It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Don't Toss Those Old Crappy Zippers! (Flower Tutorial)

I love playing with zippers as embellishment, and even have a bagful of vintage garage sale zips, so making one of those rather ubiquitous zipper flowers has been on my list for awhile.  Now that I've actually made one, I'm guessing the trend will be over soon, so follow this tute at your own (non-trendy) risk.....

I found a few tutes on YouTube, but they all showed these pretty little symmetrical petals, or a simple circle with the zip just wound around and around itself.  I wanted something a bit more organic and wilder looking, so I just struck out on my own.

What you need:

  • Zipper - I like the old metal teeth, but a colorful plastic zip has its place :)
  • Non-fraying backing - I used a piece of fleece, cut in a circle.
  • Scissors (natch)
  • Needle & Thread (of course)


I started with an outer "petal" - I simply made a loop, and anchored it in place on my backing fabric with a couple of stitches:

I continued making petals with randomly sized and placed loops, anchoring each one in place with a stitch or two:


Several outer petals, stitched in place.   I anchored the thread and cut it:


I then started a tight roll at the other end of the zipper - this will be the center of the flower.:

Adding the zipper pull was an afterthought - it would have been better to start by stitching the pull in place.   You could, of course, add a bead or 3, or some other flower-center-goody.  I also doubled the zip back on itself randomly, rather than just continuing the circular pattern.  Take a stitch every now and then to secure your folds and loops.

Once I had looped and folded and rolled this end of the zipper, I secured it in the center, then made some random stitches pulling the outer petals into wavier shapes.   Each flower you make will look totally different than the others by using this method.  Just like nature intended!  ;-)

Here is the flower stitched on to the hat it was meant for (hat review is here):

You could, of course, use a sturdier backing and make a pin to place wherever you want to wear it.

Pretty simple with a fun result!   Remember:  don't toss those old crappy zippers!

I'm all ears for other creative ways to use up my zipper stash - what have you done with yours?  Or want to do?

10 comments:

  1. Cute! I've seen these flower zips around, but this is the first time I've seen how to actually do it. Thanks!

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  2. So that is how they get made! Off to find an old zipper...

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  3. That zipper flower is a cute accessory for your hat. My Designer group worked on hats during the summer, and we had some really cute ones. Vogue has a cloque hat pattern I need to make for our harsh winters.

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  4. Fabulous! I love your organic approach to this--very you.

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  5. Cute, cute, cute! They made these at an ASG meeting, that I missed. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  6. that is really sweet will have to have a go.

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  7. Wonderful! Your flowers have a lot more "life" to them.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. Just like you, the symmetrical ones I saw didn't inspire me. This is absolutely perfect, i cannot wait to try this myself now. Thank you!

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  9. very cute -- thanks so much for sharing!

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