How to Make a 550 Cord Bracelet

    by Stacey Schifferdecker

    About the Author

    Stacey Schifferdecker has worked as a professional writer since 1989. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English from Oklahoma State University. Schifferdecker has written and edited user guides, newsletters, brochures, curriculum, proposals, web copy, and ebooks.


    Paracord or parachute cord is a lightweight nylon cord also called 550 cord because it can support up to 550 pounds without snapping. A bracelet made out of this cord can be decorative or used as a survival tool -- just unravel the bracelet if you need a piece of cord to repair a piece of equipment, make a tourniquet or secure an item to your vehicle. Paracord comes in numerous colors so you can customize your bracelet to show your support for a military unit or sports team. The neatly knotted bracelets look like large-scale macrame and appeal to both men and women.

    Things You'll Need

    • 12 1/2 feet of 550 paracord
    • Measuring tape
    • Rigid ruler
    • Scissors
    • Lighter
    • Flat tool, such as a butter knife or craft stick

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    Measure out 2 1/2 feet of paracord and cut it with scissors, leaving you with a second piece, 10 feet long.

    Tie a knot 2 inches from the end of the short piece of paracord. You can tie an overhand knot or a lanyard knot.

    Lay the long piece of paracord horizontally on your work surface. Lay the short piece of paracord vertically on top of the long piece of paracord, so the two pieces resemble a lower-case letter "T." The loop of the short piece of paracord should be about 1 inch above the longer piece.

    Take the right arm of the "T" from the longer length of paracord and fold it over the short length of paracord to begin your first knot. Both arms of the "T" are now on the left side of the short piece of paracord, with a loop on the right side. Take the original left arm of the longer piece of paracord and pass it under the shorter piece of paracord and through the loop you created. Pull firmly to tighten the knot. You have just made a cobra knot.

    Place a ruler in the original loop above the cobra knot so your knots will not slip off the end of the short piece of paracord and to maintain a loop for fastening your bracelet.

    Make a second cobra knot, this time starting with the long length of paracord on the left side.

    Continue making knots down the length of the short piece of paracord, alternating the starting side each time.

    Wrap the bracelet around your wrist occasionally to check its fit. Untie and adjust the placement of the bottom knot on the short piece of paracord that forms the core of the bracelet as necessary. The knot passes through the loop to fasten the bracelet.

    When you are about 1 inch from the knot on the short piece of paracord, you are done making knots. You now have four loose ends from the paracord -- two from the cobra knots and two from the knot at the end of the short cord. Cut each end off so only 1/4 inch sticks out from the work.

    Place each cut end in the lighter flame for a few seconds to burn and melt the ends. Press the ends with the flat tool into a mushroom shape. This stops the paracord from fraying and secure the ends so the knots won't come undone.

    To put your bracelet on, place the knot on one end through the loop on the other end.

    • You can typically find 550 cord at army surplus stores or stores that sell outdoor gear. Alternatively, you can use any type of strong climbing cord.
    • This two-piece bracelet is reusable. When you're done using the 10-foot length of paracord, simply reknot it around the bracelet core
    • Only an adult should handle the lighter. It only takes a second or two to melt the cord.