Frayed Shoe Lace Fix

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About: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs founder and manager for Autodesk and just finished building o...


Frayed tips on shoe laces is about as annoying as things can get. Forcing the little ends of the shoe lace through those tiny holes can sometimes feel hopeless when everything is coming apart and bunching up. I've found a pretty effective and simple fix that takes a few a minutes and costs just a couple dollars.

Step 1: Gather Materials

To fix the shoe laces I needed a lighter, a scissors and some heat shrink tubing. I bought an assortment pack of heat shrink tubing and ended up using the ones that were 3/32" in diameter. You might want to pick up some bigger or smaller tubing depending on how frayed your laces are and what size they are.

Step 2: Slip on the Heat Shrink Tubing

Slip an end of the heat shrink tubing over the frayed end of the shoelace. I covered the tip with about 3/4" of the tubing and then trimmed the excess with a scissor.

Step 3: Shrink the Tubing

Ideally the tubing is supposed to be shrunk with a heat gun, but any heat source will do. I grabbed a lighter and carefully held it under the tubing for a few seconds so that the top of the flame was about an inch below the tubing. Its not good to light the tubing on fire directly, so leave a little space and keep the heat source moving.

Step 4: Repeat, Re-lace and Enjoy

I repeated this process on each of the other three frayed ends, put them back in my shoes and happily reconnected with my favorite pair of laces.

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20 Discussions

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VitorC3

3 years ago on Step 4

Regardless of price, sometimes it's hard to find adequate replacements.

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mikesty

12 years ago

Aglets, how awesome! There was an article on Digg about "33 things you never knew the name of", and this was the first one.

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bo88ymikesty

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

"Aglet" is a subspecies of the broader and slightly more familiar category, "ferrule." Damned useful things, in any case.
Did your Digg article mention "philtrum"?

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dsadinsky

12 years ago on Step 4

only costs a couple bucks? shoe laces only cost 99 cents. talk about missing the big picture...

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noahwdsadinsky

Reply 12 years ago on Step 4

I am part of a "shoelace collective" if you will, and some of our laces cost a bit more than 99 cents - but, if buying new shoelaces brings you happiness than by all means go for it! I had some attachment to these laces so I wasn't ready to part with them just yet.

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ItsthePandsternoahw

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Waxed laces for dress shoes--along with fat laces--tend to cost a lot more than 99 cents. When did he last buy some? The eighties? Today, if we were to buy some, there's no way that they would last Long enough to consider repairing even te frayed ends... Awesome and direct instructable. Thank you!

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structuresounddsadinsky

Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

I think that's actually only about a nickel or dime worth of heatshrink. A couple of bucks if you don't already own a hairdryer or bic lighter.

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Creaturiste

8 years ago on Step 4

Looks very neat, I must say. Very prscytical if you already keep shrink tubing in your inventory. Yet, for those who don't, we can fuse the ends of shoe laces very cheaply and quickly with hot glue. Apply to and around the tip of the frayed lace, then quickl;y roll it more precise with moist fingers that have been dipped in water.

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CementTruckTheCheese9921

Reply 12 years ago

Flugelbinders! - According to Tom Cruise, in the movie "Cocktail. That's probably what they're called on his planet. :)

ALso, it would give a bit of a stiff end for going through the eyelets. I found that when I fused nylon laces to fix them that I had to slightly melt about 1/2" up from the fused end just to stiffen it, but this would be nicer.

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Patented

10 years ago on Introduction

Thx my hockey skates laces were like this this trick help me alot!

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blodefood

11 years ago on Introduction

Very neat! I shall pass this on to my friends at Shoelace CollectiveShoelace Collective. This totally fits in with the purpose. When you really need to keep a pair of shoes on your feet, a pair of shoelaces kept in good repair will go a long way to get you where you are going!

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armoty1

12 years ago

perfect idea , in egypt we call it "selk mecrona" (the shrink tubing) سلك ميكرونه

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hollasch

12 years ago

I also use fingernail polish to cure frayed ends; works just as well. Let some of the polish wick into the lace for a very firm end. They'll never fray again after that.

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PeterTheUnGreat

12 years ago

What a good idea! I have lots of annoying laces and lots of heatshrink - time to get them together and make swwet music. Pete