Introduction: Yardstick Paracord Jig

Picture of Yardstick Paracord Jig

This tutorial will show how to make a simple Yardstick Paracord Jig made entirely from a....... yardstick.
It uses approximately 32 inches of a yardstick which can be found at your local hardware along with a few other supplies. Its very portable, light and compact.  It is adjustable from 4 1/2 to 10 inches. The general idea for this jig was not completely mine, however the use of using ONLY a yardstick is. I have not seen one anyhow. I hope you have fun making this as I did.   

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools


1 - Yardstick
1 - 1 1/4 inch bolt and wingnut
2 - Cable clamps
1 - Side Release Buckle
2 - 1/4 screws



Drill Bits
Miter Saw

Step 2: Step 1

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Cut the section of yard stick as shown.
This will be the top of the jig and used to
measure your bracelets as you make them. 

Step 3: Step 2

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Step 4: Step 3

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Step 5: Step 4

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Step 6: Step 5

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Step 7: Step 6

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Here I used a Square to keep the cut straight and another piece of yardstick to hold the piece I was cutting down to keep my fingers away from the blade. Hold the piece being cut down firmly or it may move causing an unstraight cut.

Step 8: Step 7

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Step 9: Step 7

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Step 10: Step 8

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Predrilling prevents wood from splitting when putting the screw in.
The 1 1/4 inch bolt and wingnut will be used in the next step so the hole behind the clip will need to be drilled all the way through. 
In the photo the buckle does not look flush althought it was.

Step 11: Step 9

Picture of Step 9

Use the 1 1/4 inch bolt to hold the 2 inch piece and the longer bottom piece together. This will be your adjusting screw for make your bracelets. At this point your jig is complete and ready for use. I lightly sanded the edges and with medium sandpaper which is optional, but makes it feel much better in the hand.  

Step 12: Finished Jig

Picture of Finished Jig


AL1EN (author)2017-09-02

Nice! But I do have one question. Why not just cut 2 pieces 13" long (or as long as desired), then only add 2 1" pieces to it?

RuthS88 (author)AL1EN2017-10-11

The reason you wouldn't just cut 2 pieces at 13" is that you need to use the yardstick measurement markings. The first inch markings would be covered up by the 1" piece at the end if you just cut it 13".

ccmain57 (author)2016-07-31

This is very cool. I'm going to get the materials and make one today.

Thanks C

chilihook (author)2016-06-08

Made this jig in 15 minutes for about $5. Cut down on my time making this bracelet by 20 minutes. Thanks for the instructions!

BackyardWoodworks made it! (author)2016-04-23

great instructions, my chopsaw has a narrow stop & I didn't get a long cut up the center.

Crafts101 (author)2014-06-08

thank you so much! You just saved me $15

Infidel8654 (author)Crafts1012016-03-17

Only saved you $15 if you already had everything to make this simply lying around the house and you don't figure in the time it takes. To go out and purchase all of the needed parts this is only saving you about $9. During the time it takes to make one of these I can make a few paracord projects and net a whole lot more than $9. And then read all the comments from those who've made this and found out it only works for one size of buckle, so I guess it's good if you only make one thing.

gallowglas made it! (author)2015-11-15

I used leather instead of cable clamps. I'm concerned about the strength. Hubby insisted on putting it on a grooved block of wood so the head of the bolt would not rub and for more strength.

Sickman99 (author)2014-11-05

What else can you use besides glue to put the small blocks on the yardstick I don't want to wait for it to dry

cool man1 (author)Sickman992015-10-08

duck tape

4eyedjack (author)2015-06-19

I feel that you should advise up front that the dimensions given for the buckle attachment blocks at each end are only valid for the smallest paracord buckles. Anything over 3/8" cannot be used.

WayneC3 made it! (author)2015-05-12

Thanks for the idea. I made a heavy duty version by adding a piece of poplar instead of using additional ruler wood. To connect the buckles, I used T nuts. The overall length is about 18".

