Introduction: Zip Tie Jewelry
zip ties are dead usefull, but are the also beautifull?
one day i was bored and wanted to make something and the next best thing lying around were zip ties and with a little try and error i found a way to convert the ties into beautifull flower resembling shapes that can be made into broches and pendants. just like the story of the ugly duckling.
so have fun making your own zip tie jewelry.
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here is how:
Step 1: Ingredients
- zip ties (the smaller the width-length ratio the better) - i used glow in the dark ones for extra coolness
- hot glue
- brooch needles
- jump rings & pliers
Step 2: Connecting the Ties
decide how many cable ties you want to use, i think 5 yield the nicest results.
connect the cable ties to each other:
slip the second cable tie through the recipient of the first. then the 3rd through the 2nd, the 4th trough the 3rdb, the 5th through the 4th and finally the first through the 5th - you get the drift.
pull the ties as tight as possible.
Step 3: And Now to the Interesting Part
what happens now is that you have to "weave" the zip ties into each other. this will be different every time you make a piece - therefore i can't give you an explicit explanation on how it is done.
the things that are important though are
- always work symmetrical, that means do exactly the same with all the ties that you did with one tie
- always see to it that remaining ends of the ties are all the same lenght, that basically means always pull the ties equally.
the beginning is always the trickiest since there are not a lot of places where the ties can be woven into each other. but once you did this a couple of times it will get much easier.
with this piece i started by putting one tie over the next and the under the one after that. i did that with all the ties (and it looked quite messy on the way (see picture 2). when all the ties are woven like this (picture 3) pull the ties as tight as possible (picture 4). this is a base you can work with.
in the next step i put the ties through the hole in the middle - this can be fiddly since everything is so small, but just work patiently and it will work out in the end.
now you can already see how the "flower" shape is evolving.
Step 4: Weave Away!
now what you have to do is just weave the ties into each other until they are too short to continue or you think the design is finished.
to give you an idea of how it can be done took pictures of the different stages of weaving of my piece.
keep in mind that this is just an inspiration and not a fixed guideline that you have to follow to the point -.every piece i made (and every piece you will make) is different. like snowflakes.
just keep in mind to stay symmetrical and to pull everything tight after each step.
in some of the pictures you can see the "back" of the piece. it looks nice as well. but it is difficult to concentrate on making both sides look equally beautifull. so i normally just care for one side. it can still happen that both sides look still really good in the end, though.
for some reason it seems the ties were made for something like this - thanks to the friction of the riffled side everything stays in place nicely and the ties are bendy and sturdy at the same time...
Step 5: Cutting Off Excess Tie
in some cases (like the one shown in the pictures) you will end up with some lenght of zip tie that can't be woven into the design anymore in a way that would look nice. or it might be to short to work with. so you have to cut the ties.
thanks to friction you don't have to worry that the cut end will slip and unweave itself - just make sure that the tie sits quite firmly in the last place you slipped it through and cut close to the weave.
and voila! your shape is ready to be turned into jewellery!
note: some of the shapes will look just as nice from the back as from the front (just like the one i turned into a pendant in the intro-pictures). these ones you might want to turn into pendants that can be worn from both sides. the ones where one side looks much better are best for brooches.
Step 6: Turn the Shapes Into Jewelry
it you want to make a brooch, glue a brooch needle to the back of your shape with hot glue.
if you want to make a pendant:
connect both ends of a chain to to adjacent "corners" of your shape with jump rings. just put the jump rings through one of the loops of the weave.
Step 7: Wear It!
have fun with your new jewellry pieces or give them away to your friends!