I first got interested in making zipper flowers after reading an article in Craft Stylish. It seemed like a great idea, but their method was way too much work. Plus, I really wasn’t thrilled with the end result.
Some digging around led me to a version that had been shown on Martha Stewart, but I didn’t like that looks of that one, either, too loopy and needed a ridiculously long zipper. (It seems that video is no longer up on the MS site, but I found it here.) Finally, I checked out Kate Cusack’s zipper jewelry, some of it is just amazing.
After all that, I decided to buy a few zippers and fiddle around with my own design. Below is what I came up with, and how you can make your own. Hope you enjoy!
Supplies you’ll need:
- metal zipper anywhere from 20″ to 26″ long
- 2″ scrap of felt
- pin back (or barrette hardware)
- hot glue gun
The first step is to cut off the bottom stop of the zipper so you can remove the pull. Just cut between the teeth. I wouldn’t suggest using your best scissors for this craft, btw.
Remove the pull and set aside for another project or discard. ( I have a little bowl of these and am wondering just what can I do with them?)
Now you should have two separate pieces of zipper tape; measure the length of one of these. Don’t worry that there’s some tape without any teeth at the top of zipper, this will be covered up in our final flower.
Take your measurement and use a calculator to divide by six. You should have a figure somewhere between 3″ and 4″. Cut ONE of the zipper tapes into six pieces of this dimension. These will make our six outer (larger) petals. Set aside.
Take the length you cut the larger petals and subtract 1″. Cut the other zipper tape into six pieces of this dimension. These will be the six inner (smaller) petals. This should leave you with a leftover piece that is 6″, this will become your flower center.
Here are all the pieces you’ll need:
Now we’ll glue the pieces of zipper tape into petals. (**Note about hot gluing your flowers** There are a LOT of layers to these flowers, and if you add too much glue in each step, they will end up too thick in the middle. Apply just small dabs of glue, and squish it as flat as possible in each step.)
Add a dab of glue to one end of one of your petals. Twist the other end around and glue on top, creating a loop. Make sure to squish the glue flat.
Repeat for all 12 petals.
To make the flower center, start by gluing both ends of the 6″ piece under at 45 degree angles. (This will hide the raw edges in the finished flower.)
Roll this up, adding small dabs of glue as you go. Roll tightly in the center and more loosely as you get towards the outer edge.
Now we’ll assemble our flower. Cut a 2″ circle of felt (this does not have to be perfect, it’s just a gluing base.) Glue two of your larger petals to it, raw edges meeting in the center. Don’t forget to squish the glue flat. (To save my fingers from burns I used the end of a pair of metal scissors to do this.)
Now add two more large petals.
And the final two large petals.
Now add two small petals, meeting the raw edges in the center, and staggering the petal points between those of the larger petals.
Add two more small petals.
And the final two small petals. You can see here that it’s quite thick, this is why we needed to keep each layer as flat as possible.
Finally, we need to add our flower center. A word of caution here, don’t add too much glue, otherwise it will squish out and show on your finished flower. I found that a dab slightly larger than a pea in the center of the flower, and a little glue squeezed into the bottom of the rolled up center works nicely.
When you add your center, push it down as hard and flat as you can, then hold it for a few seconds until the glue sets up. I’ve found this gives the flowers a nice shape. Otherwise the center stands up too tall and doesn’t look right.
Now we can add a pin back. (Feel free to add a barrette clip or anything else instead.) Flip your flower over, add a line of hot glue to the felt backing and press in your pin back.
Since this pin in quite heavy, and I don’t want it to ever pull off, I add another line of hot glue to either side of the pin back, making sure the glue overlaps the pin a little bit.
I trimmed away the excess felt once the glue was cooled.
And that’s it, you’re done! Have a blast trying different colors, maybe even some of the rhinestone or funky colored zippers. (I gotta find me a purple zipper!)
Here are a few I made in other colors:
Every time I look at this white/silver flower, I think that it would be gorgeous as part of a bridal ensemble.
This is the flower I made with the directions from Craft Stylish.