from?
seamster (author)  wbannister1 year ago
Thanks, glad you like them! Looks like you live in the UK (and I'm in the US), so I'm not much help finding paracord over there :)

It is available online from any number of stores though, so surely you could track some down somewhere close to you. Good luck!
AlexKein1 year ago
Great job gonna make an army of them both army and civilian para-men
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remccarty1 year ago

great instructions!

kitty861 year ago
Thank You Very Much!!!
Dhani C1 year ago
What did you use for the base? Thanks for sharing the idea!
seamster (author)  Dhani C1 year ago
The base is made from a bit of cardboard from a cereal box. It's hot glued to one foot, and painted black.
Dhani C1 year ago
Here is mine.
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seamster (author)  Dhani C1 year ago
Hey, nice work! Love the mini dagger.
Please give instructions! These are awesome, I need to know how to make them.
seamster (author)  Mr_Altitude1 year ago
Back by popular demand!
Thanks a lot.
phallstrom2 years ago
I really like it but i would like a full tutorial so i can see how the weave is done
seamster (author)  phallstrom1 year ago
Paracord man steps are up!
amoriak2 years ago
Please do a full tutorial on these they are so cool!!!
seamster (author)  amoriak1 year ago
Paracord man steps are up to date!
debmom4ca2 years ago
There was a tutorial for this project, now I can't see it. Do we have to buy directions now ? :(
seamster (author)  debmom4ca1 year ago
Paracord man steps are back up and up to date!
kitty862 years ago
Can I please get the full instruction so I am able to make these for my two year old? I am sure he would have a blast playing with these!!!!!
Thank you
seamster (author)  kitty861 year ago
Poseable paracord man steps are up to date!
wusupworld2 years ago
seamster (author)  wusupworld1 year ago
Paracord man steps are up to date!
sgtgibby1 year ago
Paracord army guy steps please! Those need to be entered in a contest!
seamster (author)  sgtgibby1 year ago
Paracord man steps are up to date!
Is it all one piece of cord?
seamster (author)  swim_guy51501 year ago
Nope, two separate pieces. Steps are up to date.
trisomy212 years ago
This is hilariously awesome, going to try it right now. Thanks!
seamster (author)  trisomy212 years ago
Thanks! I loved this project, so it's nice to see it still get noticed every once in a while.
Where did you get the stand. I made a army guy but need a stand
ArizonaSRMC3 years ago
Awesome project! Took a bit and didn't have any green, so I used some black and made a ninja! but I used scrap 550 cord and melted him to the stand, the nun-chucks were tricky but made it work! I am currently deployed and this helped me kill dome down time, Thanks!!
seamster (author)  ArizonaSRMC3 years ago
Thanks! I'd love to see a photo. Got a camera nearby?
I got it!! here is my ninja!
seamster (author)  ArizonaSRMC3 years ago
Nice! I love the nunchucks. It looks awesome. Thanks for the photo!
cryptex4 years ago
sweet i agree with saturn v when in doubt ebay
paracord is awesome
aseaheru5 years ago
where do you get and how much is paracord?
I get my paracord from CampingSurvival.com
its easy to get it. ebay sells it for cheap...you can get it on such sights as goingear.com or countycomm.com, as for the price it usually runs about 10$ per 100 feet.
seamster (author)  aseaheru5 years ago
Hi, you can get it at military surplus stores or online. I'm sure there are other places as well. The cost depends on where you get it, and how much you get. Generally, the more you buy, the cheaper per foot it costs. I got 100 feet for about 10 USD.
ok, thx for the info
baneat aseaheru4 years ago
For projects like this use cheaper stuff, with one fuzzy internal strand

If you want survival-gear, always go for the 550Lb break-weight paracord.
aseaheru baneat4 years ago
Tommi Potx4 years ago
Oh, yeah, gotta make tan ones too!!!
I Love this kind of stuff!
Win Guy5 years ago
5/5! I just picked up some paracord JUST FOR THIS! Love it!
seamster (author)  Win Guy5 years ago
Nice! Good luck, I'd love to see a picture or two when you're done!
I promise I will, but I seem to have misplaced my camera... As soon as I find it, I'll show you my Army Men! ;)
Win Guy Win Guy4 years ago
Oh my gosh, I'm sorry I forgot to post pics! The paracord contest reminded me ;) Here they are! (I used red fluff from chenille sticks for the last picture.)
Win Guy
baneat4 years ago
This is a great win and would make for some super-fun toys

Where would you say the best place to get a hold of a large quantity of that thin wire you use is? Enough for at least a squadron of cord-troopers
seamster (author)  baneat4 years ago
I'm bet you could find something similar at Home Depot or possibly Radio Shack.
baneat seamster4 years ago
UK :(

Maybe it's some gauge of wire or something?
nikoj4 years ago
Here it is!
seamster (author)  nikoj4 years ago
That took me a while, but I found it!

