Learn how to make a giant monkey fist with paracord and a pool ball in this exciting DIY paracord project tutorial!
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In this article:
How to Make a Giant Monkey Fist from a Pool Ball
What Is a Monkey Fist?
A monkey’s fist or paw is a type of knot which looks like a small clenched fist. It comes in different sizes and used for different purposes.
It is used in fishing, mountain climbing, as a weapon, and even as an accessory in clothing. A giant monkey fist is beneficial to carry on you for survival and self-defense purposes.
It’s super easy to conceal and carries enough power to slow down any attacker. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a giant monkey fist using a pool ball!
This giant monkey fist weighs in at a hefty 6 ounces, so let’s get this started!
What You Will Need:
- Pool ball
- 18ft 550 paracord (main color)
- 10ft 550 Paracord (compliment color)
- 8ft 550 paracord (lanyard and handle)
- Monkey fist jig
- Lighter or matches
Need supplies? Check out my recommendations below:
Pool Table Billiard Ball Set by Felson Billiard Supply
Pool Table Billiard Ball Set, Art Number Style
# 8 Ball Regulation Size 2 1/4″ Pool Table Billiard Replacement
550 Paracord – Five Colors 100 Feet Total
Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord (Black, 550-Pound/100-Feet)
1″ Steel Ball Bearings for Monkey Fist Steel Centers
Avler™ 1″ (25.4mm) Chrome Steel Bearing Balls for Paracord Monkey Fist Center (Pack of 10)
Key Rings for Your Monkey Fist
KEY-BAK #500 Premium Quick Release, Pull-Apart Key Accessory with 2 Split Rings
How to Make a Giant Monkey Fist DIY Instructions
Step 1. Connect Paracords
To get started, we will need to connect both pieces of paracord at the ends so we have one single strand to make our monkey fist.
Take the ends of both your major and minor paracord. In this case, we are using black 550 paracords as our major color and grey 550 paracords as our minor color.
Cut the ends.
Step 2. Melt Ends of Paracord
Take both ends, melt them using your lighter and press them together. Take both ends, melt them using your lighter and press them together.
Step 3. Prepare to Weave
Now, let’s get started weaving the monkey fist! Grab your jig and line up your paracord so the merged part is lined up in the center on the inside of the two pegs closest to you.
You will want your major color on the right and your minor color on the left.
Step 4. How to Weave A Monkey Fist
Start the weave with your minor color. Hold the strand in your right hand so it’s kept in place.
Next, use your left hand to wrap the grey strand out and around the four pegs in a counter-clockwise fashion. This counts as one loop.
You will repeat this 9 more times until you have completed 11 loops. Wrap the grey strand out and around the four pegs in a counter-clockwise fashion.
This is how it should look once you’ve completed wrapping 11 times.
Make a single loop around the peg in order to keep the grey strand in its place.
Step 5. Wrapping Monkey Fist Loops
Keeping those loops intact, place the pool ball in the center and hold it in place with your hand. Place the pool ball in the center.
Start to wrap the black cord up and over the grey loops.
Step 6. Wrapping Alternate Monkey Fist Loops
Repeat Step 4 with the black strand (your major color). You will wrap it clockwise, making sure it goes on the outside of the grey(minor color) cord.
Once you’ve wrapped it around 11 times, your ball should be able to sit in the middle without you holding it. Loop the black paracord counter-clockwise around the outside of the grey paracord.
Helpful Hint: As you wrap your paracord to make your monkey fist knot, do your best to keep each loop next to each other and not overlapping any other loops. This will make it easier for you when you start to tighten your monkey fist.
Keep wrapping like this, going around the pool ball in the center.
Wrap until you have gone around 11 times.
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Step 7. Complete the Monkey Fist Loops
Now we are going to complete the last set of loops, continuing with the black strand. This time, we will weave the strand so it is on the inside of the grey loops but around the black loops we just made.
Be sure to use this series of loops to contain the pool ball. Just like the previous steps, you will wrap it around 11 times. Grab the end of your black paracord.
Thread it up and inside the grey loops.
Thread it over the black loops then back down on the inside of the grey. These loops will be hugging the pool ball.
Thread it back under the pool ball.
Bring it behind the pool ball and inside the grey loops.
Repeat until you’ve made 11 loops.
Step 8. Remove the Monkey Fist from Jig and Tighten Loops
You have now formed your monkey fist knot! Now you are going to remove it carefully from the jig and start tightening.
As you go through and start tightening, it is important you do not make anything too tight for the first round. This is a slow process you will have to repeat a couple of times to gradually get your monkey’s fist as tight as you want it.
If you tighten too much too early, you will end up causing the cords to overlap. This is especially important for the loops on each ‘edge’.
If you pull these too tight, you will begin to pinch the loops underneath together, making it very difficult to keep your monkey fist neat and even. Take your time at this phase, and try to maintain symmetry all-around your knot.
Step 9. Continue to Tighten Loops
Follow the strand around the fist, continuing to tighten. Starting with the grey paracord at the corner where you made your first loop, pull the complimentary side up gently to tighten the corner.
Start tightening the loops. Be patient, this is a slow process.
Follow the cord around the ball and continue to pull and tighten.
Continue all around the ball, it should start to look like this.
