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Make a Paracord Watchband or Bracelet

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

A paracord watchband makes a great gift or can be used as a survival tool. Unraveled, it provides about 10 feet of handy paracord for fixing tent lines or tying together broken gear. You can even use the line inside the cord for fishing line.


  • About 10′ of 550 paracord (If you’re working on a smaller watch, you can use a smaller buckle and 325 paracord.)
  • Watch
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • 5/8″ side-release buckle
  • Felt-tipped marker
  • Hemostat


1. Melt both ends of the paracord with the lighter. While they are still hot, carefully flatten both ends with the bottom of the lighter. This will make it easier to pass the cord through the watch or bracelet. The best size watch has about 5/8″ between the lugs (where the pins go).

2. Wrap the paracord around a wrist comfortably and mark it. This will be the length of the watchband.

3. Loop the cord through the female end of the buckle and draw tight. You should have 20″ of cord on the short end. The long end is your working end.

4. Pass both cords though the pins and under the watch. Loop both ends twice around the male end of the buckle. Make any adjustments in the length of the band to match the wrist measurement. The band will stretch about another inch after completion because of the tightening and pulling on the wrapped cord, making for a comfortable fit.

5. Pass the long and short codes back through the pins and under the watch.

6. Begin to wrap the long end of the cord as shown. Push and tighten the wraps as you go along.

7. When you reach the watch and your wraps are tight, pass the cord through the pins and under the watch. Continue wrapping and tightening the paracord until you reach the male end of the buckle.

8. Using the hemostat, reach under three loops of cord, grab the end of the remaining cord and pull the cord underneath the three loops. The cord that you just pulled through should then be cut close and melted flat. Leave enough cord to hide it under the fourth loop. Do this for both the male and female ends.

9. Your paracord watchband is now complete.


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53 Comments on Make a Paracord Watchband or Bracelet

  1. halo person // July 6, 2023 at 8:05 am // Reply

    looks really cool

  2. Scott Cameron // October 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm // Reply

    If you want a cool watch band that is good for camping and other outdoor stuff, get a NATO band.

  3. Captain K man // June 24, 2015 at 7:31 am // Reply

    I made it it’s so fun to make. it’s cool!

  4. Make sure to shrink the paracord first by soaking it in water then letting it dry. I made one about five years ago and eventually it got too tight to wear because the paracord shrunk.

  5. camocamaro // May 23, 2015 at 4:32 pm // Reply

    wow interesting weave i always did cobra weave!
    @bossboy i found large and small buckles at most of the craft stores in my town šŸ™‚

  6. I just found a watch while hiking… I cant wait to try it.

  7. My watch band also broke recently, and I didn’t know what to do with a broken watch until I saw this article in the issue. I have gotten comments from half my friends about how cool it is. Thank you Boys’ Life for putting this in the magazine!

  8. Were can you get buckles from?

  9. awesome

  10. You can buy a buckle that has a striker and flint and a whistle . You can buy a watch that has a compass inset in it too

  11. Looks cool, but where do you get the paracord?

    • Jaysurvival // March 18, 2015 at 12:16 pm // Reply

      Can get paracord at Walmart,Dicks online or any sporting good store.

    • RedShirtCowboy // March 18, 2015 at 4:00 pm // Reply

      You can get paracord from Academy. i order it bulk online. 1k ft is only $20-$25 or less for when you have Troop or Pack projects. You can get it in all kinds of colors. The sites that sell bulk will usually also sell all the parts like buckles. They usually have duct tape in various colors too.

  12. Does it work DOE

  13. Paracord survival tools // February 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm // Reply

    This tool could be a useful tool in the wilderness you can also use a compass instead of a watch and you can include more 550paracord on the back if you want.

  14. oh wait never mind I got it now šŸ˜€

  15. I’m trying to make this right now but it’s too hard to keep it flat!! >:c someone please help!

  16. Smart

    • El Professore // October 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm // Reply

      It helps if you soak the cord beforehand, and while it’s soaked, wrap it around something rectangular and soft and yank it slightly taut as it dries. I used a small first-aid pouch while doing mine.

  17. I’m going to make one

  18. i have a paracord bracelet with out the watch

  19. Note when you measure your wrist make it a little loose, maybe to where you can put two fingers between the cord and your wrist. Thiis will make it a little loose but will allow you to flex your wrist without popping the pins from the watch.

  20. Anonymous dude // June 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm // Reply


  21. Instead of using a watch I am using a compass wristband

  22. It broke my watch. Putting the 550 cord though the ends caused too much pressure and the metal thingys broke off and ripped a whole in the plactic body where they latch into. Oh well. It looked like a cool idea.

  23. billy bob joe // June 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm // Reply

    i hope to do this soon to replace my old watch

  24. COOL

  25. took like 5 hours 2 do then broke cos i did it wrong!

  26. can u use it when u go paracuteing

  27. Awsome my friend dose that and i think i will too. I did not know how to do that but now i do.

  28. Anonymous // May 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm // Reply

    i like making these

  29. ThisProjectIsAwesome // May 10, 2014 at 9:06 am // Reply

    But then how do you change the battery when it runs dead?

  30. would really like to make multiples of these as watches for the boys in the troop- where can I get multiple watch faces?

  31. Anonymous // May 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm // Reply

    it looks cool for camping

  32. My son really wants to make this but doesn’t know where to get the watch. Do you just use any ol’ watch and remove the band, or did you find a bandless watch and where? Hoping to find all the parts to give him for his birthday!

  33. PhantomEagle83 // April 29, 2014 at 8:31 pm // Reply

    I know I am being picky. In fig. 2 it should be “circumference” not “diameter” of the wrist.

  34. Stickler For Details // April 29, 2014 at 7:48 pm // Reply

    The graphics for steps 2 and 4 reference diameter when in fact the measurement being taken/used is actually the circumference of the wrist

  35. This is easier than I thought. Might try it.

  36. I made one like this 2 years ago and it is still going strong. The last watch band you will ever need.

  37. “Measure the diameter if the wrist…”? Perhaps the author meant “circumference”.

  38. This looks cool. I might make it, as my watch band recently broke

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