How To Make Your Own Zipper Pull Tabs // Simple Craft

zipper pull

We use zippers on bags, pouches, jackets, and so many other things. Why not add a little character and charm to your zippers with a unique zipper pull tab?

In this post, I’m going to give you six different ideas and show you step by step how to do each one.

zipper pull cording

1- Simple Cording Zipper Pull

You can add a zipper pull to anything, and it can be as simple as adding a little piece of cording that you can pull, and that’s what we’re going to go over first.

Materials & Items Needed

  • Simple cording
  • Scissors
  • Glue or Lighter
zipper pull upcycled

You can use all kinds of cording. You can even use recycled cording from another item of clothing. In the photo above, it’s an upcycled zipper. I do that frequently, especially if it has a cool zipper. But for this zipper pull, we’re going to add just some regular cording.

If you haven’t seen my tutorial on how to upcycle zippers, you might wanna check that out. It’s kind of fun.

  • Cut a piece of cording about four inches long. Fold the cording in half and insert the folded end into the loop there in the zipper from front to back.
  • Take the cut ends through the cording loop, and give it a pull. It will make a little shank knot, and that’s all there is to it.To keep the ends of the cording from fraying, you’ll want to take a lighter or a match and just simply burn those ends of the cording. Or you can apply a little bit of glue on the ends.

2- Button Stack Zipper Pull

zipper pull buttons I love recycling buttons. As you can see, I have more than a few and I have another jar as well. Used buttons are something good to have on hand.

zipper pull button supplies

Materials & Supplies

  • 4-6 Buttons of different sizes and colors.
  • Waxed thread or embroidery floss and beeswax (or any wax)
  • To wax the thread, simply place the thread against the wax and pull it. It will make a little cut in the wax.
  • Repeat that several times until the thread is coated. The coated thread makes it water-resistant and more durable.
  • Cut off about 10 inches of thread so you can have something to work with, you’ll cut off the excess later.
zipper pull threading
  • Decide what order you want the buttons to be in.
  • Start with the smallest button first, take the two ends, and thread it down through the holes. If you have a button with four holes, that works best for the bottom button. If there are four-hole buttons, just thread them through the two opposite holes.
  • Continue adding buttons until you have all the buttons threaded onto the thread.
  • zipper pullLeave a loop of about 3 inches. Take the loop end and stick it from the front to the back of the zipper pull. Take the stack of zippers and thread it through the loop and pull it.
  • Pull the buttons up to the length you want the chain to be. Take the cut ends of the thread and re-thread them into the other two holes in the bottom button again. zipper pull knot
  • Make a double knot between the bottom and the next button and then clip off the cord or thread right about an eighth of an inch from the knot. That’s it. You can add this to a backpack. You could put this on lots of fun little bags or even a jacket.

3- Upcycled Sweat Ball Zipper Pull


Materials & Supplies

zipper pull sweater

1- Cut out a small circle approximately 3 inches. To make it easier, use a glass or lid as a template to trace around.

2- Double-thread the needle and knot the end. Decide which side of the fabric you want to show. Felted wool sweater fabric has a different texture on both sides. I usually opt for the “wrong” side of the sweater because it has more character.

zipper pulls circleInsert the needle into the side of the fabric that won’t be showing. Start taking big stitches, big gathering stitches, about 1/4 inch away from the edge of the fabric.

zipper pull gather and stuff

3- Sew all the way around. These big gathering stitches don’t have to be perfect. When you get all the way around pull it and it’ll make a little cup. Grab a little bit of fiberfill stuffing and stuff it down in. It doesn’t take very much. And then start to pull the thread and it will make a little ball.

Stick the needle out onto the right side of the ball so it’s easier to see and gather. Make another round of stitching with the same seam allowance. Give it a little pull and then take your thumbs and press the seam allowance down into the ball.

Don’t pull it all the way tight because you still have to insert the cording.

4 – Decide how long you want the cording to be and cut it that length. Attach the cording to the zipper pull using that same knot or just thread it through the zipper hole.

Take the cut ends of the cording and stick them down into the hole you left in the ball, about ½ inch inside. Using a turning stick makes this a little easier.

