Paracord Bracelet With Monkey Fist Button





Introduction: Paracord Bracelet With Monkey Fist Button

I saw the paracord bracelet by Stormdrane a couple of months ago, and had to make some; one night, while insomniacking, I was inspired, and had an epiphany: why not make a paracord bracelet, using a Monkey fist and loop as a closure, instead of a buckle or button?
So, here we go: a paracord bracelet with a Monkey Fist knot acting as the button.

Step 1: Ingredients

-Approximately 7 to 8 feet of gutted paracord; more depending on your wrist size. I measured the ratio of cord to weave once, and promptly forgot it.
-A pair of scissors or sharp Swiss Army knife.
-A lighter to melt fraying ends.
-A marlin spike or similar pokey object, used when dressing the monkey fist knot; it should be as tight as possible.
-A skully bead, available at craft stores near you; all kinds are available online, too.
-Time: 2 hours for first attempt

Step 2: The Skully Button

The hardest part of the project, after procuring the skull beads, will be the monkey fist. It was intended for use as a weight on a heaving line, in order to get larger, non-throwable hawsers from ship to jetty. I think it is a nice looking knot, and also resembles a head with a turban on it.
Take the inner strands out of the paracord, as this reduces the bulky look

Step 3: Wraps and Fraps

Hopefully these pics and diagrams will help; if not, there are lots of good knot-tying sites online.
Begin with your single, long piece of paracord; while tying the Fist, try and get it as close to the center of the piece of cord as possible; this will save a lot of cursing and swearing later on when dressing / tightening the knot.

Using the fingers, make 3 turns around the hand; as part of Mountain Ops training, we called these verticals 'wraps'

Step 4: Fraps

Start the turns passing outside the middle of the first three turns; these horizontals we called 'fraps'. I do believe this terminology is particular to military mountain ops.

Step 5: Fraps Continued...

Complete the three horizontal fraps...

Step 6: Wraps, 2nd Time.

Make three more vertical wraps, passing inside the first set of wraps and outside the fraps.

Step 7: Dressing the Knot

Dressing the knot (tightening) is the process of using the knot itself as a 'standing' or anchored end [clumpy bit], and taking the 'running' or working ends [dangly bits] and running them 'through' the knot.
With the marlin spike / pokey object, tighten the Fist accordingly. I made two or three of these before I got it right. This is where getting the knot centered on your piece of paracord is important; there's less waste, as well. Be careful not to stab yourself with the pokey object. You will really get to understand the knot dynamics as you tighten it.

Step 8: Sizing the Bracelet.

Now that the hard part is done, making the bracelet portion out of ladder weave is next.
Firstly, take a measurement of your wrist, from the Fist, and loop the two running ends around the knot for a basic length.

Step 9: Sizing the Closure Loop.

The next step is to size the end loop that the monkey fist will attach through; this is just a matter of starting the first ladder loop, and fidgeting around with it, so both lengths from knot-to -loop are the correct size for your wrist; check the size frequently as you tighten, as paracord can be deceptive!

Step 10: Ladder Weaving

Ladder weave is simply opposite side half hitches around two strands of paracord. Once you have the single loop closure fidgeted out, make a bight on the left side;

Step 11: Ladder Weaving

Now bring the other cord under the running end of the bight, across the front of the two starnds and through the bight...then tighten.

Step 12: Alternating Hitches

Now repeat the previous step, alternating sides , until the bracelet body is completed; then snip and melt ends.

Step 13: Weaving the Bracelet

Now you can go to town on the ladder weave / half hitching, tightening as you go, and frequently checking the wrist size. If these bracelets are too tight, they are very uncomfortable, and paracord will shrink a tad over time; I darn near had to cut my first one off, as it had tightened up while I wore it.

Step 14: Finishing Up.

If you've got enough cord, take your half hitches down to the monkey fist; tighten the weave, and try to get another hitch or two in, as close to the knot as possible. After a final size check, cut and melt the running ends, and seal them to the main weave.

Step 15: Add the Skully Bead.

The skull beads I use were too small to fit over the loop closure of my bracelets; so, I used an awl from a Swiss army knife, and carefully bored out the existing hole, until, with a lot of effort, I got the bead on. Other beads may fit better. A bead really helps tighten the loop, so that it's not too sloppy, and really enhances the overall look of the bracelet.

Step 16: Final Product Photos

Congratulations! If all has gone well, you should now be the owner of a Headhunter Paracord Bracelet. Allow a couple of hours for first attempt.

Step 17: Skully

A photo highlighting the skully.

Step 18: Herd of Bracelets.

All colours, etc...!

2 People Made This Project!


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91 Discussions

I'm here insomniacking (4am). Been looking for a paracord weave that can hold a penny. This is cool, though.


temp_1516062973.jpg All sizes and colors of paracord and lots of beads including skulls. Like this bracelet very much. Thanx for the posting.

I keep getting stuck on the part where the loop is formed. Anyone have any pointers or maybe a video i could use? Any help would be greatly appreciated

Strangely enough, I just found a site that sells nothing but 550 paracord AND skull beads. Is there a particular symbolism with the survival bracelet, the monkey fist and the skull bead? :)

1 reply

just so you know, that link is either incorrect or the website no longer exists,

kept me busy for a while. used a nut instead of a skully bead, I think it makes it look more rugged.


3 years ago

I widen the bead hole with a drill. Clear monkey ball diagrams. I've wanted to learn this for a while, but the first tutorial I looked at was not digestable.

It doesn't need to be gutted, some people probably just find it easier or think it looks better.

As you can hopefully tell from this picture, I did not gut mine.


cool project! thanks!

cool project! thanks!

very nice! I wish I can have one, :D

Another buckle alternative, I too don't care for bulky buckle.

I'm doing alright until this step, then my knot gets really messed up, any tips?

1 reply

Unless you put something inside the knot to create some bulk, the knot is going to be a little messed up and not as nice as some of the larger monkey fists you will see. The whole idea to using this knot is to secure the bracelet.