Introduction: Woven Paracord Bracelet/watchband

Picture of Woven Paracord Bracelet/watchband

This tutorial will show how to make a paracord bracelet or watch band using a weaving method. More knot work with releated links and resources can be seen on my blog page, Stormdrane's Blog.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

Check out the Kitables link for a kit that comes with some supplies for creating this project.

For this project, you'll need approximately 10 feet of paracord, scissors, lighter, tape measure, hemostats, watch, and a 5/8" side release buckle. I used a 5/8" ITW Nexus contoured side release buckle, but you can use other less expensive ones like those found at Creative Designworks.

Paracord can be found at local Army/Navy stores, hunting/fishing outlets, and craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels, and from many online sources including ebay and amazon...

The actual amount of paracord that will be used depends on your wrist size, cord, and tying technique(tight/loose). My wrist is about 8.5 inches and I actually used around 8 or 9 feet after finishing the bracelet/watchband. So using 10 feet is usually a safe estimate for most folks, since having too much cord is better than coming up short when making your project.

*If making a watchband, the watch needs to have about 5/8" space between the lugs(where the watch pins go) so that 5 strands of paracord will fit.

Step 2: To Begin

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Measure about 20 inches from one end of your length of paracord. This is where you'll loop onto one end of your side release buckle. Once attached, you'll have the longer section which will be your working end and the shorter end which is just attached to the buckle ends and will be tucked in when finishing the bracelet/watchband.

Step 3: Add the Watch and Adjust for Wrist Size

Picture of Add the Watch and Adjust for Wrist Size

If making as a watchband, this is where you take the strands of paracord from the looped section of the buckle and run them over the watch pin, under the watch, and over the other watch pins. Then you loop the paracord around the other buckle end twice.

At this point, you'll measure the distance between the buckle ends for your wrist size. The distance should be equal to your actual wrist measurement. The weaving process will stretch this original spacing of bracelet/watchband about another inch after tightening as you reach the finishing point.

*Don't include the prong section half of the male end of the buckle in your measurement. It is snapped into the female half of the buckle when worn and isn't used in figuring the wrist measurement.

Now bring the cord ends back thru the watch pins, along side your first pass, and around the starting buckle end.

*If you're just making a paracord bracelet, you'll just be going from one end of the buckle to the other without adding the watch.

Step 4: Begin Weaving

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Now you begin weaving the long working end of your paracord. The shorter end will be left out until it's time to finish the bracelet/watchband, and tuck it into the weave.

This weaving process is called 'weaving with three warps'. You'll be going around the outer cord with your working strand, under the center two cords(which you treat as one cord), and around the other outer cord.

You weave it back over the center two strands and around the outer, continuing this process, back and forth. Try not to leave too much slack as you go to keep the weave uniform. Every couple of weaves, push your work tight, up towards the starting buckle end.

Step 5: Threading the Watch

Picture of Threading the Watch

Once you've reached the point where your watch will be centered, push the watch tight against the woven cord and bring your working strand thru the pin along side the other cords under the watch, and back thru the other pin.

*If making the bracelet, there' s no watch in the way, so just keep weaving. ;)

Step 6: Continue on the Other Side of the Watch

Picture of Continue on the Other Side of the Watch

Continue weaving the paracord, keeping a uniform look, and tightening as you go.

A pair of hemostats can help work the cord around as you get close to the buckle end, making the last couple of weaves.

Step 7: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up

To finish up, you'll take the working strand around one of the outer cord, so it's coming thru the under side of the bracelet/watchband.

*Check for a good fit on your wrist at this point. If it's too loose or too tight, untie, adjust your starting measurement longer or shorter to correct, and try again. I have to do this myself sometimes. ;)

Take your hemostats and work them thru about three of the center weaves, towards the buckle end. Grasp the working strand and pull it back thru the center weaves.

Trim the end with your scissors, quick melt the end to prevent the cord from fraying, and tuck it under the weave.

Now do the same with the shorter end of cord and you're done.

If you measure again, you'll see that the finished length is about 1 inch longer than the starting measurement. This will vary depending on your tightening of the weave as you go, but should make for a loose/comfortable fit.


*Anyone that's worn a nylon/paracord bracelet/watchband knows it can get dirty and smell funky after a while of use. I use an old soft bristle toothbrush to scrub with soap/water in the sink to clean it(while it's on the watch(hopefully yours is water resistant/waterproof), and let it air dry overnight.