5 – Insert the needle into the cording, then take a stitch into the ball. Then take another stitch into the other cording strip and repeat that process until you feel it is secure. To knot the thread, take a little stitch right by the cording. Leave a little loop and then wrap the needle around the loop a few times and gently pull.

This will make a knot. Then stick the needle into the ball and out somewhere else. Cut the thread.


zipper pull sweater ball

So there is another fun way to use your upcycle sweater scraps and add a little charm to a zipper pull.

zipper pull cherriesI also have a tutorial on how to make some really cute cherry magnets and zipper pulls, using the same method. CHECK IT OUT HERE.

4- Pom Pom Zipper Pull

zipper pull pomMaterials & Items Needed

I’m not going to show you how to make the pom poms in this tutorial, but I do have another tutorial that shows you how to make them. Start with a pom pom you’ve made or one that you have purchased.

1- Thread and knot a single waxed thread.

2- Insert the needle into the middle of the pom pom. Pull it tight so that the knot doesn’t show. Thread the needle into the zipper pull and then back into the pom pom. Knot the end of the thread.

3- You may need to make several knots so it is a BIG knot. Cut thread and pull the knot into the pom pom and you’re all set.

felt zipper pull

5- Felt Zipper Pull

Materials & Items Needed

There are so many fun things you can do with a piece of felt. I’ll show you a few examples and you can go with your imagination.

For example, on this fleece jacket, I have added this zipper pull, and all it is is two felt pieces glued together with the cording and applied to a zipper. It’s just something you don’t see.

zipper pull felt flower

And on this jacket I have embroidered a cute little yellow flower onto a round piece of felt.

star felt zipper pull

This zipper pull I embroidered a cute little blue star onto a piece of green felted wool sweater. There so many options. Let your creative bones go to work. You can embroider stars, hearts, whatever you want onto a piece felt.

1- Cut a piece of cording or thread about 4 inches. Thread it through the zipper pull. Cut out another piece of felt the same size as the embroidered felt piece.

2- Apply some glue to the wrong side of the back piece. Take the cording strip you cut and sandwich it between the front and back felt pieces. and glue it to the back of the embroidered felt piece.

If the item you are adding a zipper pull to is going to be going through the wash, I recommend using this washable glue. It works well.

You can make squares, you can make circles, you can even make a cute heart. That would be really cute.

zipper pull beads

6- Beaded Zipper Pull

Another thing that I upcycle and save and use is beads. You can buy beads from the fabric or craft store, or you can used upcycled beads. I keep a box of odd jewelry or beads for projects just like this.

zipper pull beadsTo make a zipper pull you can use several beads or even one bead can be very cute.

Materials & Supplies

zipper pull thread beads

1- Decide the order you want the beads to be. Take your waxed thread and make a knot on the end. Add a little drop of glue to the bottom knot to keep it from pulling through.

2- Start threading the beads onto the thread STARTING WITH THE BEAD YOU WANT ON THE BOTTOM. ***The bead you have at the top will need to have a bigger hole so that you can thread it through twice.

3- When you have threaded all the beads take the thread and insert the end into the zipper pull. Then thread it back back into the top bead. Spread the beads apart so you can make a double knot around the thread.  

When you think the knot is secure, cut the thread and pull the buttons down. 

So there you have it. Some cute, fun, unique ways to add some character to your zipper pulls in your projects, in your clothing, and anything else that has a zipper.

Have fun crafting!




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Upcycled Zipper Bracelets | 3 Adorable DIY Styles

zipper bracelets

These upcycled zipper bracelets are unique, easy to make, and quite adorable. In this tutorial, you will learn how to make them using 3 simple methods. Oh, how I love upcycling and making useful items out of repurposed items! When you think “outside the box” you can come up with so many fun things that are UNIQUE and ONE-OF-A-KIND.

zipper upcycling storage binIn a previous post, I gave some great tips for zipper upcycling that you may want to check out. These bracelets can also be made with new zippers, after all, zippers are inexpensive and you may not have a zipper stash as I do. LOL.

zipper bracelets

These zipper bracelets are really cute layered with other types of bracelets and can also be made into cute necklaces.

