How to Make a Paracord Monkey Fist

By on January 8, 2014
How to Make a Paracord Monkey Fist 4.57/5 (91.43%) 7 votes

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:
how-to-make-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.

monkey-fist-supplies

Line up one end of each next to each other and use your scissors to cut the ends.

monkey-fist-instructions

For each strand, you will grab the end and pull out about an inch of the white inside strands.

how-to-make-paracord-stuff

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.
paracord-projects-paracord-monkeys-fist

Take both ends, melt them using your lighter.

how-to-tie-a-monkey-fist

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.
monkey-fist-jig-diy

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.
how-to-make-a-monkey-fist-jig

Wrap the grey strand out and around the four pegs in a counter-clockwise fashion.

homemade-monkey-fist

Continue to loop the grey strand.

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(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.
paracord-monkey-fist-instructions

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.
paracord-monkey-fist-kit

You will wrap it clockwise, making sure it goes on the outside of the grey(minor color) strand.

directions-to-make-monkey-fist

Continue to wrap the blue strand around.

how-to-make-a-paracord-monkey-fist

diy-paracord-projects

(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.
how-to-make-a-paracord-monkey-fist

Grab the end of your blue paracord.

easy-monkey-fist-instructions

(back view) Thread the end down inside the grey loops and behind the ball.

how-to-make-a-monkey-fist-steel-ball-center

(bottom view) Wrap it on the outside of the first set of blue loops you made.

tying-a-monkey-fist-how-to

Pull it out to the front.

paracord-project-monkeys-fist

Thread it up the inside the grey.

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Pull it through.

Paracord Project Supplies and Bulk Paracord

Repeat and thread down the back side again.

monkey-fist-steps-and-instructions

Continue the same process and pull it up through the front. Just like before, do this until you have 5 loops.

how-to-make-a-paracord-monkey-fist-diy

how-to-make-a-paracord-monkey-fist-tutorial

 

 

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.
diy-projects

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.

make-monkey-fist-knot

how-to-tighten-a-monkey-fist

how-to-make-a-monkey-fist-with-a-jig

make-paracord-monkey-fist

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.
tighten-a-paracord-monkey-fist

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

monkey-fist-step-by-step

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
monkey-fist-steel-ball-bearing

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:
paracord-monkey-fist-supplies

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.

diy-survival-projects

Wrap back around over the first loop and start to wrap down back towards your monkey’s fist knot.

Monkey Fist Loops

monkey-fist-knots

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.

monkey-fist-how-to

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

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Add your key ring!

Add your key ring!

 

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

Paracord


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″



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About Stephanie

Stephanie is the executive editor of DIYready.com. She is curious, creative, and an expert mess maker who is not afraid to try anything a couple of times to get it right. Her specialties are inventing things, writing no nonsense clear instructions, artistic endeavors, paper crafts, digital media, kids crafts, creating recipes and figuring out new and better ways to do almost anything. Stephanie is a DIY guru who thinks maybe she should have been banned from DIY forums years ago, but enjoys being part information junkie, mad scientist, uncertified gourmet chef and mom of three budding DIY enthusiasts.


18 Comments

  1. William Hallczuk

    January 23, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I really liked this post. Please keep writing web content for everyone. Take care.

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  4. Shootist

    January 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    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…

  5. Pingback: Paracord Projects: How to make a Giant Monkey Fist - DIY Ready - DIY Ready

  6. Jessie Chisholm

    February 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

    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?

    • Stephanie

      February 9, 2014 at 3:37 am

      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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  13. Scott Wood

    May 20, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Love the website love you how to lose especially Tecumseh practical and useful devices like self-defense stuff on how to get stuff out of a jam

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