DIY: How to make a Parachute Bracelet (550Cord Bracelet)

Don’t be alarmed, you are still viewing The Sophomore Slump. I’m very excited to compose this special report of a post. I actually planned to publish it 10 posts out before I hit my 200th but I just can’t resist.

550-cord bracelets or Parachute bracelets are usually or popularly worn by military personnel. It’s unisex, mostly men actually. Online, it ranges from $5 to $20 or higher. The coolest thing about this bracelet is that you don’t have to worry whether it’s fake or not, and rest assured that it doesn’t rust. 550 cords are strong and sturdy. It has a minimum breaking strength of …dum dum dum dum… 550 pounds. It was originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II.

What you need?

  • A scissor, knife or a Gerber ***Safety Note*** Be careful when working with scissor or a knife.
  • 2 550-cords, one much longer than the other
  • lighter, or a candle ***Safety Note*** Be careful when working with fire.
  • Button

There are less than 15 Quick and Easy Steps. I can’t believe I put ‘Quick and Easy’ steps, such a typical tactic to lure people. Seriously, once you get the hang of it, it gets really easy. I can make one for 10 minutes. I do it when I hike, when I’m watching a movie, when I wait for my laundry to finish, whenever I drive …oops, whenever I’m at a Rest Stop.


Take the smaller 550 cord (lanyard – let’s call it fancily as ‘lanyard’ from here) and fold it in half.

The Small Lanyard

Cut it in a way that it fits your wrist or whomever you’re making it for. Yey for me using ‘whomever’. Was the usage even right? Add extra length for adjustments, or for ‘waste factor’. Look at the picture as your guide. If you can’t do that, kindly give yourself a slight slap on the right cheek ….of your face. *BIG GRIN* just lightly, safety is paramount in making the bracelet.


Take the longer lanyard, spot the center and make a square knot around the smaller lanyard. Pull it as tightly as you can. See the picture…

Leave a small loop where the fold meets on the small lanyard. Later on, that is where the button is attached to. You can look at the end result (very first picture). If you can’t make a square knot, ask your parents what it is.


Place one side (first side) of the long lanyard over the small lanyard.

The First Side

Just like so. If you can’t do that, go ahead and give yourself a slight slap on your left cheek …


Take the second side of the longer lanyard. Go over the first side and under the small lanyard. Making an “e”.

Make an “e”. The second side.

Again, over and under…

Over and Under

STEP 5 and 6:

Bring the end of the second side and go under the loop of the first side.


Then, bring both sides up and pull both sides outward. Pull it as hard as you can.


It should look like that -like a pretzel. I know pretzels are yummy, but don’t eat this lanyard. This is not a recipe. Once you pull it, you should see that you just made your first design.


STEP 7, 8, 9 and 10

Redo the loops on the opposite side. Keep doing it until you reach almost at the bottom.





You should leave room for ‘waste factor’ or that added length you made in STEP 1.


STEP 11 and 12:

Cut both sides of the longer lanyard.


Then burn both ends using a lighter. We all should know not to play with fire. Do this in a well-ventilated area and free of flammable materials like paper, gasoline, or your partner’s temper.


STEP 13 and 14:

Take the button. Be practical. Get it from a used clothing. Be creative, you can use all kinds of buttons. This is actually the only hard part because you have to scrape off the center of the button to make it into a single hole. Use the knife to scrape off the button. Or, simply find a one-hole button.


Insert both ends of the smaller lanyard into the button. Sometimes, you have to use a pen to stick it in, or any pointy objects.


Then burn the ends together. Whenever you’re burning the ends, don’t your use bare hand but you can use the scissor to flatten it out. Here…


STEP 14:

Presto! You’re done! Just attach the button to the loop that you made on the small lanyard.



This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine. My blog is primarily about my travels. This time I posted something that is MY creation. Well, it was taught to me, and it became my leisure. I’ve given them away to close friends, even neighbors, and other acquaintances. Indeed, it is perfect for gifts, or giveaways. If you can’t keep up with my quote-end quote Quick and Easy steps, 3rd graders proof intructuons, first slap your face on both cheeks and then there are Youtube videos for you to visually follow.

For Parachute Bracelet Advance… You can also mix and match different colors of 550 cords. Instead of a button, you can also use clips or snap ons. You can also attach this to a watch. What I taught is Parachute Bracelet Basics. Maybe, a part deux in the future.


