My 8-year old son learned how to make paracord bracelets at Cub Scout day camp back in June. He fell in love with them and has been making them ever since. We even made them at a family reunion this summer. The bracelets are a great craft for both boys and girls and are pretty cool to wear. Plus, they're useful. If necessary, you can untie your bracelet and will have feet of cord if you ever find yourself in such an emergency :)
You will need paracord and side release buckles. You can buy paracord at craft stores or home improvement stores. You will also need fabric scissors and a lighter. Kids can definitely make these bracelets on their own, but when it comes time to use the lighter, parents need to be involved.
Just as a basic rule - most bracelets for children require 10 feet of paracord. However, for adults, you will need to measure. Here is a link to some great instructions on how to measure how much paracord you might just need. Once you have your paracord measured and cut, fold in half and slip the loop through the side of the buckle without the double holes.
Then, pull your paracord ends through the loop.
Next, slide your paracord ends through the first hole of the buckle closest to the buckle's teeth.
Now, for some quick measuring. Clasp your buckle around the person's wrist who the bracelets is being made for. You will want to give your bracelet a little give so make sure two fingers can fit underneath the buckle before you start knotting.
Next, tie your knots. You will be using the two paracord strips to knot around the cord between your two buckle ends. To knot, slip the paracord on the right side underneath the cord on the left side by going over the center strands. The paracord end that is under the other cord will then be slipped through the loop on the right side. Tighten your knot and push it up the bracelet before starting the next knot. It is tricky to explain. Here are some other instructions if helpful and some other detailed instructions with video.
Now, do the other side. Take the cord on the left side and place it under the cord on the right side by going under the center strands. Then, slip the left cord through the loop on the right side. Keep doing this pattern - right side, left side/ right side, left side - until finished.
Slip the remaining paracord up through the buckle. Then, with your fabric scissors, cut the cord somewhat close to the buckle.
To prevent the newly cut paracord strands from fraying, with your lighter, burn the ends until the cord melts.
With the ends still hot, quickly fold them over to melt onto the braided portion of the bracelet. This is how to tie off your finished bracelet. You're done!
Once you get the rhythm of the knot tying, the bracelet is easy for kids to make. Like I said, my 8-year old son has made several bracelets on his own and loves them! Pretty cool survival accessory!