Once upon a time, paracord was only used for the military and survival gear. But many people are starting to realize other uses for paracord, such as what we’ll discuss in this ultimate paracord projects list!
You can use paracord to make various wares, including decorations, practical needs like holding keys or gear, and simple items you’ve never considered, such as mesh bags or bottle holders. This list includes a variety of fun and easy paracord projects.
We also talk about the different types of paracord material so you’ll understand what kind of cord you want to work with and what knots you may need to learn.
What is Paracord?
Paracord is a reliable, tough material that works great as a survival tool and a fashion accessory. This material does not absorb water or deteriorate with time.
It is made of nylon Kernmantle rope. Kernmantle rope means rope with inner strings covered by a braided sheath or sleeve.
Nylon material has extreme strength and elasticity while being mold, rot, and UV light-resistant. Nylon won’t damage if you leave it outdoors, making it great for camping, hunting, and the military.
Many people new to
paracord find themselves confused on some of the terms. We’re here to ensure you
understand everything there is about paracord. Here are some common terms you
may see when working with paracord.
● Paracord: type of nylon Kernmantle rope. It is often used
in crafts and survival gear.
● Kernmantle: a strand of rope with inner strands of rope
covered with a braided sheath
● Sheath: also called the mantle. The braided, outer
covering that protects Kernmantle inner strands
● Nylon: material with a lot of strength and
flexibility. Does not rot, mold, or damage under UV rays
● Polyester: A cheap imitation of nylon. Polyester
does not have as much strength or elasticity but dries faster than Nylon.
● MIL-Spec: paracord that meets military standards 5040
(most Mil-Spec cords do not meet military standards)
● Core: Also called Kern. The inner ropes that compose
a kernmantle. Paracord cores are between 1 and 11 yarns (each yarn is two to
three strands combined)
● Yarn: Strands in the inner core or kern
strength – how much weight a
cord can handle without breaking. It is defined with a # sign and a number to
indicate pounds in weight.
● Elongation/Stretch – the amount of length a cord can stretch while
still returning to original size (all certified Paracord requires at least 30%
Types of Paracord
Paracord, you may notice that there are different types. Before you decide which type you want to buy, you’ll need to
understand the differences.
● Type I has 95
pounds of breaking strength, with 30% elongation, 950 feet of length per pound
● Type IA has 100 pounds of breaking strength, 30%
elongation, and 1050 feet of length per pound.
● Type II 400 pounds of breaking strength, 30% elongation,
and 265 feet of length per pound.
IIA (rare) – 225 pounds of
breaking strength, 30% elongation, and 495 feet of length per pound.
III – 550 pounds of breaking
strength, 30% elongation, and 225 feet of length per pound
● Type IV – 750 pounds of breaking strength, 30%
elongation, and 165 feet of length per pound
Another thing you’ll
need to understand about Paracord is the different sizes. Sizes are determined by the width of the diameter (how thick
the rope is) and how many strands each cord has inside. The most common type of
paracord is 550.
● ¼ shock cord – ¼” diameter, with 48 strands
● Paramax cord – ¼” diameter, three inner strands
● 750 Cord – 5mm diameter, 11 inner strands
● 550 Cord – 4mm diameter, seven strands
● Mil-Spec Cord – 4mm, seven strands
● Tinder Cord – 5/32”, 7 strands
● Msevenno Cord – 5/32”, seven strands
● Survival Cord – 5/32”, seven strands
● ⅛ shock cord – ⅛”, 12 strands
● 425 Cord – 3mm, three strands
● 325 Cord – 2mm, three strands
● 275 Cord – 2mm, five strands
● 95 Cord – 1.75mm, one strand
● Micro Cord – 1.18mm, no inner strands
● Nano Cord – 0.75mm, no inner strands
● 1/16 Elastic Cosixd – 1/16”, 6 strands
● 1/32 Elastic Cord – 1/32”, three strands
550 Paracord is the most popular type of rope for diverse uses. When a person talks about using Paracord, they are most likely referring to 550 or Type III Paracord.
Type III has 550 pounds of tensile strength with a 4 mm diameter. Inside the nylon coated strand are seven smaller ropes to provide extra support and strength.
Some common ways 550 is utilized are repairing clothing, making bracelets, building handles, and carrying items for camping, fishing, and hunting.
