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How to Make a Paracord Monkey Fist



A paracord 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 paracord monkey fist knot keychain.

How to make a paracord monkey fist:

Supplies you need:

  • 1″ steel ball bearing
  • 6ft 550 paracord in a color that you want to be the main color
  • 4ft 550 Paracord in a color that you want to be the compliment color
  • 1″ Monkey Fist Jig
  • key ring
  • scissors
  • lighter or matches

Step 1:

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 blue 550 paracord as our major color and grey 550 paracord as our minor color.

Free Paracord Bracelet - FireKable by DIY Projects

Line up one end of each next to each other and use your scissors to cut the ends.
For each strand, you will grab the end and pull out about an inch of the white inside strands.
Then trim the white strands.

Let go of the end and you'll feel the white inside strands pull back into the cord, leaving about an inch of empty sheath at the end of the strands. This will help you in Step 2.


Step 2:

Take both ends, melt them using your lighter and press them together.
Take both ends, melt them using your lighter.
Connect the ends by pressing them together while still hot.

Step 3:

Now, let's get started weaving the monkey fist!
Grab your jig and line up your paracord so the 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:

Start the weave with your minor color. Holding the blue strand in you right hand so it's kept in place, 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 4 more times until you have completed 5 loops.
Wrap the grey strand out and around the four pegs in a counter-clockwise fashion.
Continue to loop the grey strand.


(side view) You should end where you started after looping around 5 times.


Step 5:

Keeping those loops in tact, place the ball bearing in the center and hold it in place with your hand.
Place the ball bearing in the middle.

Step 6:

Repeat Step 4 with the blue strand (your major color). You will wrap it clockwise, making sure it goes on the outside of the grey(minor color) strand. Once you've wrapped it around 5 times, your ball should be able to sit in the middle without you holding it.
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.
You will wrap it clockwise, making sure it goes on the outside of the grey(minor color) strand.
Continue to wrap the blue strand around.


(side view) Make 5 complete loops.

Step 7:

Now we are going to complete the last set of loops, continuing with the blue strand. This time, we will weave the strand so it is on the inside of the grey loops but around the blue loops we just made.
Be sure to use this series of loops to contain the ball bearing. Just like the previous steps, you will wrap it around 5 times.
Grab the end of your blue paracord.
(back view) Thread the end down inside the grey loops and behind the ball.
(bottom view) Wrap it on the outside of the first set of blue loops you made.
Pull it out to the front.
Thread it up the inside the grey.
Pull it through.
Paracord Project Supplies and Bulk Paracord
Repeat and thread down the back side again.
Continue the same process and pull it up through the front. Just like before, do this until you have 5 loops.





Step 8:

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 that you do not make anything too tight.
This is a slow process that 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 over lap. 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 flat
Take your time at this phase, and try to maintain symmetry all around your knot.
Remove your monkey's fist from the jig.

Step 9:

Starting with the grey paracord at the corner where you made your first loop, pull the complimentary side up gently to tighten the corner.
DIY Paracord Projects
Follow the strand around the fist, continuing to tighten.





DIY Survival Projects

Step 10:

Now move on to the blue strand. You will start at the same point as you did for the grey strand – where they are joined together.
Repeating the same method as in Step 8, start tightening the blue strands, working your way around the five loops.
Repeating the same method as in Step 8, start tightening the blue strands, working your way around the five loops.

Finish A Paracord Monkey Fist


Step 11:

Since the blue strand continues on to the thirds set of loops, continue to tighten the rest of the blue loops.
Monkey Fist From Paracord

Step 12:

Continue to repeat this process until you are happy with your end product.

Step 13:

Once you are happy with the way your monkey's fist looks, you are going to finish it up by making a hangman's noose knot to attach the key ring.
Follow the instructions below to complete your keychain:
Take both your grey and blue strand and line them up next to each other. Make a loop about 3.5 inches above the monkey's fist. If you want your keychain to be longer, then adjust where your loop begins accordingly.
Monkey Fist Keychain
Make a loop with the other end of the cords so the end wraps back around toward your first loop. It should look like an “S”.
How to Make A Monkey Fist Keychain
Grab the open end and begin to wrap it around the core of the loops. Start close to the top loop with your first wrap.
Wrap back around over the first loop and start to wrap down back towards your monkey's fist knot.

Monkey Fist Loops

Wrap as many times as you like.
Make Monkey Fists
Pass the end through the bottom loop.
Pulling on one side of the top loop will tighten the bottom loop around the end piece, completing your noose.
Pulling on one side of the top loop will tighten the bottom loop around the end piece, completing your noose.
Cut the end about 1/2in from the base of the knot and burn the end using your lighter.


Try our giant monkey fist made with a pool ball:

Paracord Projects: Giant Monkey Fist

Ever made a remote control airsoft gun ? We have!

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Add your key ring!
Add your key ring!


Ready to get started? Here are our top picks for supplies:


550 Paracord – Five Colors 100 Feet Total

Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord (Black, 550-Pound/100-Feet)

1″ Steel Ball Bearings

Avler™ 1″ (25.4mm) Chrome Steel Bearing Balls for Paracord Monkey Fist Center (Pack of 10)

Key Rings

KEY-BAK #500 Premium Quick Release, Pull Apart Key Accessory with 2 Split Rings

Monkey Fist Jigs

Jig Pro Shop® Multi-Monkey Fist Paracord Tool Jig ~ Make Monkey Fists From 5/8″ Thru 1 3/4″

The Multi-Monkey fist Jig for Monkey Fists from 5/8″ up to 1 3/4″


  1. A warning:
    Here in Michigan, and possibly other states, the Monkey Fist is considered a ‘Slung Shot or Bludgeon’ and is not legal.
    A fishing sinker on a short lenght of fishing line is a similar weapon…

  2. I love DIY projects. I watch a lot of Youtube DIY projects as well. And just when you thought that you knew everything, someone comes out with another one. My mind is cluttered with DIY. Thanks for the ideas, keep up the great work… So whats next?

    • Awesome-Thanks for the approval. Inspires me to do more. We are working on some pallet projects, some homesteading things, and I have a lifelong love of paper crafts and cooking. Hard to decide. My mind is also cluttered with DIY. Let us know if you have requests. We are always open to them.


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