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Use the Monkey Paw Knot to Make a Holiday Ornament

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

A monkey paw knot is typically used to weigh down a rope, but it can also be a fun holiday ornament. Make these decorations as gifts for friends and family.


  • Four 4-by-4-inch cardboard pieces
  • Craft glue (optional: rubber bands)
  • 4 chopsticks or pencils
  • Tape
  • Small screw (optional)


  • 10-foot paracord in a holiday color (4 millimeters thick)
  • Pingpong ball
  • Clothespin


STEP 1. Make a homemade jig. Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions. This will help with making the monkey paw ornament.

STEP 2. Clip about 3 inches of rope to one of the jig legs using a clothespin. This is your starting point.

Step 2

STEP 3. Next, wrap the longer end of the rope clockwise around the outside of the jig legs six times.

Step 3

STEP 4. Take the rope’s working end and cross it over the top of the pingpong ball going toward you. Next, thread the rope underneath the ball, going away from you. Repeat six times.

Step 4

STEP 5. Rotate your jig clockwise 45 degrees. Thread the working end downward between the ball and the loops you’ve already created. Next, thread it through the bottom and pull it upward between the ball and loops on the opposite side. Repeat six times.

Step 5a

Step 5b

Step 5c

STEP 6. Carefully remove the paw from the jig to tighten. Starting with the last wrap, push the rope up toward the center. (This will form a loose loop.) Keep feeding your rope through your knot to tighten it by pulling each loop downward and up. Make sure none of your loops overlap.

Step 6a

Step 6b

Step 6c

STEP 7. Make a knot with the loose ends to form a bigger loop so the ornament can hang on your tree, door, etc.

Step 7

Submit a Photo of Your Project

Important Note: Please only upload photos of your project. Because of privacy rules, we can't post any photos that show people's faces. Always ask for your parent's permission before uploading anything to a website.

4 Comments on Use the Monkey Paw Knot to Make a Holiday Ornament

  1. thisisabadproject // December 20, 2023 at 5:24 pm // Reply

    make a video i dont understand. mine just falls apart

  2. How many ft of paracord does each one take to make??

  3. Kamporee Kid // December 3, 2023 at 4:32 pm // Reply

    Mine didn’t turn out so well

  4. If you’re not precise, the jig chopsticks can be twisted or skewed because the holes in the two cardboard pieces are not perfectly aligned. The easy fix for this is by clamping all the cardboard pieces together. Then mark the holes only on the top piece, and cut your holes through all four pieces.

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