To add color to jewelry made with 550 Paracord, you can use Micro Paracord. Micro cords are a Type I nylon with 90 to 100 pounds of tensile strength.
Although Micro cords are only 1.18 mm in diameter with no inner strings, these cords have diverse uses. Micro paracord is often used in many crafts, including some of the ones we’ve listed.
If you want a thin paracord, you will do better with a Nano Paracord. The thin material means you can store a lot in a small space. Nano cord is best for jewelry and bracelets.
It can also be used in emergencies, as long as you don’t need tensile strength. Nano cord is a type 1 nylon with 36 pounds of tensile strength.
The diameter of a nano cord is .75 millimeters with no inner strands. A nano cord is one solid piece of string.
Before you can start
making things using Paracord, you need to learn some important knots used. If
you want to see illustrations on these knots and more, check out Animated
Knots, a great resource to keep handy
for knot references.
If you need to hold
something secure, you will use a Figure
8 knot. This type of knot is often used in rock climbing or sailing.
With a Figure 8 knot,
you start by making a loop over your anchor (a stick, separate piece of
paracord, or carabineer works excellent).
Once your loop is made,
you bring the cord tail under the anchor and push it back into the first loop.
Now, pull it tight, and your knot is done.
Clove hitches are knots that allow for
adjusting. With a clove hitch, you wrap one end of your paracord entirely
around an object and back over the rope until it’s secure and forms an X.
After the cord has
crossed itself twice, thread the working end under the final wrap around. This
completes your knot.
Round Turn and 2 ½ Hitches
This technique is for
securing the end of the rope to a stable object. For a round turn or 2 ½ hitches knot, you wrap
your cord’s working end around the hitch two times to form a round turn.
Next, wrap the cord
under the anchored end and back over the top of the rope. Repeat this process
two times, ensuring that you cover your rope’s open end over the cord itself.
A girth knot called a cow
hitch, or lark’s head, secures
your rope to an object. The girth knot is the easiest knot to do and does not
require much tying.
To perform a girth knot,
you loop your paracord behind the object you’re securing. Next, fold the cord
over the item and then push the thread back through the loop until it’s tight.
A slip knot is another
type of stopper knot. This type of
knot is easy to undo by pulling on the working end. If you want to set up a
temporary shelter, a slip knot is an easy way to keep it secured.
To make a slip knot, you
create a loop in the paracord by layering the paracord over itself one time.
Now, reach your hand through the loop and pull a portion of the paracord knot
through the gap.
Finally, tug on the loop
that’s sticking through the gap. You also pull the separate ends in opposing
The constrictor knot is the
most secure knot you can tie. Once tightened, it is nearly impossible to undo,
making it great for permanently securing projects together.
To create a constrictor
knot, start by wrapping the paracord around an anchor. Next, cross the working
end over the anchor cord then cross it back over your anchor.
Your final step is to
push the working end upwards, so it goes between your anchor and the rope.
Cobra knots are a great knot to use for
making lanyards, a piece of fabric that you attach to an object to hold it.
For a Cobra knot, you
start by making a loop in the paracord. Then you will tie an overhand knot and
be sure to pull it tight.
After this, you will
next tie a half knot around the part of the paracord that’s looped. Tighten the
knot and then repeat. Continue this technique until you get to the end of your
The last few knots
should be loose instead of tight. The ends are tucked up inside the loose knots.
Your final step is to tighten all the loose knots and trim off any ends.
For a timber knot, you need to use braided paracord. This knot is best for
securing a cylinder object using a rope. These ropes offer tension while tied
but are easy to undo.
To create a timber knot,
you wrap your paracord’s end around your object and then around the standing
Next, you push the
paracord through the loop. To complete your knot, wrap the end three times then
tighten the knot. You can make more twists if you want a more secure knot.
Now that we’ve learned
about the different types of Paracords let’s look at some awesome projects you
can make using Paracord.
Leather belts are
fashionable, and they do an excellent job of keeping your clothing in place.
But if you find yourself in a bad situation, leather won’t do much good to get
Paracord belts pull dual
duty. They can keep your pants in place, but the belt can save the day if an
The best Paracord belts
are 550 lb, Type III, which means you will be able to use your belt for various
needs, including as a sling or tourniquet if there are injuries.
