Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zipper Flower Tutorial

So as you may remember from my last post, this past weekend I bought 2 pounds of zippers for $4.  When zippers are that cheap, you can afford to play with them.  So I had bought some metal ones, and decided to make this.  And now, out of the generousness of my heart, I am going to share the tutorial with you! 
Zipper flower by me, bag by Vera Bradley

Materials needed:
~1-20-ish inch long metal zipper, shorter if you want a smaller flower, longer if you want a larger flower 
~Low temp* hot glue gun.
~Fabric scrap big enough to cover the back of your flower in the same color as your flower.  I used broadcloth because it's what I had handy.  Felt, cotton, canvas, or other fabrics are fine. 
~Pin back, barrette, headband, or anything else you want to glue it to (not completely necessary)
*I highly recommend the low temp since you will be holding some pieces together and I got glue on my fingers more than once. 

To start, cut the ends off of your zipper and unzip it to take the pull off so all you are left with half a zipper like so.  You'll acutally have two half zippers.
You might not want to use your fabric shears for this.

Fold over one end of your zipper about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch and glue in place  

 Now start wrapping the zipper around this center, glueing in place along the way. 

Now we'll look at how to make a little loop without a big hole.  Find where you want the center of the loop to be and put a small dot of glue there

Then mash together and hold in place until the glue sets.  If you don't hold it in place, you'll end up with glue showing, and trust me, it is noticeable.  When it's dry, it should look like this:

 Now glue that down as you're wrapping.  Just keep wrapping however you see fit.  You can double back too if you like.  But wait.  Uh oh.  Looks like we're running out of zipper.  That's ok.  We can fix that.

Just glue the end of the zipper down somewhere on the back.  Like this.

Then start the other half of the zipper by glueing it to the back.  No one will ever be able to tell the difference.

So I'm done with my flower here.  It's got some loops and a couple of double backs.  It's mostly symmetrical (which I like, but you don't have to do it that way).  I've got a little piece of zipper left that I just don't want to use.

I'll just glue that little stinker down and trim off the ends.

 Well dang.  Now I have some holes.  The big ones like this I'll just glue down a little better.

The little ones like this will need a little something something extra.

That's where the matching fabric scraps come in.  Cover the back of your flower in a few strips of glue and then stick it down to the fabric.  If your fabric is thin, like mine, make sure you don't accidentally glue it to your work surface.

 Now just trim off the excess fabric on the back, but be careful not to cut your flower. 

The trimming doesn't have to be perfect as long as you aren't going to display that side of your art.  Just functional.

There!  The little hole isn't so noticeable.

I decided that I wanted mine to be a pin, since I was going to pin it to my old black Vera bag.  So I just glued a pin back to it.  This is the part where you can glue it to whatever you like, or nothing at all.  Just your preference.

Now just pull off all the little hot glue cobwebs and there you have it!  Something cute to put on a bag, or sweater, or t-shirt, or hairband, or...whatever!  The possibilities are endless!   

I would LOVE to see some of your interpretations of this little flower.  If you make one, upload a picture to my Flickr group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/evanbeckyfanpics/ so we can all see!


  1. That is ridiculously cool. However, i don't think my husband will appreciate that I have added another crafty thing to try out instead of cleaning the house!

  2. I love zipper flowers!

    I wanted to say CONGRATS on being the featured blog on Follow me Friday at Thrifty Ninja!
    http://thriftyninja.net/2011/08/follow-me-friday-81211/ Thanks for posting my button! :)

  3. Oh my gosh this is so cute and you make it look easy!

    New follower from Follow me Friday.

  4. What a neat and cute idea. :)

    New follower from the hop


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