*A note on paracord shrinkage: mentions that paracord may shrink as much as 10%-12%(especially black and kelly green), so they recommend soaking the cord first. They note that it's the inner strands that shrink, not the outer sheath. I believe they use 450 or 650 grade paracord, which I think, has a few loose fibrous polyester filler cords instead of the usual 7 twisted nylon strands, found in 'Type III 550 mil-spec paracord which isn't supposed to shrink up. I've mostly used the mil-spec type paracord, so if it's shrunk on me, it's not noticeable. YMMV ;)


ElessandroG made it! (author)2016-04-19

Great. Thanks for you tutorial.

Best regards

CalebH50 (author)ElessandroG2017-01-21

how where you able to do it with this armitron watch i have one like this but dont know how to get the band it came with off or how to get the paracord to conect onice i get the band off thanks in advance

KnotFun (author)2014-01-29

Here is how I did mine, thanks guys.....

AlR44 (author)KnotFun2017-01-16 used the survival strap steel,i was thinking the same it!

Hitnewell (author)KnotFun2016-10-03

This one is seriously awesome.

EdC95 (author)2017-01-05

I've made two of these over the last year or so. Thank you to Stormdrane for making this instructable and making it with great detail and pictures. If you follow these directions precisely and don't try to amend them or take shortcuts (I tried and the results were far less than perfect lol) you'll be able to do this easily and have it come out perfect every time. Sorry no pics, but I used a camo colored 550 paracord and made a 1 piece band for a Timex T45181 Resin Combo watch. It looks great because the watch has a drab green housing and a tan face, so it's a natural pairing. The other was a black, white and gray 550 paracord one piece band for a Timex T49828 Metal Combo watch. That watch has a steel housing with a brushed finish and a white face and is my personal favorite out of all 17 of my watches, regardless of which band is on it. Yes I have a watch problem lol. Either way all I have to do is remove 1 of the pins to change the battery. It only takes an extra 45 seconds or so to change the battery versus having the original bands, and that includes putting it back together and having the watch wearable and ready to go again. Also, it's extremely easy to change the bands back to original if need be. After you wear the watch for a while, the paracord band will hold its shape after removing the watch from it, so you don't have to worry about ruining the band by removing it.

huffer23 (author)2017-01-04

Hey stormdrane, I was wondering how wide the band is.

Stormdrane (author)huffer232017-01-04

Width will vary by the actual cord you use, and paracord can vary in thickness/width of the strand from one manufacturer to another, and how tight or loose you tie the bracelet/watchband. The tan one in my photo has a tied width of about 7/8" thick.

YodaD (author)2016-08-10

Hi, have you tried doing a band on those watches with very little space between the pins and the body?

Have a few of these sport watches and would love to replace the bands


JoeK57 (author)YodaD2016-09-07

I had to improvise, but like the other guy was saying it might be easier to make two separate bands, one for each side

Stormdrane (author)YodaD2016-08-11

For watches with thinner attachment sections, I've used gutted paracord, and done two piece watchbands to work with those type watches. You just have to experiment with different paracord designs and options base on the variety of watches out there.

Nerdstrosity made it! (author)2016-06-09

I put one of these on my pebble and it works great! great instructions! i like how its semi modular so if I were to get a new watch i could put it on and make few to no adjustments

aganzenmuller (author)2015-10-16

Hello, I'm looking for this exact band that is functional with a fitbit tracker as my original is both broken and I don't like the look. Have you made one?

kaosfury (author)aganzenmuller2016-04-19

Maybe try using micro paracord? I made a women's watch band with that and it turned out nice.Should work for smaller spaces between lugs.

wardenjtkj made it! (author)2016-04-10

Got it on the second try. I think I used a full 10' of cord. It took a bit of finesse to get the weave nice and tight, but it was well worth the effort. Thanks for posting this instructable!

ADHS80 made it! (author)2016-02-28

This instructable is spot on. The lengths and photos are exactly the ones you need if you want to do this as your first paracord proyect. Congratulations

sappha58 made it! (author)2016-02-01

I followed the instructions and both bracelets came out perfectly. You'll notice I added a compass to the watch band; that can be helpful!

ChadT1 made it! (author)2016-01-12

So done loved the instructions fun project for the survivor

ETERNUR made it! (author)2015-12-31

I didn't have any paracord left, however I had lots of 3mm leather thong, so I decided to give this a go with that instead. Then I had no buckle, so had to build a makeshift buckle from 2x D-rings (1 of them I bashed into circle shape that fits through the other D). Added a chopped up fishing hook as the post for the buckle & off we go. Works well, although I could have added an extra inch or so to the length.