You can also use your
belt to hold the gear you need to reach fast, such as a knife, water bottle,
flashlight, and GPS. In dire emergencies, your belt could be used for a sling
to throw stones.
How to Make a Paracord Belt
To make a belt, you will
need some supplies, including 120 feet of #550 Paracord cut into five pieces, a
belt buckle, a pair of scissors, and a lighter. Depending on waist size, you
may need more or less cord. These instructions are for a 34” waist size.
For this project, your
five pieces will look like this:
- Core 1 – length will be double your waist size +
24” (34” + 34” + 24” = 92”)
- Core 2 – Same as Core 1 (92” piece for a 34”
- Retention strap – a 3-foot piece of cord
- Weave 1 – Multiply waist size by 12. Then add 6
ft (34” x 12 = 34’ + 6 = 40’); 1” (inch) of belt length = 1’ (foot) of cord
- Weave 2 – same as Weave #1
Step by step
instructions and pictures, head over to Paracord Planet and check out this helpful article.
Lanyards are a useful
tool for anyone, whether you’re a hiker, hunter, backpacker, survivalist, or
just a paracord hobbyist who likes to craft items.
Paracord lanyards are
thick necklaces that you can wear around your neck to hold items you don’t want
to lose. They usually have a hook in the center or loops to store things.
You commonly see car
keys or badges attached to lanyards. Duck calls are also an everyday use for
lanyards with hoops.
But lanyards can also be
small enough to wear around the wrist or as a keychain accessory, without being
Lanyards are a great
project to start learning paracord because it doesn’t require many complicated
Having a sling makes
toting a gun through the woods easier and safer. Paracord slings have many benefits,
including being comfortable, lightweight, and durable enough not to wear down
Give this ten-minute video
a watch to learn the process of making a rifle sling. Some people find it
easier to follow along as someone is doing something.
This handy guide
shows you step by step instructions on making a rifle sling using a plain strap
and some paracord. This project doesn’t need many materials, and it’s not
difficult to do once you grasp the concept.
The neat thing about
this particular project is that you’re only working with one piece of paracord,
rather than having to deal with a bunch of different strings.
To summarize the
technique for this method, you’ll be using the ends of your piece of paracord
to weave around the strap. Once you get into the rhythm, it can be quite
Do you have kids that
enjoy playing with stuffed animals? Try your hand at this adorable paracord
Better yet, get your
kids together and let them design their own as a fun art project during a cold,
rainy day. Children under the age of eight may not be able to do this project.
And many children under the teen years require some assistance, so it’s a great
For this project, you
- Two 8’ pieces of paracord
- Googly eyes
- Clear tape
- Hot glue
You may find it handy to
have something you can fix your cords while designing your paracord snakes. A
piece of scrap wood can work. If you are doing many paracord projects, you may
want to consider investing in a paracord jig.
Check out this fun article to see
step by step instructions for designing these cute snake friends from paracord.
The great thing is you only need to know how to tie a standard paracord knot to
make these. It’s great for kids or beginners.
Paracord makes for
excellent dog leashes because it’s a durable material that can withstand our
dog’s weight without getting damaged if your pet happens to drag it on rough
If you have a giant
breed dog or a hunting athlete, you will get more extended use out of a
paracord leash than a store-bought nylon leash. And it’s almost free if you
happen to have enough paracord lying around the house.
We love this easy design. You
only need two 16-foot strands of Type III paracord, a metal latch to secure
your pet’s collar, and a paperclip.
This technique requires
braiding four strands of paracord together. And once you get the hang of the
method, you could have a five-foot paracord dog leash in a few hours.
The most challenging
part may be trying to weave the paracord together to make the handle. But
that’s why you have the paperclip!
You’ve already made your
pet a paracord leash, so why not make a paracord collar to match? With this great project,
you don’t even have to buy any materials since you can use your pet’s current
Gather up your pet’s
collar, a lighter, some scissors, a roll of duct tape, and at least 10 feet of
paracord (maybe more or less depending on your pet’s neck size).
Before you start
applying your paracord, make sure you’ve sized the collar appropriately. You don’t
want to make a paracord collar and have too much or be too short once you’ve
put it on your pet.
This particular tutorial
uses the cobra weave, which is more advanced than a traditional paracord knot.
But the look of the cobra weave adds an extra visual appeal. However, it may
not match your pet’s leash, depending on the pattern you used.
