I think everyone has broken a crock pot lid at some point, I am no exception. I called the company after I broke mine and found that they won't replace the lid if you broke it out of your own stupidity (and in this case, I did).
Then I searched the internet and learn that you can't purchase a replacement lid.
So, at the time we fixed it with foil, but it was ugly and I was never really happy with that fix. I got inspired to fix it differently when my husband brought home around 1000 zip ties last weekend.
With a few of those zip ties and little creativity, here is my crock pot lid fix.
Step 1: Tools
Here is the complete list of what I used:
- 5" Zip Ties
- 8" Zip Ties
- 11" Zip Ties
- 26 gauge Copper Wire
- 60 Square Jump Rings
- 2 Small Screw Drivers (one Philips and one Flat Head)
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Wire Cutters (for cutting zip ties and copper wire)
- Super Glue
- Metal Oval Frame from original lid
- Plastic Handle from original lid
To make this replacement I purchased a lot of different size zip ties. Lucky they are cheap. They come in bags of 100, but I didn't use that many. In total, minus the ones I scraped as my design advanced, I used 14 of the 5" zip ties, 32 of the 8" zip ties and 10 of the 11" zip ties.
A word to the wise, the zip ties say they can handle a heat up to 185 degrees. Check the ones you are using before going to all this work, and keep this in mind when you are using it, no one wants melted zip ties in their food. I will probably use this crock pot to keep bread buns and things like that warm just to be safe.
Step 2: Prep the Old Lid
The first good thing about this replacement is that we kept the original metal frame and handle from the broken lid. There is a channel all the way around on the inside of this frame, where the glass was held in the metal frame. This lip needs to be cleaned and any glass fragments removed. The glass used on my lid was safety glass, meaning that it is supposed to be less likely to break, or less likely to pose a threat when broken. This means I am less likely to cut myself removing the small chucks that are still in the metal frame. FYI, I did say less likely, this is still sharp and overconfidence leads to small paper cut like slices on your knuckles. Regardless of what the glass is, these cuts HURT. So take your time on this step and think about wearing gloves.
To remove the glass, I used a small screwdriver in the channel and chiseled away at the glass chucks. Probably not the best option but it worked for me with no special tools. Make sure to throw all those chunks away, as no one wants to step on them later.
Step 3: Creating a Hook and Loop Inside the Channel.
Once the channel is completely clean, you need some way to attach the zip tie weave to the metal cover. I found that the small 5" zip ties fit inside the channel and with a little copper wire, I could create a loop for the zip tie weave. I will call this the hook and loop, cause. . . well why not.
- Begin by cutting off the head and the tail of an 5" zip tie. This leaves only an even width chuck of plastic flat on one side and ratcheted on the other, that fits inside the metal channel. I used 6 of these total to wrap all the way inside the metal channel of my lid. Each lid will probably be a little different.
- I also, cut one extra to help wrap the copper wire and leave enough room for the jump rings to fit.
- Take two of the zip ties that you just cut and place smooth sides together. Wrap the copper wire around the zip ties as shown in the pictures, don't pull this tight, you don't want to be binding the zip ties together. I had no science to the number of wire wraps per zip tie, or how close they should be placed. I went with a gut feeling of about a 3mm to 6mm apart. The jump rings were 7mm wide and I wanted to have 2 loops of the wire to hold each jump ring. This seems to work well.
-As you come to the end of the first zip tie pull on the top piece of the zip tie sandwich leaving the metal wire and one zip tie behind, do not remove this second zip tie, it will help you continue your looping, only pull it about half way. You should now have a single zip tie with a loosely wrapped wire and room to add another piece of cut zip tie. You can see this in the pictures attached. I used a black and a white zip tie so they are easier to see.
If you were not already aware, there is a smooth side of a zip tie and a ratchet side. If you place the 2 ratchet sides together during the steps above, you will not be able to slide one piece forward and you will get frustrated, very frustrated. . . . Start over.
- You will now need to start pressing the single wire wrapped zip tie into the metal channel. I used a small flat head screw driver to help position the zip tie and push it into the channel. Press about half the length of the zip tie into the channel, then start wrapping the second cut zip tie with wire.
-After the second tie is wrapped about halfway, push the first zip tie all the way into the channel and the start of the second tie. The trick here is that you want to keep the zip ties butted up against each other in the channel, so it is like one long gasket. And you want to keep the wire wrapped so it isn't too loose. Continue until you have wrapped this all the way around and the channel is now full.
Your Hook and loop is now created and installed into the metal frame!
Step 4: Jump Rings
With the Hook and loop in place I decided to place jump rings on the loops so the zip ties would lay flat. This way, ideally the zip ties would attach to the jump rings and create a pretty flat weave.
One thing I learned, use thicker jump rings. The ones I used I found at Joann Fabrics and they work, but they are thin metal and easy to bend, thus in later steps when you are creating the zip tie weave, they flex and can come off the wire. This was very frustrating. Using a stronger square jump ring, would have allowed me to pull on the zip tie without constantly flexing the jump rings.
- Using a set of needle nosed pliers I opened a jump ring, placed it on two wire loops from the hook and loops we just made and tightened the jump ring back to square.
Since I didn't pay a lot of attention to the distance on the wire when I created the wire loops and pushed the 5" zip ties into the frame, each loop is at a distance of its own choosing. I tried to always have at least two loops per jump ring. This way they would assist the zip tie in being flat. Some jump rings were actually attached to 3 loops, others only 1. Just depended on where the spacing was.
