Introduction: Zipper Pull (quick, Neat, Practical)

Picture of Zipper Pull (quick, Neat, Practical)

I've had this cheap document bag (from some conference) for a few years. The zipper pull had a loop that broke off last week. I decided to try something new. The result is this zipper pull.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

The zipper pull is made of nylon cord with a sleeve of plastic tubing. I used 3mm accessory cord and plastic tubing used for oxygen masks. Any clear (or coloured for that matter) tubing should work. Most aquarium stockist or hardware store should have it. Make sure that the inner diameter of the tubing is close to the diameter of the cord. The fit should be snug but not too tight.

For tools you will need scissors (or a sharp knife), a lighter and a short length of nylon cord that can be pushed through the plastic tubing with ease. It should be longer than the length of tubing you will cut (see later step).

The lengths given here are what I used and worked well for my particular zipper and gives a loop through which a finger comfortably fits. You may want to experiment with different sizes.

Step 2: Cut Cord and Tubing

Picture of Cut Cord and Tubing

Cut the accessory cord to a length of 17.5cm (or 7 inches). Cut the tubing to a length of 12.5cm (or 5 inches). The difference of 5cm (2 inches) is about the minimum you need (for 3mm cord) to still get the zipper pull through the eye of the zipper.

You don't need to heat-seal the end of the cord yet.

Make sure that the thin cord is longer (at least 5cm (2 inches)) than the tubing.

Step 3: Join Two Cords

Picture of Join Two Cords

Melt one end of the accessory cord as well as one end of the thin cord and join together. This may take some practice. Be CAREFULL as melted nylon can get very hot and can burn. The joint should be be made fairly strong.

Step 4: Work Cord Through Tubing

Picture of Work Cord Through Tubing

Push the thin cord through the tubing. The thin cord should be thin enough to be pushed through easily and long enough to have a decent grip before the accessory cord gets into the tubing.

Slowly pull the accessory cord into and through the tubing. If your melted joint is not strong enough or the fit is too tight you may struggle or the joint may break.

Make sure that the accessory cord stick out at both ends of the tubing (+- equal lengths).

Step 5: Cut Thin Cord

Picture of Cut Thin Cord

Cut the end of the accessory cord where the thin cord has been joined to it. Again, there is no need to heat-seal the end of the accessory cord.

Step 6: Join Ends

Picture of Join Ends

Melt and join the ends of the accessory cord together. Try to make the joint as thin as the rest of the cord. Again, be CAREFULL as melted nylon can be dangerous.

Step 7: Tidy Up

Picture of Tidy Up

This step is not necessary, but will give the zipper pull a neater appearance and may even be slightly stronger.

Work the joint into the tubing. This may be slightly difficult, depending on how tight the accessory cord fits inside the tubing and how big the joint is.

Step 8: Tie In

Picture of Tie In

Push a loop of the accessory cord through the eye of the zipper. Open loop and push the tubing through this loop. Tighten. Et voila!

Comments

mikecz (author)2013-06-02

Wear leather work gloves (or, at least one glove) while handling hot semi-molten nylon. It's MUCH safer & more comfortable than bare handed, so you get a better job done.

valkgurl (author)2012-10-11

Any fabric store (and most "Notions Counters" at department stores---sell a long very skinny and very flexible steel item with a wee hook and latch assembly on one end and a loop on the other. This is used for all sorts of fabric and craft things that need drawstrings or similar.

You grab a piece of the end of whatever string type material you are using and thread it thru---think of the drawstring on a stuff sack or sweat pants--and you gather the fabric along the thin metal as you go (allows you to place long strings and short) To thread the nylon rope thru the air line tubing in THIS Instructables you would not need a different thread--you would just pass the steel piece--I am sure this has an official "Name" that I just don't remember!-grab a piece of the rope in the little latch and pull smoothly thru. Then you can seal the two ends together.

Once you have one of these lil gadgets you will wonder HOW did you ever live with out it. Great for getting small thread pulls worked to the "wrong side" of fabric. Great for those shoe laces that have lost their ends and you don't have time rightthissecond to make a new end but need to wear the shoe. Or threading tight laces into shoe grommets. Also for lacing leather on ball gloves and mocs. Pulling up long back zips on dresses or side zips on skirts and pants. I am pretty sure you can also "de-gut" a paracord to make smaller areas to heat seal with this. Can also be used to hold the end of jewelry to get the clasp end onto the loop end. Pulling thru wig hair for costumes! Endless uses!

Don't be "fooled" by the plastic imitators of this that are pretty useless. They are---OK---for doing a waist band but useLESS for doing anything ELSE.

Pfarmkid (author)2012-02-04

That is the coolest freaking lighter i have ever seen

FrozenIce (author)Pfarmkid2012-03-08

is that what it is?? sweet!

hollasch (author)2009-03-31

Can you elaborate on the method you used to join the ends together? Did you open up the ends a bit and pseudo-weave the strands together before applying heat, or did you just melt both ends at the same time, mash them together, and smooth while warm?

evp (author)hollasch2009-04-01

Melt, mash, smooth is pretty much what I did. You would probably make a stronger bond if you sewed the ends together.

nicknack171 (author)evp2011-08-01

licking your fingers when working with the hot melted cord works wonders to keep the molten plastic from burning you. just a helpful tip ive learned from making paracord things!

Mrballeng (author)2011-04-02

I like this. Good work.

minoverette (author)2009-05-15

You could also tie a piece of waxed dental floss to the end of the string to avoid burning anything. I think the floss will be stiff enough to be threaded through the tube.

evp (author)minoverette2009-05-21

Good idea! I tried it. The floss goes through easily, but breaks :-( In my case the rope and tube are too tight. A combination with a little more play should work with the floss. Fishing line should also work, come to think of it.

muffinhead (author)2009-03-31

is that the infamous pocket torch you're using?

evp (author)muffinhead2009-04-01

Yes - very handy to have around.

muffinhead (author)evp2009-04-23

pretty darn cheap too right? what is it, 3 pack for $25?

Earthy Eric (author)2009-03-31

nice instructable, i like it. what's the approximate length of the tube and nylon cord?

evp (author)Earthy Eric2009-04-01

tube = 12.5cm or 5 inches
cord = 17.5cm or 7 inches
final zipper pull = about 5 cm or 2 inches

Earthy Eric (author)evp2009-04-01

alright, thank you. that's what it looked to be about, but i didn't want to make it too small

evp (author)Earthy Eric2009-04-01

Load a photo when you're done! Would like to see what other people are doing with the idea.

gmjhowe (author)2009-03-31

That works really well. The whole ible was very well written, and the clear photos make it complete.

lafnbear (author)2009-03-31

Well produced 'ible & neat idea; favorited. Extra points for proper use/spelling on "Et voila!" :-)

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