Great job, thanks for the photo!
nikoj4 years ago
Look i made one, I mean two!There's the one of them with my other soldiers!
seamster (author)  nikoj4 years ago
cratosian4 years ago
do you think you can make an instructable of different accessories for these little guys? like swords, guns, and all that?
The Hudge5 years ago
how thick was the wire, and how expensive?
seamster (author)  The Hudge5 years ago
I had access to a big spool of it, and I'm not sure what it was even for. I think it was left over from setting up servers and such at my work, although I'm not sure. It's very thin, plastic covered, and about the thickness and look of the individual wires in a phone line.

I think jewelrey wire would work in a similar fashion, or any other available thin wire.
i think it is speaker wire. maybe. i really do not know. that is what i used.
could i use shoelace instead?
Also how thick was the cord. i went to wal-mart (cause im cheap), and found some nylon cord in different sizes. i looked at 2 different sizes, the one i thought was 5mm i think, then there was a smaller one, just a little less thick than a shoelace. Could you even make an army man with a smaller thickness
How thick was †he wire that you used? I am really excited to get this done but the wire I have is way to thick :( I will take a trip to the hardware store as soon as I know the thickness!
seamster (author)  thomasthetankengine4 years ago
To tell the truth, I'm not sure, but it's very similar to the individual strands in telephone wire. I hope that helps. Good luck!
Brilliant! will try when I get my next lot of paracord
rbeforee4 years ago
Brilliant. I feel the need to create an army :) They look like they would be fantastic thinking aids (like stress squeezies) and I love your scenes to whet our appetites. Very cool.

I agree with others, you could easily sell these on Etsy and make many happy people (for those who lack the Instructable courage.)

You are so creative. 'Love your work!
seamster (author)  rbeforee4 years ago
Thanks! I've been considering doing the Etsy thing for years. Just never made the effort to do it.

And yes, they are great distraction devices/stress relievers!
The other cool thing about Etsy is, as you have seen here, people are a bit hesitant about whether they can find the correct materials... not grasping the flexibility (pun intended) your cool project allows.

Many Etsy sellers offer both completed items AND kits. It would be a very low-effort addition to your shop to offer the various bits, uncut, unmelted (except on the two raw edges, which would also serve to demonstrate the desired effect) with instructions. (now if only you had time to put together instructions.... heehee)
hawkfrost645 years ago
this looks awesome!!
does anyone know where i can buy some paracord for cheap? 
When in doubt, eBay.
or army surplus :D
I'm gonna need to go there and get an analog 24 hour watch.
you might be able to, but i really dont know if they'd have it. however,
Saturn V says:
When in doubt, eBay.
Hey! That's my line!
Yeh, well i killed kenny which gives me the right to be a b@stard.
home depot and lowes sells paracord in different colors
cratosian5 years ago
can't you just put a circular cardboard piece on each foot? would it be easier?
How fitting. Army men made out of parachute cord. :D
Darthscout5 years ago
if anyone lives in the Twin Cities (Minnesota). You can either go to C.C. military surplus on white bear and hw 61. OR you could go to c.c. military surplus in Crystal. 694 to 81 and go south. You see it on your LEFT. if you see a very small airport you went too far. it shares a building with a viking trophies...i think
sculptur5 years ago
that looks awesome! now i've got to get some paracord!
halimaw965 years ago
Ive done this idea with metal wiring before, but yours looks great! any way you can make them stand up on their own?
seamster (author)  halimaw965 years ago
If you made their legs long enough to bend in some feet, I think they could stand up on their own. (But I think they'd look kind of funny!)
thanks, ill try to post some pictures as soon as i get my paracord :P
PACW5 years ago
 So incredibly imaginative and well done! These guys deserve better than cardboard bases. . . . maybe heavy black plastic, like from the lid of Folgers? 

Please please please have them dance 'The Time Warp' and post photos!
BobicusIX PACW5 years ago
maybe have them do "the worm" and "the electric slide" too.
Cha Cha slide and moonwalk?
chewy39395 years ago
I just made this project it was great but instead of weaving in and out of the arms and legs i wrapped them like the head and it is lots better Great instructible!
seamster (author)  chewy39395 years ago
Isurvival5 years ago

I made it, and it's great!!!
I'm new in paracord, but this is easy and awesome!
I haven't installed the base jet, but it is great!
Thanks for this project!
seamster (author)  Isurvival5 years ago
That's awesome! Thanks for the photo!
Saturn V5 years ago
THI IS AWESOME!!!  I love the last three pictures.  I'm defenately making a stop motion movie out of these!
seamster (author)  Saturn V5 years ago
Thanks! My kids had a lot of fun with these.
You're welcome.  My school has a yearly film festival, and I'm planning on entering it, just as soon as I make enough and write a storyline. 
seamster (author)  Saturn V5 years ago
Just be sure to give some anonymous dude named "seamster" credit, okay?
You don't need to worry about that.  I don't take any credit not due to me.  What I plan to do is handmake the paracord, and make the army men out of that.  I will give you and erik_mccray, the author of the instructable on handmaking paracord, credit for the two ideas.I hope to make it really good.
seamster (author)  Saturn V5 years ago
This sounds pretty cool. Good luck with the project!
technoguy945 years ago
I LOVE IT!!!! Excellent instructable!
BobicusIX5 years ago
I made one (except I modified it a little)

He is camo green, even though you might not be able to tell.  the flash was too bright, so I guess we have to deal with this.

