Paracord Monkey's Fist




This Instructable will teach you step by step how to make a monkey fist keychain. Some years back I went to a scout camp and another leader shared this cool knot with me. I hope you enjoy it.

Step 1: Things Needed

You will need:
35" to 40" of Paracord
1 Marble
2 Hands

Lighter to melt ends of paracord
Needle Nose Pliers to tighten knot

Step 2: Melting Paracord Ends

When you cut the paracord, it will fray if you do not melt the ends. I prefer to use a lighter and hold it about 1/8" away so it melts but does not burn.

Step 3: Starting the Knot

1. Hold the marble between your pointer and middle fingers as shown.

2. Next pinch one end of the paracord between your thumb and lower half of your middle finger.

3. Start by wrapping the paracord 3 times around both of your fingers and the marble.

Step 4: Continuing the Knot

1. Loop the end of the paracord around the back side of the marble, closer to your pointer finger.

2. Continuing wrapping down to your middle finger until you can see 3 wraps on the front.

Step 5: Making the Knot

1. With the strand on top, thread it down into the hole made from your middle finger. It will come out on top of your middle finger as shown in picture 3.

2. Now thread the end up through the hole from your pointer finger.

3. Keep threading the paracord through the holes until you have 3 wraps on both sides. If it is done right, both ends will be in the same place, shown in picture 4.

Step 6: Tighten the Knot

1. Hold the end that you started the knot with in one hand and pull the slack around the knot with the other. You don't have to make it very tight the first time you go around it.

2. You will have to pull each loop through the knot to the other side.

3. Continue pulling the slack tight through the knot. When you finish one side, follow the paracord to one of the other sides that hasn't been tightened yet.

Step 7: Tighten the Knot Again

I like to make my knots tight so they look nicer. This is the time that you can use needle nose pliers if it gets too tight to pull the slack through by hand. Start in the same place you did before and work your way around the knot the way you did before. When you are finished it should look like the last picture.

Step 8: Tie a Loop

At this point you have finished the monkey fist, You can trim the end shorter if you like or leave them as is. You can tie a bowline knot with the extra paracord coming out of the monkey fist.

Steps for a bowline knot:
1. Loop the paracord over itself.
2. Thread the end through the back of the loop just made leaving some.
3. Take the end behind the paracord directly coming out of the monkey fist.
4. Thread the end back through the loop where you first came through.
5. Tighten by pulling the monkey fist away from the large loop and end.

Step 9: Show Off Your Work!

Now you are finished and can display this work of art on your key ring or bag. I made lots of them for my friends and family as gifts. They can also be used in unexpected survival situations when you need paracord.

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14 Discussions


2 years ago

idk how to make this but i wish i had one


3 years ago

I used an 8 ball instead.

I got arrested.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Larger monkey's fists were used by sailors on the ends of heaving lines. A heaving line is a thin line with a weight on the end (the monkey's fist) that could be thrown from a ship to a dock (or another ship) a larger mooring line could then be tied on and pulled back across.


4 years ago

I have always failed at making these till this instructible and one other question do yo wrap loose or tight?


5 years ago

To make a neater cut, try wrapping a bit of insulation tape around the cord, then cut through the middle of that. You can still heat seal the ends and remove the tape.

Another option is to heat a knife blade with a small blow torch/turboflame lighter and then slice through.

King Apocalyptic

5 years ago

To help me make it I made a lego stand to hold it while working. When done just take it apart

14, 7:32 PM.jpg

5 years ago on Introduction

Very well put-together - good photos, good instructions - you got my vote!


5 years ago

This looks really cool. Now I just need to make it with all kinds of colors.