You can use a
traditional paracord knot technique for the collar. Just follow the steps you
did for the leash.
If you have a baseball
or softball player in your life, they’re sure to love this baseball (or
softball) inspired paracord bracelets.
You’ll need two
different colors (red and white for baseball, red and yellow for softball) of
paracord. This tutorial recommends four feet of one color and three feet of the
You will also need a
pair of scissors, a ruler or tape measure, and a lighter. A clamp or jig is
optional but makes the production faster.
Why not make extras for
the whole team or sell them on Etsy or at the ball field. They’re so adorable
everyone will want one.
Water Bottle Carrier
Keep your water cold and
always within your reach with this neat water bottle holder. Now, this craft
does require a different technique for paracord than some of the other projects
requires the use of a half hitch technique using two pieces of paracord. The
method may take a bit of time to get used to performing.
But once you get the
hang of it, you can have a neat carrier to slip over your bottles. Never worry
about how much you have left because you can see through the material.
Wear the carrier around
your neck during workouts or hiking thanks to the adjustable lanyard. Or hang
it on your knapsack or bike handle. It can go anywhere you do, and it never
needs to be washed.
Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet
Show your support for
breast cancer awareness with this simple paracord bracelet with a breast cancer
awareness symbol resting prominently in the center.
For this project, you will need eight to ten feet of hot pink paracord
and 5” to 10” of light pink for the
ribbon. You’ll also need a lacing needle or pliers.
This bracelet uses the
cobra weave design, as most bracelets. To insert the ribbon, you use the pliers
or needle. The whole process can be done within thirty minutes if you’re
familiar with the cobra weave pattern.
Make your paracord
dreamcatcher using five feet of #425 paracord and one foot of micro cord.
Notice that this project does not use the standard #550 that we’ve been using
in our other projects. This material is too thick to make a dreamcatcher.
You’ll also need a key
ring or some other circle for the paracord to wrap around. This project starts
simple enough. All you have to do is wrap the cord around the ring until it’s
covered. The ends are tied together in an overhand knot.
The inside of the
dreamcatcher is the tricky part. This part is where you’ll use your micro cord.
You cannot use other paracord types for this area as the thread needs to be
Check out this useful resource to
see step-by-step illustrations on how to do your dreamcatcher’s center. It
looks more complicated than it actually is.
Turk’s Head Knot
The Turk’s Head Knot
uses three feet of 550 paracords. These bands are great for keeping scarfs in
place, and they make gorgeous, elegant napkin holders. Or you could wear it as
a bracelet. It’s very diverse.
A Turk’s Head knot is a
romantic knot because you can’t see where it begins or ends (if you do it
right). It’s fun to do and doesn’t take much effort once you know what you’re
Many people prefer to
use a cylinder, but you can do this knot using only your hands. Check out this article for
step-to-step illustrations on how to do the Turk’s Head Knot and learn a bit of
history about the knot.
If you don’t want to do
this project in your hand, check out this tutorial to
do the knot using a cylinder anchor.
Make lost or damaged
glasses a thing of the past with this stylish and easy paracord lanyard. For
this project, you need three feet of 550 paracords, a lighter, and a pair of
Some people prefer to
have a plastic cord lock or a wooden bead to help provide adjustments to the
straps, but this is optional.
This easy to follow tutorial requires you to make a Figure 8 knot, so if you’re just
learning about different knots styles, this would be a great project to do for
And the best thing is it
doesn’t take long, and there’s virtually no out of pocket costs if you already
have the paracord and glasses.
We also like this simple guide with
helpful pictures for each step. Paracord Galaxy knows their stuff and has a ton
of useful guides for different projects. You should check them out.
Celtic Ring Knot Necklace
For this project, you
need three feet of 550 paracords. You can use two colors for a contrasting
project or use the same color.
You may want a pop
barrel connector or other clasps to keep the necklace secure and make it easy
to put on and take off.
This project requires a
lot of weaving of the cords to create the intricate knots of a Celtic knot, so
it may be challenging when you first start practicing.
Check out this step by step guide with
photos to help you complete the process. But don’t be surprised if you get
plenty of compliments and maybe a few requests to make some more.
We think this dragonfly
necklace made from paracord is the cutest design ever. For this project, you
need three to four feet of paracord and two beads for eyes.