DebraK (author)2015-02-09

I made this and don't know what happened. When I added the cable clamps the wood split and fell apart. If this would have worked it would have saved me some money.

JohnnyC4 (author)DebraK2015-02-26

I glued all of mine and then pre-drill for the Cable clamps holes did not predrill the first one and split and Fell apart to and the boys at my church loves them

Jay1376 (author)2014-11-10

Thanks for the instructable, real easy to follow. Planning to build your other instructable.

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-23

Thank you for the nice instructable


worldstrad made it! (author)2014-07-12

Excellent instructable. Thank you! My version is pictured below. I made a few adaptations:

1) Built it slightly longer (total 14.5") to accommodate larger 5/8" buckle as well as smaller 3/8" one. Male wood end piece is 1.5" (probably would have still been ok at 1"); female wood end piece is 3"; ruler piece is 13"; bottom piece is 14.5". The two buckles fit just right side-by-side.

2) Used the yard stick only for the crucial measuring part. For the other parts I used HD paint sticks. They are made of the same stock as the yard sticks, so have the same dimensions, but they have one blank side, so it looks cleaner. The paint sticks are free if you ask them at the paint counter, but specify you want the LARGE ones, because they also have smaller ones that will not work.

3) Didn't have a miter saw so used a regular hand saw to cut the slot. Made two cuts as close together as I could, which resulted in a slightly wider slot, but still functional. Just not as precise as a miter saw. I did add washers to the top and bottom of the bolt to improve the grip. With the wider slot, the bolt head was just barely big enough not to slide into the slot, so the washer fixes that.

4) Added 6 small self-adhesive 3M vinyl feet. They elevate the jig a tad more than the bolt, so the bolt doesn't scratch the table if that's where I'm working. They also level the jig and are anti-skid.

FYI, the cable clamps also came from HD and are 1/4" size. The bolt is 1/4" thread, 2" long. The hex head screws really do work best to hold this type of clamp.

Goodbye, now! Gotta go make some paracord bracelets!

Big1011Guy made it! (author)2014-07-05

I had to change up your design a little to accommodate my style of Paracord Bracelets. I am not using Buckles and am making my Bracelets Adjustable. I used your basic design but added Black Heavy Duty Paper Clips to hold the ends of the 2 center strands that are used to wrap other paracord around and to adjust bracelet. I also had to paint the non-measuring parts of yard stick to hide the numbers - my ADHD, OCD, ACDC or whatever I have - wouldn't let me have all those pieces with numbers on them staring back at me, lol. I also added a product to the bottom that will keep the jig from sliding/slipping on the table. It's called "Insta Grip" a product advertised on As Seen On TV Infomercials. It has a tacky feel and holds the jig stationary pretty well. Thanx for the instructable to get me started in the right direction to my Paracord Jig needs.


Hotpinkleg (author)2014-06-30

love it!

mmillar2 made it! (author)2014-06-01

Designed as specified in these directions this jig doesn't "perfectly" accommodate larger buckles. Meaning that the finish-edge of the larger buckle overhangs the zero-point on the measurements. That's really not a big deal though. The specified dimensions do make good use of almost the entire yardstick. There may be just enough left-over to expand the ends to accommodate larger buckles.

The only change I made was to cut an enclosed slot because I am fortunate enough to have access to a router table.

Great project and I appreciate you posting it.

khenderson15 made it! (author)2014-04-01

Love the idea and given the ingenuity and low cost I couldn't pass it up. Slightly different measurements required about 8 extra inches from another yard stick and some more robust clips upped the cost, but still ran less than $13. Oh, drilled holes at 1" intervals instead of the one slot. No circular saw, made due with a drill.

mung1 (author)2013-10-28

Hi D,
Awesome tutorial for such low cost. For people who don't have access to a miter saw can you post example of how that end product would look like, especially the underside of it. Do you also unscrew the clamps when done? Is there another hook that makes it easier to unclasp besides a cable clamp?

thank you :)

timingworks (author)mung12014-03-28

I believe that you leave the buckles clamped to the jig, using another buckle to make the bracelet. Great "ible" BTW. Does the machine screw head cause the jig to wobble when placed on a table?

