How to Make a Braided Bracelet from Zippers

How to Make Zipper JewelryI love making jewelry from unconventional materials.  So when I got the opportunity to make some jewelry out of zippers, I jumped on the chance.

The zippers for this tutorial are from K and C Supplies.  You can find all sorts of colors and varieties of zippers in the online shop here.  (Plus buttons!  Oh, yes, there will be a button jewelry tutorial soon, too!)

Let’s get started!

How to Make Zipper JewelryMaterials and Tools:

  • 3 – 7 inch YKK Zippers.  Pick them up at K and C Supplies.
  • 12 Fold over crimp ends.  Available at any craft store.
  • 7 mm jump rings
  • Lobster clasp
  • Scissors
  • Chain nose pliers and another pair of pliers

Optional materials for customizing your bracelet:

  • Beads
  • Head pins
  • Lucite flowers

Step #1

How to Make Zipper JewelryWe’re going to separate each zipper into 2 parts.  So flip over the zipper and find the little metal throngs on the back.  Just bend them up with chain nose pliers and pull it off.

Then just slide the pull down and off the zipper.  (Definitely save this for other projects!)

How to Make Zipper JewelryHow to Make Zipper JewelryALTERNATIVELY (and this is easier, but you lose a little of the length of the zipper.)

How to Make Zipper JewelryAlternatively you can just cut across the zipper right above that little metal thing at the end.  Like I mentioned, you will lose a some of the length of the zipper and ultimately your bracelet by doing that.

Repeat this for all 3 zippers.  Whichever way you chose, do it the same for all of the zippers.

Step #2

How to Make Zipper JewelryHow to Make Zipper JewelryUse scissors to cut along the side of the zipper teeth.  You’ll end up with a thin strand of just the teeth.  (Save the excess for a project I will share later.)

Repeat for each zipper.  You’ll end up with 6 of these.

Step #3

How to Make Zipper JewelryHow to Make Zipper JewelryAdd a crimp end to each end of each zipper.  Just place the end in the crimp end and fold over each side.  Then push it closed.

HINT:  I like to pull on the crimp end to make sure it’s secure before moving on.

Step #4

How to open a jump ringOpen 2 – 7mm jump rings.

How to open a jump ring

How to open a jump ringOpening a jump ring may be different than you think.  Line up 2 pairs of pliers so that the opening of the jump ring is in the middle.

(I usually use a pair of bent nose pliers and a pair of chain nose pliers.  Use whatever pliers you feel comfortable with.)

Maintaining the integrity of the circle, pull one pair the the pliers toward you and the other away from you.  Do not pull the circle apart and do not pull to the sides.

How to open a jump ringThis is what you end up with.

To close a jump ring, just do the same, but the opposite.

I also made a video tutorial about how to properly open and close jump rings:

Step #5

How to make a zipper braceletAdd the end of all 6 zippers to one jump ring.  Then close the jump ring.

Step #6

How to make a zipper braceletHow to make a zipper braceletSecure the end to something.  (I used some wire and hooked it to a basket.)

Braid the zippers.  I made 3 groups of 2 zippers each and just did a regular braid.

Step #7

How to make a zipper braceletGather the other end and hook them all in another 7 mm jump ring.

Step #8

How to make a zipper braceletOpen another 7 mm jump ring and connect the lobster clasp to one end of the bracelet.  Then add a few 7 mm jump rings to the other end of the bracelet.

How to make a zipper braceletThat’s the basic zipper bracelet.

Here are some ways to customize it:
(Feel free to get creative here!)

How to make a zipper braceletMake a couple of bead dangles.  I used flower beads.

For a video tutorial on how to make a bead dangle, here’s a video I made:

How to make a zipper braceletThen add the dangles to the end of the bracelet using a jump ring.

Want to take it a step further?

How to make a zipper braceletMake some more bead dangles.  Click here to learn how to make these dangles with Lucite flowers.

How to make a zipper braceletAdd them to the bracelet in various places using jump rings.  I used 4mm jump rings so the dangles would stay in place, but if you would like them to have some movement, use 7mm jump rings.

Another Version:

How to make a zipper braceletHow to make a zipper braceletInstead of making a braided bracelet, you could make a single bracelet.  These would look awesome stacked.  Imagine a bunch of different colors down your arm.  You can add a dangle like I did here, or just keep them plain.

Have fun making zipper bracelets!  Let me know how they turn out!


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