Stormdrane (author)ETERNUR2015-12-31

Nicely done!

ETERNUR (author)Stormdrane2016-01-01

Thanks to a very well done Instructable :)

dbudny made it! (author)2015-12-26

Nice and easy instructions. Thanks.

ElisabettaF1 made it! (author)2015-12-21

Xmas gift for my love .
Thanks , this tutorial is perfect.

a4ali (author)2015-12-18

Very Nice

sdinesh0506 (author)2015-12-17



pedro.kozlakowski (author)2015-12-17

This is really nice, I'll definitely try to do this.

MaryM108 (author)2015-11-20

Oh, very cool. And not that easy to do, but yet cool ;) I will make it a Christmas gift for my brother. He's in military forces now and would love that. As a pleasant extra gift I will present him a turbo key chain - very neat and useful thing for man!

AliMemar (author)2015-10-20


just I can thanks a lot

MikeL82 made it! (author)2015-10-16

Finished in 45 Minutes. perfect manual. Thanks!

CJDVise made it! (author)2015-10-08

Finished! - My goal was to make this project as slim and functional as possible. Both the watch hands and paracord strap glows in the dark. I used a 1/2 inch buckle by mistake but I made it work. This buckle has a built-in fire-starter, whistle, and even a compass! Not sure if I'm allowed to do this in the comments, but here is a link for the buckle:

RichM5 made it! (author)2015-09-24

I made this, came out pretty nice. I took a picture as I started to untie it, I need to shorten it up a bit. I think I'm also going to redo in two pieces, like a few others have. It'll reduce the 'humping' or 'shouldering' I'm getting as it comes off the watch bolsters.

bahrul ami (author)2015-09-10

Dhouck85 (author)2015-08-11

Made one for myself today. Added two little skull beads on each side to make it a little more personalized, but I love it. A bit of a challenge at first but I feel quite accomplished

Hax2 (author)Dhouck852015-08-16

Can i ask where you found some skull beads for paracord

Dhouck85 (author)Hax22015-08-16

Craft store near me A.C. Moore, pack of 3 beads for about $2.50

lawakisip made it! (author)2015-08-08

You guys inspire me. Thanks for this post!!!

Thank you Stormdrane.

GENGHIS KHAN JR III (author)2015-08-05

Wasn't too hard at all . The only difficulty was tying the knots loose in the beginning and tightening them up a few rows at a time . I thought the knots were too tight when finishing it up but all went well . Thanks (=^*^=)

CharlineCaisse (author)2015-07-16

Wow, now this is an awesome idea!

handlebarharlan made it! (author)2015-06-29

not long finished this, great wee project, quite tricky to get it to sit even at first but kind of got there in the end. this was attempt no. 3

ronnieshierling (author)2015-06-24

I just finished the watch band for my Invicta after the band broke a few months ago . It is already more to my liking

amyers10 (author)2015-06-18

I made it, but don't have a picture because even though I added the extra inch, I need about an inch and a half ... I think it is because of the curve it takes over the back of the watch. Redoing it and then I will take a pic.

nicbergero (author)2015-06-15

would it be possible to make this weaving over four individual strands, or does it have to be an odd number?

bardbard (author)2015-05-27

were did u get your watch face at

andomonir made it! (author)2015-05-24

Great instructable, thanks!

helmethedd made it! (author)2015-05-16

Easy peasy

TheGeek1984 made it! (author)2015-04-29

It's not the same weave, but I've finally replaced my broken down watch band! I also decided to make two separate pieces so that the battery compartment is accessible.

alexzero13 made it! (author)2015-04-25

Thanks for the tutorial! I made mine with a buckle that has a whistle which I can store 4 strike anywhere matches inside. That was fun!

BDP01 (author)2015-04-15

Hi, could you make an instructable / have you done one of these with a watch and a slip on button compass?

Stormdrane (author)BDP012015-04-15

I have used slip-on compasses with various paracord bracelet patterns, and if you want one with a watch, you just leave space for it on the paracord watchband when you tie it.

Since there are many different brands/styles of slip-on compasses, some may have more room to run paracord through their attachment points than others, affecting how they may fit with different paracord bracelet/watchband patterns. The pattern in this instructable has a number of strands that may require running a couple of them under or out to the sides of the compass if all won't fit through it.

Most compasses are magnetically affected by batteries and metal in watches, so they should be held at least a couple of feet away from them to get a good/accurate reading, so I'd recommend they type of compasses that can be easily removed and reattached with a watchband.

rmatsuoka made it! (author)2015-03-26


It is paracord 1.9m

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