TheAntiHeroHimself (author)2014-02-02

Excellent idea! I've got a few yard sticks laying around, I think I'm gonna go try my hand at this!

Im the Doctor (author)2014-01-05

Amazing project I can't wait to make it for myself can you make an ible on how to change the size of the buckles. Great job can't wait for more!!!

ahirsch4 (author)2014-01-04

Thankyou this is very helpful, I will defiantly be making one of these tomorrow. I looked at jigs on the web and their $30+ and you can make this one for under $5. Hands down one of the best ideas ever to come with making paracord bracelets. Helped a lot. Thanks.

alanemartin (author)2013-12-17

Nice 'ible. I think I'll make one of these soon. If you didn't have access to a miter saw, you could cut the slot with a handsaw. Might have to cut each side of the desired slot and break out the waste, but it could work.

Mike_mcclaskey (author)2013-11-30

What is the size of the buckle you used

cmichael6 (author)2013-10-20

Thank you very much. I've been looking for template for one of these for a few weeks now, this is gonna help a lot so much. Thanx for sharing this, can't wait to put it together.

twhittaker2 (author)2013-09-15

this is awesome! I just got done making mine and it works perfect! i marked on the board which size is for my husband, me, and the kids. ,

Crafts101 (author)2013-09-06

Awesome. I will make this tomorrow :). Thank you!!!

lqlarry (author)2013-08-29

Thanks for sharing. I'm new to this and it saves me time and hassle of getting the size right. Easy to make, cheap and perfect!

Desertsquirrel3 (author)lqlarry2013-09-03

That is really cool. Pretty neat to see a product of my creation.

DocPho (author)2013-08-31

This jig makes it a lot easier and faster to make Paracord Bracelets. This is a must have and a must build. Thanks for putting it on line.

MIK3 H (author)2013-07-30

This is a must have for me! If only I had the tools and materials :( darn

WrshpMzshn (author)2013-07-30

Well written and illustrated!

mandersen (author)2013-07-29

I'm sorry to ask a stupid question, but what do you use a para cord jig for?

Its used for making/tying bracelets usually out of parachute cord. If you Google "paracord bracelets" under images, that will give you an idea. Not a stupid question.

Ahhh! I see
Thank you
So it could also be used for making friendship bracelets and other small weaving projects.
Ooooh! You could make an attachment to hold warp threads for weaving straps, belts, etc

SIRJAMES09 (author)2013-07-25

COOL! I never would have known....or thought...
TY For sharing such a useful tool!

Tv one5 (author)2013-07-21

Thanks for the cool instructable dude!
one more question though:
How do you measure your wrist?
thanks again and in advance!

Desertsquirrel3 (author)Tv one52013-07-22

You could use a piece of string or something of that nature cut it and measure it. I generally Would make the bracelet about an inch larger than your wrist size for a proper fit.

Tv one5 (author)2013-07-21

Could you please post a vid on how to use it?

Desertsquirrel3 (author)Tv one52013-07-21

You might want to go to and search for paracord jig. Three are quite a few videos on the subject.

Tv one5 (author)2013-07-21

yea what is this for?

Desertsquirrel3 (author)Tv one52013-07-21

Its used for measuring and making bracelets. Usually with paracord. Parachute cord.

Jrfigueroa01 (author)2013-07-19

Desertsquirrel3 Great Idea cant wait to build one myself thanks for the post.

Gambrinus (author)2013-07-19

Do You Cut The Slot All The Way Through? This Is A Great Protect Thanks For Sharing

yes the slot is cut all the way through. thanks for your comments

Desertsquirrel3 (author)2013-07-18

Thanks for the comment....i found the yardsticks in the Paint section at lowes... for 69 cents such a deal.

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