Picture of Aglet / Shoelace Repair
Getting tired of your aglets (the plastic parts on the ends of your shoelaces) falling apart or becoming damaged, your shoelaces getting frayed and your style being cramped because of it? Look no further, here's an instructable on how to fix yourself a couple of new, and extremely durable, aglets.

Step 1: Starting off

Picture of Starting off
What you will need for this are basically just three things, aside from your shoelace.

First you should get hold of some extremely fine plastic line. Fishing line would probably work, as long as you can find one thin enough. I'm using a plastic line that's meant for sewing beads and such to clothes, it's about as fine as the hair on my scalp. This would probably also work with regular fabric thread, the key is to have it as fine as you possibly can get hold of. Even though thicker thread is stronger we're going to use it in a way that makes the thinner thread both strong and durable.

Second thing you're going to need superglue, the faster it dries the better. It's also easier if you can find a superglue with a brush already in the bottle as it will facilitate steps further down the road.

Third, and final, an X-Acto knife for all your cutting needs. Though, a scalpel or a really sharp knife, or even scissors, would work too.

I've done two other methods that work well on synthetic/non-cotton laces, but are less attractive:

1.) singe end with match, & if you have tough skin like me, blow out if flaming, and immediately pinch & twist/shape the melted ends, until desired shape is achieved. Cut or file end sqare.

2.) Tightly wrap Scotch / cellophane tape around the end. Bleed/squirt drop of superglue (cyanoacrylate glue) into the new tightly wrapped end. Trim or file end square (singe any fibrous protrusions, but don't allow to flame).

Jayefuu3 years ago
Brilliant Instructable. Saved me having to buy a new pair of laces. Thanks!
eleraama8 years ago
Be careful-- cyanoacrylate (superglue and the like) literally melt cotton! I tried to just drop superglue on my laces, and they got really hot and sort of shrivelled up. According to wikipedia, it's a strong exothermic reaction between the two that causes it. So if you have cotton shoelaces, drop it on and keep your fingers away! (I burnt myself in this way twice.)
Sporting Goods store, Fly Tying section, "Head Cement". For fixing a built up winding of thread into a fly's head.
Switch and Lever (author)  eleraama8 years ago
Whoa, I had no idea of that perticular reaction. Though, I have to say that both of the laces shown in the instructable are made from cotton (one with a syntethic core and one from a black denim fabric) and I did not observe any reaction such as this...all I got was glued fingers :P Though, it's worth waiting at least a while for the viscosity of the glue to be more gel like before you rub your fingers against it, far less glue will end up on your fingers. Or if you want a high gloss finish just let it air dry completely, only downside to that is that it takes longer.
hirod33 years ago
Clever idea!! Thanks
EToft5 years ago
If you are not too concerned with the look of the aglet, you can skip wrapping the lace with string/line. Just give the shoelace a good tight twist, and spread on the super-glue (do beware of the cotton = heat issue...it can actually ignite). Keep it twisted tight, and let it cure for a few minutes, then wipe off any excess with a paper towel or TP. VIOLA...Instant aglet.
GEEK16 years ago
great idea
i just put shrink tubing over the end. works good :)
Lesenthe6 years ago
Brilliant! For some reason my laces keep getting frayed, and melting the tips of synthetic laces really doesn't do the trick for more than a few weeks. Thankfully, we have some beading thread in the house, and loads of superglue. The upside to being crafty, I guess.
duck-lemon7 years ago
i use little bits of metal
bruc33ef7 years ago
I replace all my shoelaces with 550lb paracord. You never have to worry about breakage. You burn the ends so the cord doesn't unravel. But more importantly, you have super-strong laces that can be used as cord in an emergency. Paracord has seven internal strands, at 18lb test each, that can be tied together as fishing line or for other purposes.
rerat7 years ago
I just melt the tips, then twist them before they harden..obviously for synthetic laces only.
poptop948 years ago
A much easier method I use, although it doesn't look quite as nice as yours, is just put a couple pieces of heat shrink on the ends.
Switch and Lever (author)  poptop948 years ago
Yeah...you know, I actually acknowledged that in the text. You might want to read what's written :P There are, as far as I've seen, two instructables here already dealing with the heat shrink tubing.
or duct tape yourself new aglets then cover in masking tape if you want to design them like my old ones that looked like bendy cigarettes as I permanent markered on ash with grey and black the coloured the lace orange at the length it come out of the knot (mine are the very same as I tie weird from breaking my arms at different points ( tying one handed)
snipegoat8 years ago
what about flat shoe laces
Switch and Lever (author)  snipegoat8 years ago
If you look at the last (and optional) step flat shoelaces are adressed there. Granted the kind of lace in the last step is a rather butch one, but the method of folding in half before wrapping could just as well be applied there.
ll0ll8 years ago
i like it. I'm quite tempted to fray a shoelace just to try it :)
Hoopajoo8 years ago
Pretty cool, but I just use clear heat-shrink tubing to replace mine.
lemonie8 years ago
That's useful. But I'm thinking of molten-plastic istead of superglue. Something like polythene, which you could burn & drip into a tin (not much good for white laces I suppose) L