HE HAS THE KEYBLADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo on 2010-04-25 at 18.40 #2.jpg
seamster (author)  BobicusIX5 years ago

Way to go, I'm glad you made one. The keyblade is a nice addition.
PKTraceur5 years ago
 This NEEDS to win! 

I'm sooooo going to start playing with army men again :D
BobicusIX5 years ago
where did you get the flexible wire?
jay bird5 years ago
 How did you make the gun that the guys are holding?
seamster (author)  jay bird5 years ago
It's a short piece of paracord with a stiff wire inside. The ends of the paracord are fused shut, and this holds the wire inside.
Win Guy5 years ago
XD ! LOVE IT!  Gotta get some Paracord fast! 5/5!
jakezcop5 years ago
 sweeeeet hehe
Stormdrane5 years ago
Those are neat, thanks for sharing!
seamster (author)  Stormdrane5 years ago
jamiec535 years ago
WOW! You just got my vote!
pablorox5 years ago
Um i don't really understand what you mean by removing the inner nylon. They look really cool. can you reply back and tell me how(: thanks haha
seamster (author)  pablorox5 years ago
Paracord is a type of rope that has small strings running through the middle of it that give it strength. If you cut a piece of it, you can grab those inner strands and pull them out leaving the piece of cord hollow like a hose.

You can see the little white strands in this picture.

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Thanks so much(:
Paracord is a nylon sheath with several nylon strands inside it.  Cut off an end and you should see what the poster's talking about.
BEAST145 years ago
Very cute.
 Wow, this is a great idea! i'll have to try this when I get some more paracord! these would be perfect for a diorama!
where can i get some paracord?
seamster (author)  NatureBoom215 years ago
Military surplus stores, if you have any where you live, or online. Google.
russm3135 years ago
I think we have winner!  Awesome job, as usual.  You've got my vote!
seamster (author)  russm3135 years ago
This was a fun little project. Thanks for the compliment!
Greystar15 years ago
I love this a must make. excellent use of paracord for craft.
seamster (author)  Greystar15 years ago
Thanks, I'm glad you like it!
isaac!5 years ago
psst! if you dont have paracord, can you just use shoelaces?
seamster (author)  isaac!5 years ago
Probably not. Being able to remove the core of the paracord and replacing it with wire is essential for this to work. So shoelaces might not work the best.

However, most types of nylon cord have a core that can be pulled out. Those types would probably work just fine for this.
isaac! seamster5 years ago
hmmm i lke this ible a lot
Bridel5685 years ago
the're laughing at him so funny. great instructable
seamster (author)  Bridel5685 years ago
Actually, the kneeling one is supposed to be mourning, and the other one just puked his guts out (at the sight of all the paracord gore).

At least that's what I was going for.
not laughing, they where crying WHYYYYYYYYY!?!?!?! and one guy was about to throw up.
That's great. Had my vote at YMCA, made me spit up my coffee.
seamster (author)  biker_trash_13405 years ago
I'm glad you liked that. I tried to pose them doing the Macarena, but it wasn't very convincing.

Most people probably don't remember that anyway... some things are better off forgotten!

Actually, you can make the plastic army men pose using a cigarette lighter. It takes a bit of practice, but you have a whole bag of soldiers --  you'll have them in kinky poses in no time.

And when you tire of that, grab a can of flammable liquid and play my favorite game, "Napalm Attack", which is also a good chance to practice your blood-curdling scream.

And for you gamers out there, the Army Men: Sarge's Heroes franchise is available for N64 and PS / PS2. Love the flamethrower...

Deslivres5 years ago
 Seamster...That. Is. Brilliant ! Well done :)
love this instructable!!! can u make a tank?
GianniMora5 years ago
 altime best idea ive ever heard... 5* and my vote... seriously this is awsome... you should sell them!!!!!

I agree, selling sounds like a good idea for these...
erik_mccray5 years ago
girls need action figures to
seamster (author)  erik_mccray5 years ago
I like it!

I've got some funky colors of nylon cord, and this inspires me to use them to make more of these bendy guys. Thanks for the photo!
Gage9875 years ago
BeanGolem5 years ago
 Another amazing contribution!

Kudos. Got my vote.
seamster (author)  BeanGolem5 years ago
Now to find some wire.