Here are 3 different styles and methods for making bracelets.

zipper bracelets items and materials

Zipper Bracelets Materials & Items Needed

wide band zipper bracelets

Wide Band Zipper Bracelets Instructions

1 – Plug in your hot glue gun and get that heated up.

2 – Cut zipper to the desired length.

For an adult bracelet, I recommend cutting 6-7 inches. If you’re making bracelets for a child, measure then cut.

3 – Unzip the zipper and flip the zipper teeth to the outside.

Decide which side of the zipper you want to expose. (I prefer exposing the metal teeth over the colored teeth), but it’s just preference.

***If you want to embroider on the bracelet, do it now before you glue the two pieces tougher. You can add any kind of bling you want to the bracelet at this time.

4 – Apply hot glue to one side of one section of the zipper.

You can apply all the glue at once or do it in sections as you stick the two pieces of the zipper together. Line up the fabric edge of one zipper section with the other section’s zipper edge teeth as shown in the photo.

5 – Trim the ends of the zipper to square off and cut any threads.

Apply a bead of Fray Check to the raw edges on both the top and underside of the ends to keep the fabric from fraying.

6 – Take the ribbon clamps and apply them to the ends of the zipper using needle nose pliers. Clamp tightly.

Apply a jump ring and the lobster clasp to one end and a jump ring and an O ring to the other. You can add more jump rings or charms at this point.

Center Cut Zipper Bracelet Instructions

You can use this method to make a single wrap bracelet, a double wrap bracelet, or a necklace/choker.zipper bracelet choker

1 – Cut a zipper 7 inches long for a bracelet, 14 inches for a double wrap bracelet, and 15-16 inches for a choker necklace.


2 – Using a pair of scissors, cut along the edge of the zipper teeth on both sides of the zipper teeth.

Using a lighter (I like this long handle lighter) burn the edges of the zipper fabric to keep it from fraying. (If it is an all-cotton fabric zipper, you may need to use the Fray Check to keep the edges from fraying. The Fray Check dries clear. 

3- Take the needle nose pliers and remove 2-3 sets of zipper teeth.

How many teeth you remove depends on the length of your clamp beads. (it literally feels like you’re pulling teeth).

4 – Apply a dab of school glue to the end of the zipper fabric and roll it with your fingers to keep the ends together.

5 – Apply the crimp bead over the fabric ends (make sure the right side of the zipper is facing the way you want it to be) and clamp tightly using the pliers.

Add the jewelry hardware the same way as described above.

Embroidery Thread Wrapped Bracelet Instructions

1 – Cut a zipper to the desired length and separate the zipper. (You’ll only be using one side of the zipper).

2 – Cut a strand (all six threads) 4 x the length of the cut zipper.

For a 7-inch zipper cut at least 28 inches. It doesn’t have to be exact, just make sure it is long enough so you’re not running out of thread.

**tip:  I have found a trick that keeps the embroidery floss from separating and coats it for moisture protection. Simply take a piece of bees wax or other wax and pull the thread along an edge of the wax. It will lightly coat it with wax which also makes it easier to work with.

3 – Remove 2-3 zipper teeth on each end with your pliers. 

4 – Burn the edges of the zipper fabric as shown above.

4- Apply a dab of glue to the fabric end of the zipper and place the end of the embroidery floss on top of the glue.

Twist the ends of the zipper and floss to stick them together and then apply the crimp bead. Do this to only one end of the zipper at this time.

5 – Start wrapping the embroidery floss around the zipper and between the teeth.

Continue wrapping until you’ve covered the whole zipper.

Cut any remaining embroidery floss and apply glue, twist and then add the crimp bead. Add jewelry hardware and you’re finished.

These zipper bracelets are fun little on-the-go crafts for traveling or to do while watching a good movie.

Be on the lookout at thrift stores, yard sales, and even in items of clothing for a GOOD ZIPPER! You can find some really cool zippers with great colors and hardware if you look for them.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Be sure to check out my other upcycling posts and video tutorials.

T-Shirt Yarn | Made From Upcycled T-Shirts

Upcycled T Shirts – Ideas and Tips

Upcycled Denim Jeans – Ideas and Tips

Have fun making zipper bracelets!





Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More