Continue along the ball starting with the black cord. You will have to go around a couple of times to get the monkey fist nice and tight.
Step 10. Monkey Fist Lanyard and Handle
Now let’s start to make your lanyard and handle. To do this, you will first make a diamond knot with the two pieces of cord hanging out of the monkey fist.
To start the diamond knot, align the two cords next to each other.
Take the black strand and make a loop over itself.
Bring the grey strand under the black loop, over the top of the black strand then back under the black strand.
Now thread the grey strand over the bottom part of the black loop, underneath itself then back over the top part of the black loop.
Pull the grey strand slightly to tighten the loops. (Just slightly)
Pull the grey strand around and under pulling up through the center of the black loop. Make sure you end up on tom of the other grey strand that is there.
When you pull it a little tighter, this is what your knot should be looking like.
Now let’s go back to your black strand. Grab the end of it.
Loop the black strand on the left side of the knot, over the grey strand and under all the other pieces. Next, pull it up through the center of the knot just like you did with the grey strand.
This is what it should look like. Now, carefully start tightening the knot.
Pull the strands one by on to get the diamond knot closer to the base of the Monkey Fist.
This is how your diamond knot should look.
Step 11. Make a Paracord Lanyard
Now you’ve made your diamond knot, let’s move on to creating your lanyard. To do this, we will tie a seesaw knot.
Grab your third piece of paracord (8-ft. piece) and fold it in half to get started. Fold your third piece(the 8 ft. piece) of paracord in half to make a loop.
Thread the loop around the grey cord.
Now grab the black cord on the right.
Thread it behind the grey loop and up through the new piece.
Pull all four strands to tighten. You will always start with the strand which is the highest up.
So, the next strand you will work with is the black one on the top left.
Now, grab the top left black strand from your new piece.
Do the same as you did before and wrap it behind and up through the center of the right two pieces (the grey and black strands).
Bring it back to the left side. Pull all four strands to tighten.
Now the grey strand is the highest strand, so this will be the next one you work with.
Wrap the grey strand back behind.
Next, pull the grey strand through the middle of the left two strands.
Pull the grey strand back to the right side, and pull all four strands to tighten.
Continue to repeat those steps until you have reached your desired length.
Step 12. Make the Paracord Handle
Make your lanyard as long as you want. Now let’s make the handle using the cobra weave. Keep your black and grey strands which came out of your monkey fist as the centerpiece of your cobra weave.
Pull your remaining black pieces of cord to opposite sides.
Starting with the left piece, pull it under the centerpieces and over the right strand.
Take the right strand over the centerpieces, then over and through the loop on the left side.
Tighten the first knot. Now repeat with the right strand, then bring it under the centerpiece and over the left piece.
Take the left strand over the centerpieces and down through the loop on the right side.
Pull to tighten. This is what your cobra weave should be looking like.
Step 13. Finish Up!
Continue on down until you’ve reached your desired handle size. Finish the ends by cutting and burning.
Make a knot with the black and grey center strands and cut and burn as well.
This video from Armin Hirmer will show you how to use the monkey fist:
Now you know you can also create your homemade training supplies and equipment for your DIY home gym. Not only is a giant monkey fist perfect for personal training, but it also serves as a self-defense tool.
If you’re caught in a survival situation and you’ll be in need of a long rope, you’ll thank heavens you have this homemade giant monkey fist. So make some more with this step-by-step guide on how to make a giant monkey fist!
Will you give this DIY giant monkey fist a try? Let us know how it went and you may share some photos of your creation in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 5, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
I really wish you would warn your readers that carrying a slungshot or “monkey’s fist” is a felony in many states.
Mick J P7 says
Yes…well so is attacking someone and trying to rape/rob them.
Some states issue a weapon s permit vs a gun permit, so u can carry any legal weapons or arms for self defense
Nice, how do I get that kit?
Soon. We will let you know!
what are the dimensions for the jig
We have specs I am about to add to the site.
Yes very much interested in making a jig like you used for the pool ball, it would be very much appreciated.
Great. We will let you know. Thanks!
I’ve always wondered how monkey a fist was done. Navy used them to throw lines to another ship etc
Trust me, that’s not the way we tie a monkey’s fist in the Navy. You can google and find out how to very easily. Normal monkey’s fist will only have 3-4 wraps when finished weaving needs a center weight less than half the size of a cue ball.
Love making bracelets, just needed a post on how to make a “Monkey Fist”. Thanks!
Paul Wheeler says
Would love to make one with the proper jig.
james capasso says
I would like to buy one of these already made.
Gene Read says
I would Like to Buy 1 of each already done ( arthritis in fingers ) or a set of plans
thanks Please advise
I would like to have a kit & in what states is the illegal?
I would like to make the monkey fist using the pool all… Iam interested in the jig to make these… Is it possible to buy one already made as a pattern?
What are the dimensions of your monkey fist jig?
Where can i get the specs on that jig?
Tàkoda Fox Chancellor says
Where can I get that kit for the monkeyfist paracord. I want to make a 3/4 ball?
Rynna Machate says
You can find a monkey fist maker kit in amazon.com or ebay. Hope it helps.
Joshua Chronstedt Englar says
All the links to the images are broken so you cant see any of the instructions. It would be awesome if you could reupload the images, would love to take on this project. 🙂
George MacDonald says