Part 2: How to make a keychain and parachute bracelet with buckle

Part 3: Tips and Tricks


77 replies »

      • Hi! Love your site! If I wanted to make 90 bracelets with kids at camp ranging from 7 to 18 years old, how much para cord do you think I would need in feet? Thank you so much for any advice! One of my crafts did not pan out and we leave July 4th for camp!

        • A lot online they sell 100 ft but you only get one color. Amazon and other sites have some sets of 10′ in different colors. The thing with buying online is that it’s hard to tell the quality of the materials. Try to read the reviews of the materials you are buying online. I went to Michael’s to buy buckles, keychains materials and other accessories. They sell parachords, but they’re thinner. Sometimes, it good. It’s good as better-looking, but the thicker real 550 cords are more sturdier. With 100 ft, you can make about, I think, 70. So maybe 150 can make 100 bracelets. I hope you see the second part of this tutorial that I just made.

  1. I like ! must make one if only to be asked about it . And then I can tell about You and Your creation and – me – that I have done a Jump. Well a tandem anyhow. πŸ˜‰
    … I’m so worried about burning my fingers tho now lololol

  2. As I was reading this post, I too was saying “is there no end to this man’s talents”? so I guess I will just echo what Lucid Gypsy said above. πŸ˜€

  3. You lost me at square knot. But, I’m blonde…..errrr….sorta. πŸ™‚

    It is a REALLY cool bracelet. I’m thinking this is a good former smoker’s activity – keep the hand busy.

    • You must be a descendant of Albert Einstein. Hehe. I heard he never found out how to tie a shoe. The first knot you make to tie your shoe is basically the same thing as square knot. Might actually IS a square knot.

      I think, I kight be wrong… Well, I was told that military personnel used to buy this from the desert, Kuwait or Iraq. I always assumed they’re the first ones to make it.

    • It was “originally” used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Hehe

      forrner Airborne Ranger …hmmm, sounds like you have many interesting stories.

    • Only because it IS actually easy. πŸ˜€ I was worried Ima have problems explaining it. Never really done something like this before. Well, I guess I made it sound easy. πŸ˜€ So thanks for the feedback.

  4. It makes me think of my macrame years! LOL! It is relaxing to work on small projects like this. I was in Huntington Beach the other day with my two oldest granddaughters (teens) who each bought bracelets of this kind. I must share this with them! πŸ™‚

  5. u threw me in a loop…turned my fingers to resemble the *ouch* pretzel shape, but all is well, really. how about if i put in my request now…i’ll take one!! hahahhahh.
    i loved looking at your images and will continue to dream up all my creations. πŸ˜‰ thanks πŸ™‚

  6. Okay, you’ve officially become one of my top male bloggers, especially with this DIY bracelet post! Truth be told, I’m obsessed with DIY blogs and you totally surprised and threw me off with this post. I love it! I do have one suggestion – how about a VIDEO TUTORIAL? Do you think I can convince you? It’s wishful thinking, I must say, but I’m looking forward to that video…

    • Top male blogger, love the sound of that. Hehe. Thanks for the strong comment.
      Video tutorial, Yikes? Believe me, I’ve tried. Hehe. I did. But it was a fail. It’s okay with just events, but with DIY vids, you really have to engineer your moves, what to say, etc. and it’s hard when you make errors. I applaud those who has done it. There are plenty in Youtube, by the way.

  7. Ooh, I’ve always wanted to know how to make one of these (without having to join the Girl’s Scouts). I’m definitely gonna give it a try – once I can get my hands on a 550 cord. Thanks for the instructions! The little arrow drawings were funny! Very good directions, dude!

  8. This is now the blog most viewed post overthrowing my Freshly Pressed. Thank you all for viewing esp. The Pinteresters out there. Thanks for re-posting and sharing this post.

  9. I used to make this on slow nights waiting for
    $& !t to hit the can working at the hospital on Kandahar airfield. You bring back great memories. And insanely turbulent ones too. Love the blog posts thus far!

  10. OMG, I haven’t seen this since the 70’s when I took up macrame and made hanging plant holders.
    I pinned your post under Crafts on my Pinterest page and sent it to my daughter for my grandson’s Boy Scout troop. Thanks for a great craft idea easy enough for kids.

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