Feb 142011
 

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!

teal and gold zipper flower

Supplies you’ll need:

  • metal zipper anywhere from 20″ to 26″ long
  • 2″ scrap of felt
  • pin back (or barrette hardware)
  • calculator
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • 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?)

zipper-flowers-1-cut-off-bottom-stop

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:

zipper-flowers-step-2-cutting-guide

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.

zipper-flowers-step-3-glue-the-petals

zipper-flowers-step-3a-glue-the-petals

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.)

zipper-flowers-step-4-make-flower-center

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.

zipper-flowers-step-4a-make-flower-center

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.)

zipper-flowers-step-5a-assembly

Now add two more large petals.

zipper-flowers-step-5b-assembly

And the final two large petals.

zipper-flowers-step-5c-assembly

Now add two small petals, meeting the raw edges in the center, and staggering the petal points between those of the larger petals.

zipper-flowers-step-5d-assembly

Add two more small petals.

zipper-flowers-step-5e-assembly

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.

zipper-flowers-step-5f-assembly

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.

zipper-flowers-step-5g-assembly

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.

zipper-flowers-step-6a-adding-the-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.

zipper-flowers-step-6b-adding-the-pin-back

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.

white and silver zipper flower

 This is the flower I made with the directions from Craft Stylish.

Meh.

yellow and gold zipper flower

blue and silver zipper flower

red and silver zipper flower

Happy crafting!

  48 Responses to “How To Make Zipper Flowers”

Comments (43) Pingbacks (5)
  1. These turned out great! (my fav is the white and silver one…just stunning!). I’ve used a similar pattern to make paper bows. I’ll have to try out your zipper flowers sometime!!

    • You’re right! I was looking at the bunch of them on my table and thought they looked like gift bows. Have fun playing AND wearing them.

  2. Oh they are easy to make! I expected some wild origami, zip folding technique to be going on!! Love the white and silver one too, and I agree, your way is much better than the other tutorial.

  3. Blooming BRAVO Sandy, Bravo, how marvellous this is..great great instructions and pictures.

  4. wow wow wow thank you for this I have book marked this page as I have next week off so will have plenty of time to play – will let you know how it goes – thanks again – love all your flowers but the white is really striking

    • Yes, please do let me know how your flowers come out. I’d love to see pics!

      I wouldn’t have guessed it from looking at the zipper, but yes, the white one is soooo nice.

  5. Hi Sandy, and thanks for both your email and for this tutorial. I will now dig out those zips I’ve been saving and have another go at making the flowers. The white one is gorgeous but love the other colours too. Your instructions are very clear so should be no problem following them. Thanks once again. Elizabeth x

  6. This is great thanks for sharing. The pictures are wonderful.

  7. Where do you find the zipper fabric?

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for visiting! The flowers are made of actual zippers that have been cut apart. I bought mine at a local fabric store. Have fun!

  8. Thank you so much for the great tutorial! I am making one for part of a Mother’s Day gift. You are genius! :D

  9. Ingenious! I came across this doing a google for a diy flowers project. Thanks for posting.

  10. This is a great and easy-to-follow tutorial. I love flowers and I’m very much excited to do this one of these days. Thank you very much for sharing this! :)

  11. How fun – excellent tutorial. I am definitely a “see and do” and this was great. One thing I did to flatten out the center – was to put it into my hubby’s vice and clamp it down hard. Also, to insure the pin back doesn’t fall off after gluing – I cut a piece of felt in a circle and glue that over the pin back. Thanks again!

  12. Thank you for putting this out there. I’ve been wanting to make my own zipper flower. I tried it today, It turned out great. Thanks again
    Stefanie Bishop

  13. Your zipper flowers are just fab :)

    • Why, thank yew. I’ve gotten more happy responses to this one. Gotta go design something else fun with zippers. ;-)

  14. Wow, I have some old metal zippers and I think this will make a great project for me… thanks so much. Can’t wait to try it…

  15. My Mom made these pins and she used the pulls for ear rings. They make a cute set

  16. This is great. Thank you so much! I’m going to use these zipper flowers as part of a motorcycle-babe themed wedding bouquet.

  17. to find purple zippers look at joanne fabric and craft store :) i found some there good luck. and i loved making these!!!

  18. I just made my first one! It’s such a fun craft!

  19. Pam sent me a phone picture. I love them. I’am going to make one now

  20. So much easier than the Martha Stewart version – Thank you so much for making it simple. I have one that I bought and get so many compliments on it and I want one in every color

  21. Do you know where I can purchase the metal zippers? It seems that fabric stores do not carry them – only the nylon ones.

    Thanks

  22. Hey there! These are so cute! I may have to try these for my girls.

    Now for the bad news – I noticed an etsy seller has “borrowed” your photos from this tutorial and is using them in her listing here –

    Several of her listing were made using stolen photos and I’ve been alerting those of you that I can find. It makes me so angry when people do stuff like that.

    Steph

  23. I have been making these and put my version on it. In the center, I use the zipper pull and it is very unique!

  24. I would like to make some of these flowers,, but my printer is
    down so I can not print off the
    directions. Is there a book I might be able to get?

    • Hi Nadine,

      You are the second person this week to ask if I have my directions in a book! Maybe I should take a hint, eh? :-)

      In the meantime, I’m sorry but the directions are only here on my blog. I hope you get your printer fixed so you can make some fun zipper flowers.

      Happy creating!

      Sandy

  25. I SURE will try them.Very pretty
    Irene

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