I came up with this idea some time ago while looking for a cheap and handy way to put order to the cables that abound everywhere at home, the concept is similar to the Velcro ties you can buy in stores.

This solution has several advantages:

   1. Very cheap (I haven’t run the numbers …. and will not)
   2. Handy, there is always a roll of tape somewhere at home
   3. Can be color coded (depending on the tape you use)
   4. Can be made with duct, masking, packaging, electric, cell-o, etc, tape
   5. Reusable thanks to the “in built” tab
   6. Doesn’t leave sticky glue in your cables
   7. Can be made to many sizes, almost all the ones you find in a house or in a workshop
   8. No tools needed, just your fingernails
   9. Can be used to “shorten” cables, just wrap excess cable and tie the bundle
  10. Is made in a couple of minutes, no time wasted
  11. You can write codes on the tape
  12. Can be used for cables, rods, tubes, hoses, ropes, wire, etc.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

1.  Duct or any other fairly strong tape, depending on what you are going to tie.
2.  Clean fingers, or the cleanest you can manage, to protect the glue in the tape.

(If you use scissors or a knife, use the verb “to cut” wherever I used “to tear”)

I always make mine to TILAR * precision. The measurements given in the pictures and in the text are just a guide for a tie that fitted nicely to a soldering iron, I was measuring as I went along. The numbers are rounded, no decimals, and the conversions given are also rounded, please don’t punish me for the informality, this is just a cable tie.

If you don’t want to waste tape and time measure first what you are going to tie, use a piece of paper, yarn, thread, plastic or your fingers, whatever there is at hand, it´ll give you a good idea of where to start. It’s advisable a length enough for at least 1.5 wraps around the cable bundle. Remember that 2 to 3 cm (1 in) will be used for the end that is attached to the cable, anyway it’s always better to cut excess if you run long than to add if you run short.

The pictures were taken with my iPhone 3GS and edited in Microsoft Office Picture Manager, basic job, no big deal really.

Step 2: Tearing the Tape


First I tore a 20 cm (8 in) length from the roll, enough for the cable of my soldering iron, which in fact is about the same length as most of the appliances, instruments, chargers and tools I have at home.

Step 3: Getting the Desired Width

As  the tape I used is close to 6 cm (2 in) in width I split it in thirds across the width. 

Step 4: Ready to Start

So I got three 20 cm (8 in) lengths to make 3 ties 2 cm (3/4 in) wide.

Step 5: Prepare Tab

Next I folded 1 cm (1/2 in) in one tip, this will become the tab for easily opening the tie when you need to release the cable.

Step 6: Preparing the Cover

I then measured 8 cm (3 in) from the other end and tore the tape in two lengths: one short (the cover) and one long with the tab.

Step 7: Covering the Inside of the Tie

Next I put the sticky side of the shorter length (cover) on the sticky side of the longer length, starting at 1 cm (1/2 in) from the end and making sure that both were well aligned so that I got a section of the tie without glue, this protects the cable.

Step 8: The Tie

This is my finished cable tie ready for use.  It took me one minute and seven seconds.

Step 9: Attaching the Tie to the Cable

The end without the tab is attached to the end of the cable, the one with the plug, by wrapping the tape around in such a way that no glue touches the cable and the tie runs loose on it. This arrangement keeps the tie with the cable at all times and allows for the tie to be positioned in the most convenient place along the cable according to your needs.

Step 10: Use of the Tie - Preparing for Storage

When you are ready to store the tool, instrument, charger or appliance, wrap the cable, position the tie and wrap the tie around the cable bundle nice and tight.

Step 11: Closing the Cable Tie

The sticky section left next to the tab will stick to the clean side of the tape.

And voila, you’ve got yourself your cable tied nicely in just a couple of minutes.

Step 12: Closing Statement

I also experimented with strips from PET bottles, a bit more cumbersome and not as handy or durable. I’ll post an ible on that in the near future.

This is my first instructable, I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had making it, and I hope you find it useful too, I’ll be delighted to hear your experiences and improvements.

(*) By the way ....... TILAR: Till It Looks About Right