How to Make a Monkey’s Fist Ornament

Item # X-HT-300047

Bring a fun, nautical flair to your family Christmas tree this year with a monkey's fist knot ornament. A monkey’s fist, or monkey’s paw, knot resembles a bunched fist or paw and is used as a weight at the end of a heaving line and as an ornamental knot. The monkey’s fist as decoration is growing more and more popular both in and out of marine circles. With its rising popularity, we thought a monkey’s fist would be a fun, different way to accent the nautical tree in the Sailrite lobby.

DIY Monkey's Fist Ornament

There are many different methods to tie a monkey’s fist. We’re going to show you one method but you can use these basic principles to customize your own. Often a weighted sphere is placed in the center of the knot to support the shape and to help with throwing. We used a Ping-Pong ball to hold the shape in our knot, but you could use any small sphere, knot the end of the line and place it inside the larger knot, or use nothing at all. At the end, we finished our monkey’s fist with a modified hangman’s knot so it has an adjustable loop for displaying on the tree. When monkey’s fists are used for heaving often both ends of the rope are left free and the fist is used as part of an eye splice.

Watch this video to see step-by-step how to tie a monkey’s fist knot.

Quick Tip: Be sure when you’re wrapping the rope around, that each strand sits next to the one before it without overlapping.

Materials List:

  • 11 feet of rope (we used Sta-Set Double Braid 5/16” Red #1476)
  • Ping-Pong Ball or other small sphere
  • Hotknife #103800 (optional)

What do you think of monkey’s fist knots as decoration? Want them all over your Christmas tree or better left at the boat? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments!