How To Make A Survival Bracelet

Making your own paracord bracelet is as easy as using a cobra weave technique between a buckle or another type of clasp. You can make a bracelet with one or two colors depending on your preference and easily find yourself prepared for situations in day to day life and survival scenarios. Additionally, while the instructions might seem a little confusing at first, once you learn to create the right knot you’ll be able to make the whole length of your bracelet in no time.

Below, we’ll take a look at how to make a paracord survival bracelet. This is perfect for everything like day-to-day challenges like being used as a belt or shoe string, as well as adventures or survival scenarios when you need to be prepared for everything. A paracord bracelet also makes a great gift.

How to Make a Paracord Survival Bracelet

materials needed

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials to Make a Paracord Bracelet

You don’t need many tools to make a paracord bracelet. You’ll need a tape measure (or a string and ruler), scissors, and a lighter. If you plan on using the Manny method of tying your cord ends, you’ll also need a paracord needle and something like an ice pick, canvas needle, or small scissors that can make holes. Regarding materials, you’ll need a 3/4-inch plastic side release buckle and 1/8-inch thick paracord in one or two colors. You can use another kind of clasp instead of the buckle part if you’d like but the basic plastic buckle is one of our favorites. To determine how much paracord you’ll need, see step 3 for measuring your cords. In most cases, you’ll need several feet of paracord (about 12 feet for six inch bracelet).

measure your wrist

Step 2: Measuring Wrist Circumference

To determine your bracelet size, you’ll need to use a tape measure to find your wrist circumference. Alternatively, you can use a piece of rope, string, or the paracord you already have sitting there and loop it around your wrist, then measure it with a ruler. Use a marker to mark the point where the rope ends and then lay it next to a ruler to get the measurement.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to wrap it too tightly as you are measuring. There should be a little more room than you need so the paracord bracelet isn’t uncomfortable to wear. (You’ll also add an inch to the bracelet later, so you also don’t want it too loose). Something that is too loose might slide off your wrist and get lost or snag on something.


Step 3: Measuring and Cutting the Paracord for Your Bracelet

People most commonly use one or two colors for their paracord bracelet, since it’s easiest to use just two strands for the knots that are used for your bracelet.

If you are going to use one solid color for your paracord survival bracelet, you’ll need to multiply the inches of your wrist measurement by 12. For two colors, multiply by 6. For example, if your wrist is 8-inches around, you’ll need 48 total inches of material on each side or a total of 8-feet of paracord. You should note that the length you need varies depending on the thickness of the cord you use.

Keep in mind that it’s better to have too much paracord material than not enough- you can leave an extra six inches on the end if you’d like. You’ll end up trimming the extra fabric once you’re finished with the cobra stitch part of your bracelet anyway.

attach buckle

Step 4: Attaching the Side Release Buckle

When you start, you’ll only be attaching one of the buckle pieces. It doesn’t matter which one you start with- the cords will be able to connect to either buckle part at the end of the string.

First, you’ll need to fuse the ends of the paracord together. Some people just use a lighter to melt the ends and press them together. (You shouldn’t touch the hot part- use a butter knife or other tool to flatten them instead). The stronger method of fusing the ends of the cord is called the Manny Method.

To use the Manny method, you need a paracord needle and a canvas needle (or other sharp piercing tool). You make a hole in the end of Cord A and insert Cord B into it by using the paracord needle to thread it through the hole. Then, you use the same technique to create a hole in Cord A and thread Cord B through the hole. When you are finished, you pull on either end of the string on the long side. The ends create a knot.

The easiest way to attach the buckle once the paracord is prepared is with the girth hitch. Push the looped end (where the cord ends are connected) through the side of the buckle so it sticks out. Then, pull the ends through the looped point so it creates a noose-like knot around the side buckle. This type of loop is nearly impossible to break through once it’s tied. (It’s also useful when typing rope or other types of knots, too).

measure the cord

Step 5: Determining Bracelet Length

To get the total length of the bracelet, take the measurement you had for your wrist size and add one inch. This extra inch ensures the bracelet fits comfortably around your wrist once the cords are all woven together. Take the unjoined ends of the cord and thread them through the second piece of the buckle. The length of paracord between the buckles is equal to the total length of your finished survival bracelet- it’s okay to have more but there won’t be a way to add more if you run out before you get to the last knot.

