NOTE: What I sell on Etsy does not include the compass, handcuff key, or mini saw blade. The mini saw and handcuff key are too unreliable to acquire in reasonable time. I could add the compass if you really wanted one.
I’ve had a few people asking me how I made my paracord bracelet, which I have 22 unique items crammed into, so I decided to make a new one and break down all the details. Here’s a quick view of everything we’re going to put into this thing:
The full list of components:
NOTE: This bracelet is designed for roughly an 8″ sized wrist. If you have a smaller wrist, you may not be able to fit as many components inside the center tube.
- 15′ 550 Paracord
- Reflective Tape
- Chlor-Floc Packet (Water Purification Powder)
- Handcuff Key
- Curved Whistle Buckle
- 6″ Heat Shrink Tubing
- 4″ Cable Ties (x4)
- 1 1/2″ Ranger Band
- 18″ Steel Fishing Leader (Doubles as a small animal snare)
- 20″ Jute Twine
- 18″ Brass wire
- X-Acto Knife Blade (cheaper version)
- 1″ FireSteel
- Quick Tinder Fire Starter
- 2″ Micro Saw Blade
- 30′ Braided Fishing Line
- Fishing Snap Swivel
- Fishing Hooks (x2)
- Split Shot Sinkers (x2)
- Safety Pins (x2)
- Compass (optional)
I should also note that I prefer to use the extremely common Cobra weave when making these bracelets. It is an easy weave and allows you to make bracelets fairly quickly. There are several different types of weaves out there, just do a search on Google or Youtube for examples and decide what is best for you.
- Needle nose pliers
- Regular pliers
- Masking or Electrical Tape (not required, but recommended)
- Paracord Jig (not required, but highly recommended. I made my own, but you can just as easy buy one)
Take the fishing line, needle, and a small piece of electrical tape and tape the needle to the fishing line as shown in the picture below. Fold over a small portion of the ends of the tape so that it makes it easier to take apart. I recommend using the tape because it keeps the fishing line in a nice, organized spool and it keeps the needle in an easy to find place. However, if you’re afraid things might get sticky, you can skip this step.
Grab your fishing line, 18″ fishing leader, the 18″ of brass wire, and pull them into the heat shrink tubing using an extra strand of fishing line or some other string. Try to keep the entire bundle as centered as possible in the tube.
Get your fishing hooks, sinkers, swivel, and safety pins and put them into the tube as shown below. I put the swivel on the side that doesn’t have the swivel from the fishing leader. (NOTE: You may have to use an object to push these pieces into the tube.)
Using the needle nose pliers, grab the end of the tube leaving about 1/4″ remaining on the end. Take your lighter and heat the 1/4″ end until it melts a little. Using a regular pair of pliers, squeeze down on the 1/4″ end while it’s still hot to create a nice seal. Repeat the process on the other end of the tube.
Attach your X-Acto knife blade, micro saw, and water purification packet to the center of the tube with a small piece of tape as shown. The knife and saw should be on top of the tube and the water purification packet should be on the bottom.
NOTE: Skip step 6 and 7 if you are making a single color bracelet.
Grab one of the paracord ropes and pull the center strands out an inch or two while holding the outer shell in place. Now, cut off the strands that are sticking out. When you release the outer shell, the idea is to have it go back in place and create a hollow area inside.
Insert your second colored paracord rope into the hollow area you created in the first one. Use your lighter to melt the outer rope a little, then rub your fingers on it while pushing down to “weld” the two ropes together. Once you’re done, give it a little tug to make sure they’re connected – but don’t pull too hard or you may break the bond.
Set up your Paracord Jig with your buckle in place and everything set to the length you want. Then, begin looping your rope through your buckle. Some things to note here:
1. The color on the left side of the picture will be the “stitches” on the outside of our bracelet; the color on the right will be the center color of the bracelet.
2. Loop the color on the left from the bottom of the buckle upwards, so that it hangs over the buckle like in the picture.
3. Loop the color on the right starting from the bottom and going upwards on the right side of the buckle, but when looping it on the left side, start from the top and loop it down underneath. Essentially, you want to create elongated oval shapes instead of crisscrossing the rope like a shoelace.
4. There should be three (3) complete oval loops when done:
Loop 1: This loop should go through one of the FireSteel holes.
Loop 2: This loop should go under the FireSteel.
Loop 3: This loop should go through the other FireSteel hole.
These loops make up the “core” of the bracelet.
5. Don’t forget to loop on the compass like I did.
6. When you are finished, it should look like this:
Begin weaving. I use the Cobra weave.
After your first knot, turn the bracelet over and insert two (2) cable ties underneath the first knot. Ensure the rest of the knots cover up the cable ties.
After three (3) or four (4) knots, slide your compass into place.
Insert the inner tube into place between the upper and lower strands of the center core.
Loop the ends through the compass and continue the weave. Be sure not to forget to add the twine at this point.
Once you’ve completed half of the weave, insert the other two (2) cable ties into the last knot. They should stick out just far enough to reach the buckle.
Keeping making knots until you run out of room.
Cut off the excess rope, leaving about 3/16″ remaining.
Melt the ends down with a lighter, then use the bottom of the lighter to smash the ends flat.
Trace the buckle shape onto two pieces of reflective tape. Cut out the shapes and put one on each side of the female end of the buckle.
Pull the ranger band over the entire female end of the buckle. Trim as needed so that it fits snug on the buckle, but doesn’t have excess beyond the buckle opening.
Pull the ranger band up, insert the quick tinder underneath. It should fit nicely into the area the paracord wraps around the buckle.
You’re done. Bask in your glorious results!