Friday, January 25, 2013

How to Make a Paracord Headband with Button

Step-by-step instructions for a DIY paracord headband that might actually save your life! 

Paracord is a soft, nylon cord that is extremely durable and strong. This headband not only looks cool, it could actually come in handy in emergencies. Just unravel the headband and you have twenty-feet of paracord whenever you need it!

1. First, take about twenty-feet of paracord, find the middle point and divide in half. There are lots of different colors to choose from. I went with classic black.

2. After it's been divided, take the loop in one hand and the tail end in the other. Wrap it around your head to find the perfect length for your headband.

3. After wrapping the paracord around your head, figure out the point that the tail end meets up with the loop, and tie a thread around that point. I used a safety pin as an additional marker, but you don't have to.


4. Now you have a long loop and two end pieces. The distance between the tip of the loop and where you tied your thread will end up being the length for the headband. Remember it is always better for your headband to be "too big" rather than "too small!" So, lengthen your loop a little bit if you need to. (Once we are ready to attach our button, we can adjust the placement to make a "too big" headband fit just right; more on that later.)

5. Now we are ready to start weaving the headband. Take the left end piece and go under the loop and over the right end piece.

6. Then take the right end piece, and go over the loop then down and under the left end piece.

7. Take the two end pieces and pull to form a knot. The knot should settle right where you tied your thread. (If you added a safety pin, you'll need to remove it now.) Don't worry about any threads sticking out. We can cut these off later.

8. Next, form another knot, but this time start with the right end piece. Take the right end piece and go under the loop and over the left end piece.

9. Then take the left end piece, and go over the loop then down and under the right end piece (in between the right piece and the loop). 

10. Pull to form your second knot. Stop to admire the progress you've made already, and think about how cool this is going to look when done. You can go ahead and cut off that thread now.

11. Keep going with the knots all the way down, alternating between starting with the left side and starting with the right side. Keep going until you're left with a loop that is only a couple of inches long.

12. Trim off the end pieces as close to the band as you can manage.

13. Take a lighter and singe the end pieces so that they don't start to fray. This also helps keep your headband from unraveling without your permission. You don't have to actually light the headband on fire to do this. Just bring the flame close enough to the end piece and you will see it start to melt.

14. Next, find a button to sew onto the end nub of the headband. Wrap your finished headband around your head again and figure out where the perfect button placement will be. For my headband, the size was just right (even bordering on too small) so I placed my button right on the edge. If your headband is too big, just sew your button a little farther down the band. You could even add two or three buttons if you liked that look, or wanted different "sizes" to choose from. After you finish sewing, just secure the loop around the button and you're ready to go!

15. Voila! A beautiful, practical survival headband!

If you want to make a bracelet instead, you could use these same instructions and just wrap the loop around your wrist instead of your head to make a smaller version. 

If you ever have to unravel it, you now know how to weave it back together!

When do you think a paracord headband might come in handy? 


  1. Great idea! Thanks! I hope I'll never have to unravel it! :)

  2. I'm really excited that all the friendship bracelet making skillz I acquired at camp can actually be applied to something useful.
    Where can I buy paracord? Is this something any outdoor store would have? And how does it come (by the roll, in handy headband-size pieces, or what)?
    I have a thousand buttons, so no problem there.

    1. You can usually find paracord at REI or army supply stores, and Michael's has even started carrying small amounts of paracord. However, if you're willing to wait a couple days, I think you're going to find the best deals and selection on Amazon. Plus then you can be sure you have enough on hand to make yourself a matching bracelet!

    2. Thanks!
      ... I'm going to end up with a thousand feet of this stuff.

  3. Also try this vendor on Amazon - a friend of mine sells it. He is coming out with a special bracelet package too full of different colors and clips.

  4. Wow this is great! There's a lot more things to create that is paracord-related! I am on the lookout for DIY videos that are offered online. Likewise, it also helps to read more on the topic so your mind stays sharp. For more of learning how to make paracord belts, lanyard or keychains, here's a superb site