Go check out Paracord Galaxy’s instructional guide to see photos of how to do your paracord dragonfly. Most
of the steps are pretty simple, using a cobra pattern. But you may find the
wing areas a bit challenging in th beginning.
They even tell you how
to attach a key ring so you can make this dragonfly pendant into an adorable
If a multi-tool is a
regular accessory for you, you may like this paracord holder, with a clasp hook
that lets you snap your tool anywhere you need it.
You need one eight
to ten-foot piece of paracord and a separate two to three-foot pieces for this
design. You’ll also need a lacing needle and a keychain or hook.
It also helps to have
your tool nearby so you can do a fitting of your paracord before starting on
your project. This design uses a cobra weave pattern.
If you’re familiar with the design, you should
make your multi-tool holder in half an hour.
Mesh drawstring bags
come in handy for a variety of uses. Using this simple design, you can create
your mesh bags using paracord.
These bags are durable
enough to be stuffed with anything, such as dirty laundry, duck decoys, toys,
stuffed animals, or sports equipment.
You’d be hard-pressed
not to find a good use for these nifty bags. And making them doesn’t take much
effort but a lot of knots and maybe plenty of workspaces.
For this particular
design, you would need at least 100 feet of paracord, a broad base to drape
your bag over, a lighter, and a knife or scissors to cut the rope.
Here’s a step by step guide
to walk you through the process of making your paracord bag.
Everybody loves minions,
so we thought we’d toss in this adorable minion paracord design. You don’t need
many supplies – blue, yellow, black paracord, googly eyes, glue, a lighter, and
If you enjoy tying
knots, this is going to be the perfect project for you to try. There’s no
weaving involved with this method—just knots.
Check out this tutorial for
instructions and pictures on making your own googly eye cute knot minions.
decorations are a great way to keep memories alive throughout the holidays.
Hang these adorable handmade ornaments on your tree to remember the joys of
making them together with your family.
They make great gifts
for your children to give to family members. Who wouldn’t love a heartwarming
present from the heart?
We’ve found a few
different easy to do homemade ornaments made from paracord for you to try. Grab
your kids and get them involved to get the Christmas spirit going.
And check out this excellent site,
which shows how to do various Christmas paracord projects we don’t mention.
Their videos are super helpful! Learn to make snowmen, Christmas trees,
wreaths, and more.
These cute candy canes
make great ornaments for your tree or fireplace. The design we’ve found for you
includes two different pattern styles so you can have different looking candy
While canes are
traditionally red and white, don’t be afraid to let your kids (or you) get
creative and develop your own color combinations. After all, there are all
types of candy cane flavors and colors during the Christmas Holiday.
For this project, you’ll
need two different paracord colors, a piece of wire (to shape the cane),
pliers, a lighter, and scissors. This design does require you to gut the
paracord to fit the wire through, so you may want to do this part instead of
Head to Paracord Guild to
see step by step pictures for making a regular style paracord candy cane and a
You can make paracord
Christmas trees with this fun activity. You can even use beads to make little
ornaments for extra personality and style.
To make a Christmas
tree, you will need green and brown paracord, beads, scissors, and a lighter.
Most of these supplies will already be on hand so you can make cheap to free
Christmas decorations or gifts.
The design we are featuring uses a cobra knot technique to make the base and the
branches, although you need to use a different method for the branch areas to
make them stand out.
This project is simple
enough for children to do with a bit of assistance from an adult regarding the
degree of difficulty. It doesn’t require a lot of effort, so you can have them
done pretty quickly (hopefully before your child loses interest).
You can have your paracord snowman in ten
simple steps using this helpful tutorial.
We need to point out that this design is more elaborate and requires
more material, so you may have trouble letting a child do this alone.
Materials you will need for a snowman include:
- 16 gauge copper wire
- 18 to 20 feet of white paracord
- two feet of black paracord
- two feet of red paracord
- one foot of orange paracord
- two to three feet of thin gray
paracord (3/32 tactical cord works great)
- and two small balls (one bigger
than the other).
For step by step instructions and pictures,
head over to this site and check out this handy guide. It walks you through the
entire construction process so you can have your snowman ornaments.
We hope you have enjoyed this ultimate guide
to the best paracord projects list. Paracord is a useful material for various
arts and crafts. There’s plenty of things to make! And it’s simple enough for
kids to try too.