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Tutorial Tuesday: Zip me up

September 22, 2009

Maybe I’ve been influenced by Outi, but lately I’ve found myself seeing new possibilities in zippers. There’s a discount fabric store near me that sells tons of cheap zippers, possibility cast-offs from factories, and the other day I picked up a few with this quick and easy project in mind.

But it just seemed way too easy, so of course I had to make a more complicated version, involving four zippers.

I think that if I stared at this with 3-D glasses it would really pop. Anyone care to try?

Zipper bracelet


A zipper at least the length of your wrist
Needle and thread
Hooks and eyes

This is super easy, but here are instructions anyway.


1. I bought a zipper long enough to wrap around my wrist twice, but you could also use one that goes around one or even three times.

Wrap your zipper around your wrist and mark where your fasteners should go.

2. Hand sew on your hooks and eyes. I used one set for each side of the zipper.


Zipper cuff (more complicated version)


4 zippers about 7-9 inches long (or longer if you have a larger wrist)
Sewing machine and thread


1. Gather your zippers. Mine were each a bit less than an inch wide and about 8 1/2 inches long.

2. Cut two rectangles of fabric as the backing of your cuff. I used a lightweight stretch denim I had lying around, and I cut it 4 inches by 10 inches. Make sure to cut it longer than your finished cuff size by at least an inch.

3. Setting one piece aside for now, finish the edges of one of the pieces of the fabric. If I were using a cotton I’d have hemmed the edges, but I serged it instead to keep bulk low. I used the serger to trim the edges of the fabric so that it was slightly less wide than the zippers, so it wouldn’t show in the end.

4. My zippers were too long for my wrist, so I trimmed them just to the stoppers/ends. I should’ve used an anti-fray product at this point, but it didn’t occur to me, so I had some zipper fraying. Learn from my mistake. Sew your zippers lengthwise to your to your serged/hemmed fabric with the lengthwise edges of the zippers concealing the fabric edge.

I sewed mine in alternating directions because I liked the look.

5. Unzip the two middle zippers and slice open the fabric.

The seamy underbelly:

6. Now grab that other rectangle of fabric that you set aside. Trim it and/or hem it so that it’s smaller than the other one and fits the area under the zippers. In my case that was 3 by 7 inches.

7. Sew it onto the backside of the zippers, like so:

8. Take your Velcro and cut a piece the width of your fabric, 3 inches.

9. Take the fuzzy side and place it upright on your fabric. Fold under excess fabric, and pin in place. Sew on the Velcro.

10. Place the hook side of the Velcro on the other end of the fabric. Pin it, and sew it on without folding the fabric under. Then fold the entire fabric tab (including the part with the Velcro) to the underside and sew on the edges.

You should now have a cuff with a “tab” at one end with the fuzzy side of the Velcro facing up, and the other end should have the hook side of your Velcro facing down.

Wear your creation! You can even store money in the little pouch, or anything else small and flexible. Unless you have a flexible driver’s license or credit card, though, don’t bother making it big enough for that, because it needs to be able to bend to conform to your wrist.

Looking for more tutorials and DIY projects? Check out my What I Made page!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2009 8:50 pm

    Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

  2. MArcela permalink
    February 28, 2010 8:07 pm

    Me gustó muchisimo… I liked so much.
    Really good, thanks.

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