How to make a paracord monkey fist

Written by alice stewart
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How to make a paracord monkey fist
Paracords are used for safety harnesses and rock-climbing ropes. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

A monkey fist is the name given to a decorative and practical type of knot. Paracord, also known as 550 cord, is a very strong and durable nylon rope, commonly used by rock climbers, campers and the military. The knot involves wrapping the paracord around your fingers, and then inserting the knotted end back into the middle of knot. Once you master the monkey fist knotting technique, you can use it to decoratively tie the ends of paracord bracelets and lanyards.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Paracord

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  1. 1

    Lay the paracord horizontally onto your work desk. Locate the point in the paracord that is approximately 6 inches from the start of the paracord. Use this part of the cord to start the wrapping from. Hold your ring, middle and index fingers together. Wrap the paracord loosely around the three fingers, three times.

  2. 2

    Slightly open your middle and index fingers while the cord is still around your fingers. Insert the longer end of the rope through the gap in your fingers, and out the other side. Carefully pull the entire knot off of your fingers, keeping its shape intact.

  3. 3

    Wrap the cord, that you have just pulled through the middle, three times over the original turns. Pass the long strand back through the middle of these turns.

  4. 4

    Pick up the strand you just inserted through the middle section, and wrap it three times around the previous turns.

  5. 5

    Tie a single knot on the short end of the paracord. Insert the knot back into the centre of the monkey fist knot, and rearrange the knot to disguise it.

  6. 6

    Pull in each of the turns to tighten the knot. Pull the remaining long cord tightly to complete the knot.

Tips and warnings

  • Heat the ends of the paracord with a lighter to prevent it from fraying.
  • When working with very thick paracords, you may want to use metal "fingers" that make it easier to knot the cords.

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