Make sure in the end that you used an even number of jump rings. After all each zip tie needs two points of contact, so two jump rings each, preferably right across from each other, but hey that depends on how picky you are during the building of the hook and loop. Since there were 50 jump rings in a bag I used a complete bag, then counted out a few at a time of the second bag, I used a total of 60 jump rings. Again each lid will be different.
Step 5: Super Glue
At this point I tried to start the zip tie weave, but found that since the hook and loop gasket is just pushed into the channel, will not stay in place when you start the weave and annoyingly kept popping out. To resolve this issue I decided to super glue the zip tie connections in the hook and loop, a little glue on the metal frame helped too. This simple step will help resolve many head aches.
Make sure to keep the jump rings out of the glue or move them around as the glue dries so they are loose and pliable. Work around the entire channel and glue any spaces where two zip ties connect. In my case I used 6 zip ties, so I had 6 connections to glue.
Now impatiently wait for glue to dry. If it is cold in the garage that day, impatiently wait longer. . . .
Step 6: Vertical Zip Tie Lines
Now that the super glue is dry and the hook and loop is securely in place, you can begin the zip tie weave.
I chose to start in the middle of the longest edge. Depending on what design you are going for, you may want to start somewhere else. Take a little string and play with ideas on how you want yours to look, then when you have a plan, start using zip ties.
Here is how my plan played out:
- Starting on what looked to be the middle of one side of the longest edge I inserted an 8" zip tie down through the square jump ring and pulled it through, all the way to the ratchet head.
- Then I needed to count around the jump rings, to the half way point on the other side. In this case I used 60 jump rings, so half way was 30. I inserted the other end of the same zip tie up into the 30th jump ring. Now the zip tie spans the whole distance. And the ratchet head and open end both face up through the square jump rings.
- Taking a second 8" zip tie, connect it to the mounted zip tie, on top of the frame. Don't pull very tight yet, you can work on the shape of the lid in a few, start by just getting a few zip ties mounted.
A simple note, remember this is a lid, and that the lid must sit on the crock pot, thus these zip tie ratchet heads, must all be on 1 side of the lid (the top side). A the metal ring should rest on the crock pot when you put on the lid. I didn't think about this until after that fact on my lid.
- Next inserted a zip tie down through the jump ring to left of the one you just attached to the frame, staying vertical on the first zip tie. Insert the end of the zip tie up into the jump ring to the left of the one already mounted. Creating a second vertical line.
- Attach the second zip tie to the mounted zip tie, on top of the frame that you just pulled through.
- Now go one zip tie to the right of the first one you attached and install the next vertical line.
- Continue going one zip tie to the left and then right, until you have completed vertical zip tie lines all the way across the longest side of the lid. There will be a point when the curve is too tight to get the zip ties to lay flat. In my case I found that the smaller 5" zip ties were long enough to span the distance, and since they are not as wide, I could fit them on the edges. Thus I have 2 lines of the thinner 5" zip ties on each sides.
- After the vertical lines have been installed you can tighten the zip ties. Keeping in mind that this is a lid, I let the center of the lid be slightly taller and it curved down as it went out. The bottom lays flat.
You should now have something that resembles Shredders mask from Teenage Mutation Ninja Turtles, Well maybe not, but it does look weird.
Step 7: Zip Tie Weave
Now for the horizontal lines. Since my lid is not large I don't have many horizontal lines, In fact I could only fit 5.
- Using a long 11" zip tie, find the center of the unused square jump rings. I had 13 squares on each side, so center was 7.
- Insert a long zip tie down through the center square jump ring (my #7) and pulled it partially through.
- Now weave the end of the zip tie over the first vertical zip tie, and under the next. Continue the up and down weaving through all the zip ties all the way across the lid.
- When you reach the end, make sure to pull the zip tie up through the square jump ring. Remember that the zip tie ratchet heads, must all be on 1 side of the lid (the top side). Otherwise you lid won't work very well.
- I chose to weave all the top zip ties before connecting the base zip ties this time. Just so it would be easier to move things as I weaved each zip tie. So, insert the next a long zip tie down through the jump ring to the left of the newly weaved horizontal zip tie. Weave the opposite directions that you did for the last one. Under the first vertical zip tie, and over the next. Continue the up and down weaving through all the vertical zip ties all the way across the lid.
- When you reach the end, make sure to pull the new horizontal zip tie up through the square jump ring.
- Continue this process of weaving all the horizontal zip ties until you can no longer weave. There may be a few unused square jump rings, depending on space. I ran out of flexable movement after a few horizontal lines.
- For the bottom of my lid, I didn't weave the long zip tie, I just pulled it straight through the middle and attached the bottom zip tie to the top.
- Pull the long zip ties tight enough to keep your shape and secure your design.
You should now have something that resembles a weaved Shredder Mask with zip tie tails pointing our in all directions.
Step 8: Cut the Zip Tie Tails
The next step is to cut all the zip tie tails. I used small Wire Cutters. This worked well but hurts your hand a little as you have 50 or more tails to cut. I had to take a break at one point to rest my hands.
Cut the tails hanging out at close as you can to the ratchet head. You want to keep these cuts straight as you don't want sharp edges pointing out.
Step 9: Put the Handle Back on the Lid
Since we were able to save the original Plastic Handle with the screw and spacer from the old lid, This was easy to install. Just insert the screw through the bottom of the lid and screw the handle into place.
Voilà - your new lid is complete and ready for use!