Easy Way to Replace a Drawstring - If You Have Arthritis




Introduction: Easy Way to Replace a Drawstring - If You Have Arthritis

About: I'm a 45 year old Systems Architect living in the Midwestern United States. After travelling the world for 20 years as a consulting architect I became disabled, as a result, I am now embracing a Slow life.

I wear a lot of sweatpants, shorts, and hoodies with drawstrings. Lately, I have become convinced that there is a conspiracy afoot to make drawstrings cheaper, and therefore, easier to break. There are many easy ways to replace a broken drawstring, such as this Instructable. However, if you have arthritis in your hands like I do, this push-pull method is extremely painful.

The method I will demonstrate here is easier on the hands because it relies on the spring action of a small length of wire to push the drawstring through without the push-pull motion and it's resulting joint pain for arthritis sufferers.


*You may be tempted to use an old coat hanger. Don't. It is too inflexible to spring the way it needs to and it is more likely than not to puncture the clothes rather than make this process easier.

Step 1: Prepare Wire

On one end of the wire make a loose loop with the pliers. Insert the end of the drawstring through the loop and then crimp the wire down tight around it. Be sure that the end of the wire loop is parallel to the wire as pictured. This will prevent snagging. leave the other end of the wire plain. If it looks sharp, file it round to prevent puncturing fabric.

Step 2: Insert Wire

Insert the wire into the drawstring hole of the clothing loop end first. Slowly start to slide the wire through until the plain end of the wire is no longer visible. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see the bump caused by the loop end as well as the point caused by the plain end.

With one hand holding the loop end, pull the fabric away in the direction of the plain end. The plain end will catch on the fabric and the wire, along with any elastic in the clothing, will cause the loop end to be pushed through the clothing when you let go of it. Using this pull-spring action, propel the wire through the clothing until the loop end comes out the other side.

Step 3: Cut and Tie

Once the loop end is through, simply pull the wire out all the way and using pliers, unloop the loop end, freeing the drawstring. Making sure to leave enough slack, cut the drawstring to the desired length and then tie knots in the ends to keep it from slipping back through.

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    9 Discussions

    Most of us take our hands (or general health) for granted. Thank you for this invaluable idea that can be helpful for many people!


    2 years ago


    Instead of filing the lead end of the wire, simply fold a half inch of it back on itself to give it a rounded end. An even better method


    2 years ago

    If you go down to the country, they sell huge darning needles used to sew up burlap sacks. I use those too


    2 years ago

    using a crochet needle is easier because its usually powder coated or anodised, so it slides easier.

    1 reply

    A crochet needle is also a lot stiffer, so you don't get as much "spring."

    Very helpful hack for those pesky situations! Will use :))

    Good idea. I always used Gerber diaper pins because of the large head. However, I have lost my last diaper pin, and the China made ones just do not work the same, and Gerber no longer makes pins(called them, LOL). This will be my NEW gerber diaper pin.

    1 reply

    I remember those! My mother kept a ton of them in the house and it seemed there were 1001 uses for them.