How to Make a Paracord Watch With Buckle




About: I went to school for Architectural Engineering for two years and ended up getting a degree in culinary arts (long story). I have great passion in crafting, fixing, or building stuff!!! Whether it's wood work...

Throughout this Instructable I will show you how to make a paracord watch. Some people call them survival watches, ICE watches or tactical watches, whatever you call it, they are great items to have with you when exploring the outdoors.

If you enjoy my Instructables, perhaps browsing my personal online shop which offers beautiful handcrafted watches that are made out of wood, and other unique handcrafted wooden gifts.

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Step 1: What You'll Need

Here's what you'll need:

  • Lighter
  • Watch Face
  • Plastic Side Release Buckle. I get mine from Amazon Here
  • Tape Measure or Ruler
  • 12 Feet of 550 Paracord. You can also can get cord on Amazon Here. Or you can find Genuine Mil-c-5040h Type III 550 Cord on my personal website Here
  • Scissors

Step 2: Measure Your Wrist

  1. Wrap a string, cord, or small rope around your wrist. Make sure it is very snug. Not overly tight, but do not make it loose.
  2. Take a marker and draw a line across the two crossing cords/strings.
  3. I've darkened my lines in photoshop to demonstrate what it should look like in this step.
  4. Now measure from the first line to the second line.
In this example my wrist measure around 8 inches. So when I go to measure for my bracelet I'm going to add 1 inch to that measurement. This will be further explained in steps to come.

Step 3: Setting Up Your Buckles

First things first you're going to take your 12 feet of 550 Paracord and cut it directly in half so you have two 6 foot lengths of cord.

Take the two 6 foot lengths and fold them both in half. At the half-way point tie a cow-hitch knot onto the buckles.

Here's a quick and easy tutorial on how to tie a cow hitch: How to tie a cow hitch

Step 4: Starting the Straps

Take both buckles with respected paracord and feed the cord down through the pins on the watch face.

Make sure your buckles are setup the proper way. They should be arching downwards to fit your wrist properly. If they are upside down it won't work properly.

Step 5: Feed Working Cord Through Buckle

Now you're going to take your loose ends (working ends) of the paracord and feed them back through the buckle on either side.

Make sure to keep the cord on the outside of the cow hitch like shown in Diagram1.

Step 6: Feeding Working Cord Back Through Watch Face

Now continue the cords back through the watch face on both sides. Remember to come from top to bottom through the pin, and on the outside of the cord that is already fead through the watch like shown in Diagram 1.

Step 7: Starting Your Braids

The numbers below match with the numbers in the photo.

  1. Take the left cord and carry it under the band to the right side.
  2. Now take your right cord and bring it underneath the cord you just brought over from the left.
  3. Continue with the same cord from step 3 and carry it over the band and up through the loop you created on the left side.
  4. When tightened it should look like this.

Step 8:

The numbers below match with the numbers in the photo.

This step is the same as before, just opposite.

  1. Take the right cord and carry it under the band to the left side.
  2. Now take your left cord and bring it underneath the cord you just brought over from the right.
  3. Continue with the same cord from step 3 and carry it over the band and up through the loop you created on the right side.

Step 9: You Should Now Have This

Your watch should now look like the photo in this step.

Step 10: Repeat Steps 7 and 8 to Get This.

Now you are going to repeat Steps 7 and 8 so you have what you see here in step 10.

Step 11: Cutting and Melting the Ends

  1. Cut the ends close to the braids. Not too close you don't want it to pull through.
  2. Using your lighter, hold the flame on the frilled ends for about 3-5 seconds or until it's nice and molted. Then lick your finger and smush it down so it melts into the braids.
  3. Here's what it should look like.

Step 12: And You're Done!

Check out my personal website for more tutorials and genuine mil-c-5040h Type III 550 Paracord here: ParaVival

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14 Discussions


2 years ago

I like the weave pattern, but how would I make it using two different colors? I want to make one using the colors for the cancers that have affected my family. Pink and dark blue.


4 years ago

I literally just finished mine a few minutes ago; I messed up on soe of the braids but all in all I'm pleased!


4 years ago on Introduction

Tip: when buying a buckle buy the curved ones, they are much more comfortable than the straight buckle.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

also the 5/8" or 3/4" buckle works nicely on the watch with all the extra cord going to the buckle.


4 years ago on Step 12

Well I made it and I love it! I tossed the old leather Swiss Army band and used your instructions and I think it came out awesome!
I picked up the clips at Walmart as well as the Paracord.

Paracord Watch Band.jpg

4 years ago on Introduction

This is cool. I have an older Swiss Army watch that this would be perfect for! I hate the leather watch band and never wear it... Thanks!


4 years ago

Cool instructable! I asked for Para_cord for Christmas. I cant wait to try this! Thanks.


4 years ago on Introduction

wow, I've got to try this, thanks for all your photos and step-by-step instructions. I can't believe this takes twelve feet of paracord!

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Well it's possible to get 12 feet into the band if you do it a certain way (not explained in this Instructable). But the 12 feet is just so you have enough left over so you can have room for error or so you don't end up not having enough cord. You actually only end up with about 10 feet. BUT it also depends on your wrist size. A size 6-7 wrist would be more like 7-8 ft. of cord. But since my wrist is about a 7.5", I end up with about 10.