Step 6: Learning the Cobra Stitch

Next, you’ll create the body of your bracelet by weaving the cords together using cobra stitches with the loose length of paracord until you get to the end of the bracelet. Cobra stitches involve using square knots to tie the cord around itself. It can be helpful as you’re doing this to tape the buckle on the loose ends of string to the table- this will stop it from sliding around as you’re tying the cobra stitches.

Cobra stitches get their name from the way they alternate lines on the side like the belly of a cobra. When you put them together like you do when making a survival bracelet, it’s called a cobra weave. You will need to keep track of which cord is which to make this knot. If you have used two cords of the same color, you may want to mark one so you can tell them apart. This will be a lot easier than trying to remember which side you’re on.

To keep things simple, we’ll refer to these as Cord 1 and Cord 2. Cord 1 is on the left and Cord 2 is on the right. We’ll refer to the middle two threads as the center strands.

Take Cord 1 and thread it behind both center strands. Then, lay it over Cord 2 about 1″ from the buckle end. Next, take Cord 2 and cross it over the top of the second strand. You should have a loop that was created when you finished bringing the first piece of paracord around- thread Cord 2 through that loop. Now, pull each side of the cord snug.

Step 7: Weaving the Body of Your Bracelet

To get the cobra weave, you’ll need to alternate the side on top as you thread the paracord. You are going to follow the same instructions to create the second knot. However, you are going to start with Cord 2 and make that one the loop, instead of Cord 1. If you don’t alternate strands, you’ll notice that the braid starts to turn sideways. You can correct this error by undoing the last loop and redoing it properly. Continue this until the last knot is tied in the end by the farthest buckle.

If you are more of a visual learner, you might also find it helpful to watch video links on Youtube for an example of how to do a cobra stitch to be sure you are doing it right. It becomes easy to create the loop once you have the motions down.

finishing the bracelet

Step 7: Finishing the Ends

Once you are done, you’ll need to trim the ends of the cords so there is about 1/2-inch after the last knot near the part of the paracord that is still loose. You want the loose ends match the length of your bracelet- you just need a little extra length to melt the rope and fuse the knots together. After trimming, take a lighter and melt the end of the cords. Paracord melts a little when you apply heat to it and some of the more durable materials get hot, helping it fuse to itself if you press on it.

Instead of pressing with your fingers, use a butter knife, pliers, or the end of the lighter to press the ends to each other down near the buckles. This fuses the bracelet together as it sticks to itself. As long as the ends of the cords remain intact, your survival bracelet should last for years. You can ensure the durability of your bracelet by being sure you choose the right thickness of paracord string and choosing high-quality buckles.

What can you do with a paracord bracelet?

Paracord bracelets are one of those handy survival tools that you want if you’re ever in a survival situation. Survival bracelets are made from 8-20 feet of paracord, which is a strong nylon material that has been used for parachutes since the second World War. Some people also use it to make a dog collar or anklet instead of a bracelet.

In a survival situation, paracord is a very strong material that has a lot of the same functions as rope. You can use it to make a makeshift shelter from the wind and rain or start a fire. Paracord also works as a tourniquet and can be woven into a trap. It can be used for shoestrings, making repairs to clothing or backpacks if you have a needle, or mark a trail by tying the string around a branch or tree trunk. When you use a single string, paracord can even be used as fishing line, dental floss, or really anything you need to do with rope. Paracord is also a flexible material, so it’s easy to loop the paracord around anything you need to, especially if you’re familiar with how to tie survival knots.

In addition to being functional, a paracord bracelet is a great accessory. You can personalize it with your favorite colors and it even makes a great holiday gift as bracelets, pet collars, or keychain fobs. With the cobra weave technique, you can make paracord gifts of any shape, size, or amount.

Something to keep in mind is that paracord material can only be as resourceful in a survival situation as you are. It’s important to research how to use paracord so you are prepared for different scenarios. It is also helpful if you learn how to tie a strong knot (or several strong knots) for different purposes. Being prepared in a survival situation really comes down to using the items at your disposal to do what you need to do. Watching a video on how to tie knots and loop rope in different ways can really help ensure you’re prepared for anything.

Final Word

A paracord bracelet is a useful survival tool that you can easily make on your own. Once you master making a square knot, you can use the cobra stitch technique to make paracord bracelets of any length. Hopefully, this information has been helpful as you start to make your own. Your new survival bracelet will be a great companion for any adventure or survival situation. You can take it anywhere- from deep in the woods to the highest mountain in the Pacific Northwest.

If you have any feedback on this article- comment below. You can also comment with any pictures of your paracord crafts or ideas.